Viking (Penguin), 2000

As the heat of summer blisters through the country town where his two mates have just died, twenty-one-year-old Nathan becomes a kind of ghost, haunting the places where the Gang of Three used to hang out. Does the past hold some sort of clue to what has happened? And what responsibility should Nathan himself bear?

This multi-layered narrative mirrors the fractured state of memory while engaging with some of the big questions of our time: the legacies of history, the effects of prejudice, and the allure of danger.


Selected Reviews

Vigil is exciting, comic, suspenseful and often adventurous to the point of wildness.
— Ruth Park, Australia Book Review
Wheatley’s passionate encouragement to young adults to allow themselves to take life and death seriously must make this book worth buying.
— Stella Clarke, The Australian
Vigil is a big, disturbing book, far-reaching in its exploration of the stories that lie behind heroin addiction. And no, it’s not just another book about the horrors of this life-sapping drug. First and foremost it’s a story that takes the reader well below the surface ripples of the standard portrayal of adolescent life.
— Julia Stirling, Sydney Morning Herald


Shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, Books for Young Adults, 2000