10 Brisbane Places featured in 'Lola In The Mirror'

10 Brisbane Places featured in 'Lola In The Mirror'


Posted 2024-02-05 by Gillian Chingfollow
Houselessness, drug crimes, lost identities and love are all at the heart of Award-winning author, Trent Dalton's latest novel, Lola in the Mirror. but so too are the faces and places of the city of Brisbane, Queensland Australia.

Released in 2023 by Harper Collins Australia, Lola in the Mirror is the story of a teenage girl, with no name who is an aspiring artist, and her mother who have spent years on the run, escaping the violence and tragedy of the past and trying to survive, make a home and create a future while living on the streets of Brisbane.

With incidents of drug addiction, violence and homelessness, the story is also one of seeking the answers to the questions which define us, opening your heart and finding love in the most unexpected places and never giving up your personal strength, courage and bravery in any situation.

Reading Lola in the Mirror is like taking a guided tour of the well-known and secret spaces scattered across the South East Queensland capital, Brisbane.

Written by a true local, Brisbane-based Trent Dalton and his mixed bag of lovable and detestable characters remind us, once again to look for the details, notice the big and small things around you and pay attention to the people and places that make cities like beautiful Brisbane what they are.

Here are just 10 of the Brisbane places which appear in Lola in the Mirror for you to discover and notice the next time you are in the river city.

1. Curbside Collections
Curbside Collections is a free, popular, local council service where unwanted household items that cannot be donated, sold, recycled or are too big to be disposed of in the household general waste or recycling bin are collected by council garbage trucks. Each year, households throw out pre-used items such as furniture, appliances and furnishings for collection by the council garbage trucks.

From the very start of Lola in the Mirror, curbside collections set a major artefact for the story when the main character, The Artist, finds a Temple and Webster mirror at a curbside collection point in Lime Street, West End. Finding the mirror, starts her reflective conversations with Lola where they talk about the past, the present and dream of the future.

Source: https://www.adrianschrinner.com.au/media-announcements/kerbside-collection-coming-to-a-street-near-you/

2. The Brisbane River
What is Brisbane without the Brisbane River? The snakey, brown, murky waters of the Brisbane River, which runs through the capital city of Queensland, is central to Lola in the Mirror. It is along these banks that houseless communities form, connections are built and memories are formed.

The real-life flood events which the river is subjected to have had devastating effects including the loss of life, and significant damage to homes and businesses as well as to roads, parks and more and Lola's characters are not immune to these increasingly frequent weather events.

3. Brisbane City Hall, Square and Clock Tower
In the heart of the Brisbane Central Business District, King George Square which houses City Hall (once one of Brisbane's tallest buildings with its regularly chiming clock), is another central location to the story. As the administrative headquarters of the local government, it is the place where The Artist first encounters Detective Geoff Topping and they form a collaboration and hatch their undercover plan to bring down a major drug ring in Brisbane.

The Square is the place where The Artist writes a Christmas note to Santa during the holiday season. In a more grim encounter, the Square is where the body of a rough sleeper is found having been murdered by a serial killer.

4. Flinders Parade, Sandgate
While much of Lola is et in the surroundings of the inner city, there are occasions where the characters visit the outer suburbs. Sandgate is one of them. This seaside village of Sandgate in the northern suburbs of Brisbane rests below the Redcliffe Peninsula and overlooks the waters of Moreton Bay.

Sadly, within the story, it is here that we meet George Stringer and learn of his loneliness, drug addiction and tragic loss of life.

5. Shorncliffe
The suburb of Shorncliffe neighbours Sandgate and is another older bayside community within Brisbane. With enviable water views over Moreton Bay, a centrepiece of Shorncliffe is the heritage pier where runners jog and fishermen try their luck at catching an evening meal.

The seaside suburb of Shorncliffe appears in the book when The Artist takes the Shorncliffe line train and shares a four-seat passenger bay with Santa Claus. An annoyed Santa is running late for his Christmas shift. The Artist questions his appearance and says, "Santa's not supposed to ride the Shorncliffe line. You're spoiling the magic for the kids of Brisbane."

6. Riverside Hilltop Homes
Teenage character Danny Collins lives in the exclusive suburb of Hamilton with its hilltop mansions overlooking the Brisbane River. It is a far cry from the accommodation of the houseless artist. Hamilton has long been the preferred location of those with the affluence of "old money." Hamilton is situated 8 kilometres from the Central Business District.

7. Victoria Bridge
Back in the heart of Brisbane City, the white pedestrian and vehicle bridge, the Victoria Bridge, connects Brisbane's Southbank, South Brisbane, the Cultural Centre and the Central Business District.

Victoria Bridge is the place where Lola and Danny Collins meet and form an immediate connection, where questions over the stolen bike 'Macaroni' are raised and more.

8. The World Turns, Elephant Statue in the Cultural Precinct
Elephants feature significantly in the novel. The public art sculpture featuring an elephant and a water rat by Michael Parekowhai's 'The World Turns' rests near the Gallery of Modern Art and appears in Lola.

9. Torbreck, Highgate Hill
Torbreck is the residential building where the strong, powerful and brutal Brandon Box lived and met his demise. Brisbane's first apartment tower is located at 182 Dornoch Terrace, Highgate Hill. The blue and white heritage-listed building has magnificent and sweeping views across the entire Brisbane skyline with units in the garden block and tower block. With its high potential on the Hill, it can be seen at its statuesque best across many parts of Brisbane.

10. Roma Street Parklands
Brisbane's answer to Central Park, the Roma Street Parklands is an urban, floral oasis and greenspace just a short walk from King George Square. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which was unveiled by Indian Prime Minister Modhi during its opening is also situated in the gardens and is mentioned briefly in Lola. There is also an installation wall celebrating Queensland's great people who have contributed to the Queensland community.

The Parklands Garden Cafe, free outdoor barbeques, and garden walking trails are popular with visitors.

A key moment in Lola is when she is given a canary yellow Bianchi road bike which she calls 'Macaroni' after it was stolen from the Parklands.

Most of these places around Brisbane are free to visit and are generally accessible to the public.

So, if you want to take a real-life excursion and see for yourself the places which influenced Lola in the Mirror, make sure to look out for these locations around Brisbane. To read or purchase Lola in the Mirror, check out your local library or favourite bookseller.


276209 - 2024-01-25 23:02:09


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