Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Richard Rossiter


Skating the Edge is a contemporary Young Adult novel, set partly in an adolescent psychiatric hospital in the narrated present time, and partly in the school and home of the protagonist Caitlin Michaels, in the narrated past. The novel deals with Caitlin's attempts to understand the suicide of one of the residents of the hospital, Anna, and also to understand the events that led to her own hospitalisation, which include her complicated relationship with her talented older brother, Nick. As the narrative unfolds, it is evident that Anna's suicide has been prompted by serial sexual abuse at the hands of her father and the inappropriate relationship between Anna and a male psychiatric nurse.