He knew of the dark places that existed in a girls mind, the deep pockets of fear they hold. And he knew the ways to evoke them.

About the book

We can’t ever go back, but some journeys require walking the same path again.

When three young women set off on a hike through the wilderness they are anticipating the adventure of a lifetime. Over the next five days, as they face up to the challenging terrain, it soon becomes clear they are not alone and the freedom they feel quickly turns to fear. Only when it is too late for them to turn back do they fully appreciate the danger they are in. As their friendship is tested, each girl makes an irrevocable choice; the legacy of which haunts them for years to come.

Now in their forties, Samantha, Lisa and Nicole are estranged, but agree to revisit their original hike in an attempt to salvage what they lost. As geography and history collide, they are forced to come to terms with the differences that have grown between them and the true value of friendship.

Australian edition (University of Queensland Press)

Australian edition (University of Queensland Press)

UK/Ireland edition (Legend Press)

UK/Ireland edition (Legend Press)


Shortlisted in the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards - Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year


At all good bookstores or online at booktopia.com.au (Australia)

The audio version of the book can be purchased through Audible


Sally Piper shows great insight into the intensity and importance of teenage girls’ friendships, and into the way shame and unvoiced anger erode relationships…This is a gripping, haunting and moving novel that made me want to call up my best friends from high school and talk about all the things that were too terrible to face back then.

- EMILY MAGUIRE, Author of An Isolated Incident


Beautifully written, unfolding like the contours of the landscape, and grounded in a deep understanding of friendship between women.

- INGA SIMPSON, Author of Understory and Where the Trees Were

There’s a little bit of Big Little Lies about this deft and powerful study of female friendships under pressure…which sucks you in and holds you in its seductive embrace, almost unable to breathe…a page-turner…a book dripping in the raw beauty of the Australian landscape.

- The Australian Women’s Weekly Book Club ‘Great Read’


…a book that thinks deeply about the space women occupy in the world, and the space occupied by men, and the overlapping circles of trust and authority. It is about unbridled, impotent anger and rage; about the disappointment of being forced to choose safety. It is a call to arms for women to wrest back control of our bodies and our fates, to live large and demand more from those around us.

- CASS MORIARTY, Author of The Promise Seed and Parting Words 


Piper has achieved that glorious, decisive moment in any great novel where the reader becomes desperate to know the ending.

- Readings Monthly


This is an ambitious novel that explores unfashionable emotional terrain such as female anger, self-enforced limitation and shame…Piper does a fine job of exploring the nuances of her characters and their battle with themselves.

- The Weekend Australian


The atmosphere in The Geography of Friendship is so charged, I often found myself clenching my jaw and getting goosebumps as I read…as the past is slowly revealed, an air of unbearable suspense builds and builds towards a stunning crescendo…I cannot express how much this book gripped me.

- 9Honey


Piper gloriously demonstrates how to hook your readers and make them desperate to know the ending..Piper’s novel is an exploration of how the past can come to define ourselves, and a testament to the bonds of complicated friendship and to the relentless, isolating and utterly terrifying nature of the Australian bush.

- 4 stars, Books+Publishing


A beautifully written novel, with a powerful understanding and portrayal of friendship.

- The AU Review


This is a great read, written in clean, flowing prose.

- ArtsHub

Radio Interviews


Better Words Podcast with Michelle and Caitlin