The Long Game

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The Long Game

Esme and Miranda Lyone grew up amongst Australian political Royalty. Their father is loyal confidante and right-hand man to Byron Hammond, the party leader, regarded by many as one of the most powerful men in the country and a future Prime Minister. But ‘Uncle’ Byron is as notorious for his private behaviour as he is for his collection of colourful public statements and so when he assaults 17-year-old Esme at a family party, Esme confesses only to her sister, knowing what such a revelation could mean for his career, her Father’s and the party which they all serve.

Years later, Miranda stands on the cusp of what could be a glittering political career and the two sisters return to the old family holiday retreat: Esme from another bout of rehab; Miranda to reveal her own assault at Byron’s hands to their Mother, Gaye before going public with the allegation. But Esme is blindsided by Miranda’s account which shows glaring similarities with her own. Has Miranda merely appropriated Esme’s story for political gain? Has she conflated Esme’s story with her own? What is the ‘truth’? The answer may lie with their mother, Gaye, whose own thwarted ambitions and ambiguous relationship with both her husband and Byron has only complicated each girl’s relationship with reality. ‘The Long Game’ is a razor-sharp examination of the public commentary around sexual assault victims, the continuing challenges for women in public life and a deep dive into what a ‘Feminist Sisterhood’ really means in the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world of Australian politics. Does solidarity between women in such a competitive environment really exist, and how do today’s whistle-blowers face down the often-vitriolic judgement from a previous generation for whom ‘feminism’ was a dirty word?