The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong


Older Children/Young Adult/Contemporary Fiction


The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong | 2004 – 2005

The Children of the Wind Series | Book IV

When Maeve is sent to live with her strict Chinese grandparents, she must fight to hold onto the things she loves most – her two best friends, her dancing, her baby brother Ned. Secretly she pins her hopes on her Irish father, who doesn’t even know she exists. From Sydney to Surfers, from Hong Kong to Ireland, Maeve searches for a path to follow, a place to belong.

A story about true friends, scattered family, and the life you make for yourself.

Maeve Lee Kwong is fourteen years old yet her story threads together the experiences of thousands of young people. Maeve is a modern Australian teenager but she is caught in a moment in time. The blood and tears, the joy and triumphs of her life in the early 21st century are part of the tapestry of history.

Maeve’s story is intertwined with every character in the Children of the Wind series of novels and brings the series to a close.


  • WAYRBA Shortlist 2007 (Western Australian Young Readers Book Award)

Reviews of The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong

  • Author Kirsty Murray creates such vivid characters and scenarios in this book that I found myself overcoming my too-good-for-teenagers attitude and being sucked into the page turning word of fourteen-year-old Maeve.

    Being an Australian born Chinese myself, I could relate to the confusion and struggle to express to other people the sense of being Australian above all else. Murray does an impressive job with Maeve’s character, illustrating the emotions and reactions that are attached to having roots from several countries…

    I don’t know about you, but I’m off to my local bookstore to devour the rest of this captivating series.

    Soo Lee Tan, Viewpoint Magazine
  • Murray writes with enormous empathy for kids and their struggles, imbuing her stories with great warmth as well as a sense of the history and the cultural cocktail that makes Australia what it is today. A compelling read for ages 12 and up.
    Dani Colvin, Sunday Tasmanian
  • Murray paints with a broad brush in big, colourful sweeps… Maeve is resourceful and is surrounded by supportive people – even those against whom she rebels. It is one of the delights of Murray’s writing that even her ‘difficult’ characters have their good side. Her novels are reassuring and full of hope, even though tough things happen; an uplifting sort of ‘hero’s journey’.
    Kathy Kozlowski, Australian Book Review
  • I loved being in the secret world of Maeve, a place rich in laughter and tears, ghosts and surprises – all the right ingredients for a terrific read.
    Brigid Lowry Author of ‘Guitar Highway Rose’, ‘Lots of Love Georgia’ and many other novels
  • Kirsty Murray understands families, joy and the relentlessness of grief. This is a stirring story, rigorously researched so that each detail feels true.
    Alyssa Brugman Author of ‘Finding Grace’, ‘Walking Naked’ and many other novels
  • This book is beautifully written, with a fine understanding of a young girl’s psyche.
    Mary Kent, Laurence College QLD
  • Kirsty Murray perfectly captures the feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes and the agony and ecstasy of being a young teen.
    Debbie Williams, Mountain District Christian School
  • I don’t ever read. I hate reading. But I just finished your book ‘The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong’ and I loved it so much I was crying most of the way through it. It was the best book ever.
    Kelly McInnes, Year 9, Damascus College, Ballarat