In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson and his family, who are horrified and avoid Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the summer months fall away to winter, Agnes's story begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she? Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about freedom and the ways we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, and asks: how can one woman endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?
From the beginning Jack and I was friends. Somehow our way of looking at things fitted together. He never called me Dolly, the way the others did, only my full and proper name. Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. She grows up in the fine house her father is so proud of, a strong-willed young woman who's certain where her future lies. She's known Jack Langland since she was a child, and always loved him. But the past is waiting in ambush with its dark legacy. There's a secret in Sarah's family, a piece of the past kept hidden from the world and from her. A secret Jack can't live with. A secret that changes everything, for both of them. Kate Grenville takes us back to the early Australia of The Secret River and the Thornhill family. This is Sarah's story. It's a story of tangled secrets, a story of loss and unlooked-for happiness, and a story about the silent spaces of the past. This powerful novel will enthrall readers of Kate Grenville's bestselling The Secret River, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
A boatman fishes bodies from the Yellow River searching for the one he can claim. A construction worker speeds through the Indonesian jungle to board his plane on time. Playing a terrifying game of cat and mouse, an isolated sniper in Beirut observes the city from his rooftop perch. With profound insight El-Zein's stories cross continents and time zones, effortlessly melding themes of loss and longing with larger questions of power, politics, faith and love. His characters, as provacative as they are diverse, confront issues of violence, justice and redemption with varying degrees of rage, suspense, satire and wit. With a sharp eye for the ridiculous, El-Zein's collection cleverly illuminates stereotypes and contemplates global truths. These are worldly stories in the best sense, and wise ones.
Five women, best friends for decades, meet once a month to talk about books... and life, love and the jagged bits in between. Dissecting each other’s lives seems the most natural thing in the world – and honesty, no matter how brutal, is something they treasure. Best friends tell each other everything, don’t they? But each woman harbours a complex secret and one weekend, without warning, everything comes unstuck. Izzy, soon to be the first Black woman with her own television show, has to make a decision that will change everything. Veronica, recently divorced and dedicated to raising the best sons in the world, has forgotten who she is. Xanthe, desperate for a baby, can think of nothing else, even at the expense of her marriage. Nadine, so successful at writing other people’s stories, is determined to blot out her own. Ellen, footloose by choice, begins to question all that she’s fought for. When their circle begins to fracture and the old childhood ways don’t work anymore, is their sense of sistahood enough to keep it intact? How well do these tiddas really know each other?
Curl Curl, Sydney, January 1978. Angie's a looker. Or she's going to be. She's only fourteen, but already, heads turn wherever she goes. Male heads, mainly... Jane worships her older cousin Angie. She spends her summer vying for Angie's attention. Then Angie is murdered. Jane and her family are shattered. They withdraw into themselves, casting a veil of silence over Angie's death. Thirty years later, a journalist arrives with questions about the tragic event. Jane is relieved to finally talk about her adored cousin. And so is her family. But whose version of Angie's story - whose version of Angie herself - is the real one? And can past wrongs ever be made right? The shocking truth of Angie's last days will force Jane to question everything she once believed. Because nothing - not the past or even the present - is as she once imagined.
From the headland, we look across to the lighthouse on Seal Island where Mr Hammett has to take the gas bottle to keep the light flashing at night. Aunt Cele says there is no land between us and the bottom of the world where everything is white ice and there are penguins as big as men, but I know this already because Dunc has told me. Sylvie is five. It's the 1950s and she lives in Burley Point, a fishing village south of the Coorong on Australia's wild southern coast. She worships her older brother Dunc. She tries to make sense of her brooding mother, and her moody father who abandons the family to visit The Trollop, Layle Lewis, who lives across the lagoon. It's hard to keep secrets in a small town, but when Dunc goes missing, Sylvie is terrified that she is the cause. Now her father is angry all the time; her mother won't leave the house or stop cleaning. The bush and the birds and the endless beach are Sylvie's only salvation, apart from her teacher, Miss Taylor. In the tradition of the novels of Anne Tyler and Eudora Welty, The Lost Child is a beautifully written story about family and identity and growing up. Sylvie is a charming narrator with a big heart and a sharp eye for the comic moment. As the years go by she learns how tiny events can changes entire lives, and how leaving might be the only solution when the the world will never be the same again.
A stunning novel of terror, love and survival in the greatest wilderness on earth. A lyrical, heartbreaking epic debut. An isolated property in the middle of Western Australia, just after the Great War. An English heiress has just given birth and unleashed hell. Weakened and grieving, she realises her life is in danger, and flees into the desert with her Aboriginal maid. One of them is running from a murderer; the other is accused of murder. Soon the women are being hunted across the Kimberley by troopers, trackers and the man who wants to silence them both. How they survive in the searing desert and what happens when they are finally found will take your breath away.
'It's just string bikinis, thongs and boardies on Pretty Beach Rescue. You could do it drunk and standing on your head.' After the humiliating end of her last relationship, this is just what TV costume designer, Tess Appleby, needs to hear. Sure, a wardrobe assistant on a soap is a step down from her gig at the BBC, but all Tess wants is an easy life... Unfortunately she's barely arrived on set before she's warding off the attentions of the show's heartthrob, Sean Tyler and, as a consequence, the hostility of its other star, Bree Brenner. And if the pressures and politics of working on a TV drama aren't enough, she's living with her high-maintenance mother, an ageing celebrity, and her infuriating sister Emma, an aspiring actress. Still, Tess is certain she can deal with everything they throw at her until Jake Freeman, her ex-fiance, the man she last saw eight years ago as he walked away and broke her heart, is named the show's new director.
Back in Calingarry Crossing to sell the family pub, Maggie Lindeman has no idea a perfect storm is heading her way until her past and present collide with the unexpected.
Maggie once had a crush on Dan Ireland, now a work-weary police crash investigator, still hell-bent on punishing himself for his misspent youth. Dan has ample reason for not going home to Calingarry Crossing for the school reunion, but one very good reason why he should.
Maggie is dealing with a restless seventeen-year-old son, a father with dementia, a fame-obsessed musician husband, a dwindling bank account and a country pub that just won’t sell.
The last thing she needs is a surprise houseguest for the summer. Fiona Bailey-Blair, daughter of an old friend and spoilt with everything but the truth, whips up a maelstrom of gossip when she blows into town.
This storm season, when a school reunion brings home more than memories, Maggie Lindeman will discover there’s no keeping a lid on some secrets.
Georgie - Independent and spirited, Georgie is her mother's daughter through and through. But after a house fire both takes the life of her sister, Margot, and burns her home to the ground, Georgie is lost. She flees town with nothing but a cardboard box and the determination to be somebody,anybody, else. Cara - After almost losing her adopted daughter, Cara's view of the world has radically shifted. She's decided that life is to be lived and love is to be cherished, even when that means crossing boundaries she'd never dreamed of. But is any love great enough to overcome an unimaginable burden of guilt and shame? Jim - The war that's continued in Jim's head for years finally threatens to destroy him. As he becomes more and more withdrawn, Jenny becomes increasingly desperate to unearth the young man she fell in love with. But does that Jim even exist anymore, and if so, does he wish to be found? Jenny - With her nest empty and Jim so unreachable, Jenny is more lonely than ever. Rattling around her big old house with too much time to think, she's left to wonder: should her secrets stay buried forever or will revealing the truth set her free?
The old timber town of Woody Creek has a way of getting under people's skin...But as the clock ticks over to 1970, Georgie's determined that the new decade will be the one that sees her finally break free of it. For Cara, Woody Creek will forever be tied to a devastating mistake that cannot be undone. She's vowed never to set foot in the place again. Meanwhile, Jenny's estranged son, Jim, has inherited an estate in the United Kingdom and is trying to make a new life for himself. If only he could shake off his one terrible attachment to Australia. As Woody Creek draws Joy Dettman's much-loved cast of characters back into its grip, confessions, discoveries and truths seem certain to explode in the most shocking of showdowns...
Lily is a producer on a successful cooking segment for a daily morning show. The new chef has just arrived on set and he is drop dead gorgeous. And despite everything - the sabbatical that Lily and her flatmate Simone are taking from men, the fact that Jack is a work colleague - Lily falls head over heels for him. And while Lily battles her feelings, her flatmate Simone breaks their pact and starts dating some guy from her wholefoods shop. That guy turns out to be Jack. Up close, Lily bravely watches on as romance blossoms between Simone and Jack. Or does it? They don't seem to have much in common, apart from their striking good looks. And Lily and Jack just seem to get each other. Is that the same thing as falling in love? And could she ever dream of betraying a friendship? Lily has to make some difficult decisions about work and home, and realises that if she doesn't take life by the scruff of the neck, she is the one who'll be picked up, shaken and dumped.
When marketing executive Tessa Mathison leaves London to attend her great-aunt's funeral in Australia, her life is in turmoil. An indiscretion during a boozy night out has resulted in Tessa's name being mud in London's cliquey marketing scene, and soon after she arrives in her homeland she discovers she's been sacked. Tessa's childhood home, Danjar Plains, is an isolated station which holds some bad memories for her. She plans to escape it as soon as the funeral is over, but then an unusual request in her Aunt Violet's will makes it impossible for her to leave. When charismatic and charming Brendan McKenzie introduces himself to Tessa, staying at Danjar Plains no longer seems such a hardship. As various secrets begin to unravel, Tessa realises letting go of her heart may hold the key to unlocking both her past and her future.