What had they done? What had she and Sarah and Friday done? 1830: Convict girls Friday Woolfe, Harriet Clarke and Sarah Morgan have been transported to Sydney from London. Sarah has been assigned to jeweller Adam Green, Harriet is a maid for the Barrett family, and Friday is working as a prostitute in a brothel. Each of them is struggling to forget the brutal crime they committed. But their fate is no longer theirs to control. Vicious underworld queen Bella Jackson holds the girls' futures in the palm of her hand, biding her time until she exacts payment for what she knows about their misdeeds. Harriet, racked with guilt, becomes convinced that their lost friend is haunting them, and while Friday succumbs to the bottle, Sarah has to fight for everything she holds dear. Once again, the girls must join forces to save one of their own. But which one? And in the background Bella Jackson waits and watches ...Praise for Deborah Challinor: 'Challinor is a good storyteller; her characters have depth and her historical backdrops are well researched, seamlessly joining fact and fiction and creating a convincing, atmospheric yarn' Bookseller + Publisher 'Seamlessly fuses historical fact and engrossing fiction' Queensland Times
WINNER - INDIE Awards 2013 - BOOK OF THE YEAR and CATEGORY WINNER: DEBUT-FICTIONABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- Tom Sherbourne finds that lighthouse keeping offers him respite from the horrors of his experiences of WWI. He takes on the posting of Janus Rock, far off the Western Australian coast, but he also falls in love with the vivacious Isabel, who marries him on his brief return to the mainland between stints. They have a happy life, but for one thing - none of Isabel’s pregnancies produce a baby who lives for long. Desperate for a child, she persuades the upright and morally unambiguous Tom to not report the most serious incident that ever occurs on the island. A small boat washes up on their rock, with a dead man and a living baby, and for the love of Isabel, he acquiesces to her pleas… A powerful novel of moral choices, beautifully written and highly recommended. Lindy
This mesmerizing novel has been a bestselling book around the world, and Hollywood movie rights were recently snapped up by Dreamworks, with David Heyman (Harry Potter) set to produce.
It is the sixties and times are changing. Hemlines are getting shorter, stockings are being discarded and women are doing it for themselves. At the advertising agency of Bofinger, Adams, Rawson & Keane, three women, Desi, Bea and Isabel, are making their way in a man's world. For them jingles and catchphrases are easy - having a life outside the office is so much harder. Adulterous affairs, pining for an overseas love and being used to exact revenge on a former fiancee all take their toll on these three fashionable women. But the changing social landscape means there are surprises in store and that love can be found in the most unexpected places.
It’s the year 2020, and in Sydney, John Dean is making plans – big plans. He’s seen the writing on the wall. Temperatures of over 45 degrees are a regular occurrence and sea levels are rising; severe drought has meant harsh water restrictions, and the economy has slowed almost to a standstill. But John is not going to sit and suffer; he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his family, and he’s taking action. This is the story of how he moves his family away from a society on the brink of destruction to create a haven and make a fresh start. The Dean family and those who join them on their farm pull together to create a self-sufficient life as civilisation crumbles around them. They struggle to learn farming techniques and long-lost skills, but they survive. Then a threat comes from the north when refugees stream into northern Australia to escape heat, flooding and starvation. The Dean group must do the unimaginable: they must kill to defend the farm and their lives. This well-paced futuristic story about the astonishing human ability to adapt will keep readers engaged from the beginning as they imagine what they would do in the same situation – a totally credible scenario, as global warming increases its grip on our planet. The characters are beautifully drawn, and readers will be able to relate to the family relationships and admire the leadership of John and his son. Until the Little Birds Sing is a thoroughly engaging book – at times a grim tale, but ultimately one of hope, courage and renewal.
WINNER - INDIE Awards 2013 - CATEGORY: FICTION ----- The tiniest things - a coin, a pendant, a photograph, a lie - can make or ruin lives. It is 1939. Deep in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Richmond Kip Westaway, failed scholar and stablehand, is about to live through the most important day in his young life as Australia hovers unknowingly on the brink of war. What happens that day is the catalyst for momentous events strung across eight more moments in time; love and deception, near-misses and misunderstandings, all centred around the terrible thing that happens to a young girl and the repercussions it will have on the lives of her family, even those not yet born. Toni Jordan's NINE DAYS is a beautiful, heartbreaking novel, a masterful piece of writing filled to bursting with warm, funny, spiky, lovable characters. It is the story of a tragedy, and the ripples that spread outwards from it through the generations, for better or worse. It is a book you will want to pass on, if you can bear to let it go.
Through a chance meeting at the Royal Academy, Tom Harper makes friends with Sarah Delacour. An esteemed scholar of children's rhymes, Sarah is beautiful, smart and charming. She is also the wife of a terminally ill millionaire, who keeps her close with the promise of a large inheritance. Tom falls deeply in love with the Sarah, and waits for her to reciprocate. But while Sarah is brilliant at playing the role of a woman in love, her ultimate commitment is to securing a life of wealth and comfort, and Tom finds he cannot compete with what she already has on offer. Compassionate, insightful and beautifully written, Infidelity is a story about how we lose ourselves when seeking a genuine connection from within the maelstrom of sexual passion.
In 1979, Nam Le's family left Vietnam for Australia, an experience that inspires the first and last stories in The Boat. In between, however, Le's imagination lays claim to the world. The Boat takes us from a tourist in Tehran to a teenage hit man in Colombia; from an ageing New York artist to a boy coming of age in a small Victorian fishing town; from the city of Hiroshima just before the bomb is dropped to the haunting waste of the South China Sea in the wake of another war. Each story uncovers a raw human truth. Each story is absorbing and fully realised as a novel. Together, they make up a collection of astonishing diversity and achievement.
When Laura Rambotham arrives at an exclusive Melbourne girls school from her country home, she is ridiculed by the other pupils for her differences - her name, her unusual clothes and, especially, for her 'unpardonable sin': her exceptional musical ability. Laura endures ostracism and misery as she tries to make herself socially acceptable to her vicious peers, never quite succeeding but learning much about the world and its inhabitants along the way.
Amid the brothels, grog shops and run-down boarding houses of inner-city Surry Hills, money is scarce and life is not easy. Crammed together within the thin walls of Twelve-and-a-Half Plymouth Street are the Darcy family: Mumma, loving and soft-hearted; Hughie, her drunken husband; pipe-smoking Grandma; Roie, suffering torments over her bitter-sweet first love; while her younger sister Dolour learns about life the hard way.
In 1941, Rob Coram is six. The war feels far removed from his world of aunties and cousins and the beautiful, dry landscape of Geraldton in Western Australia. But when his favourite, older cousin, Rick, leaves to join the army, the war takes a step closer. When Rick returns from the war several years later, he has changed and Rob feels betrayed. The old merry-go-round that represents Rob's dream of utopia (the security of his family and of the land that is his home) begins to disintegrate before his eyes.
Inner-suburban Melbourne in the 1970s: a world of communal living, drugs, music and love. Nora falls in love with Javo the junkie, and together they try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made. But caught in an increasingly ambiguous relationship, they are unable to let go - and the harder they pull away from each other, the tighter the monkey grip.
In 1900, a class of young women from an exclusive private school go on an excursion to the isolated Hanging Rock, deep in the Australian bush. The excursion ends in tragedy when three girls and a teacher mysteriously vanish after climbing the rock. Only one girl returns, with no memory of what has become of the others ...
Bequeathed a century-old house, four estranged friends return to their home town, Calingarry Crossing, where each must stay for a season to fulfil the wishes of their beloved benefactor, Gypsy. Here they finally face the consequences of the tragic accident that occurred twenty years ago and changed their lives forever. Sara, a breast cancer survivor afraid to fall in love; Poppy, an ambitious journo craving her father's approval; Amber, a spoilt socialite looking for some purpose to life; Caitlin, a doctor frustrated by a controlling family. At Dandelion House, each will discover something about themselves and a secret that will bind them forever.
The Best Australian Yarns is a substantial and definitive collection of factual and fanciful Aussie stories, humour and anecdotes - the result of decades of researching popular Aussie culture and history and yarning to mates and other colourful characters from all parts of Australia and all walks of life. This collection includes tall stories from the bush, reminiscences from the racetrack and shearing shed, railway yarns, stories from the world of show business, Aboriginal legends and humour, digger yarns from both world wars, ghost stories, monsters, bunyips and yowies...and many things you never knew about our amazing history and the characters who made it - the pioneers, heroes, convicts, bushrangers, eccentrics and brave and forgotten men and women whose fascinating lives and achievements created the Aussie spirit that we all love. While the stories range from poignant to hilarious, many simply describe unusual coincidences, strange occurrences or simple everyday humorous events with a refreshing understatement that vividly evokes a vanishing Australia where looking for a good laugh was a key component of a cheekier national character and a simpler lifestyle.
A classic of the Australian outback, Such Is Life is the farcical, tragic reminiscences of Tom Collins, philosopher and rogue. As Tom drives his team across the plains of the Riverina and northern Victoria, he gets entangled in the fate of others like Rory O'Halloran, the two Alfs (Nosey and Warrigal) and Hungry Buckley of Baroona recreating the humour, the pathos, the irony of life in the bush. His is the tough-talking, law-dodging world of the 1880s, where swagmen and bullockies slept under the stars with 'grandeur, peace and purity above; squalor, worry and profanity below'. These inspired yarns, 'fatally governed by an inveterate truthfulness', are woven into one of the greatest books of Australian literature, combining a genius for story-telling with a wry wit and a deep feeling for the harsh sun-baked land and the people who worked it.
Strap on your highest heels for a fast-paced peek inside the glossy world of magazines. When Nina Morey gets her perfectly pedicured toe on the first rung of the highly competitive magazine publishing ladder, she can't believe her luck. Then she lands the hottest man in town AND her best friend relocates from the other side of the world to help her paint the town neon pink. Nina's life has suddenly turned from dull to dream come true. Soon she's scaling the magazine ladder faster than you can say 'Anna Wintour', securing dream job after dream job, while schmoozing her way around Sydney's hottest spots. Life is good. What could possibly go wrong?
Poppy Abbott seems to have it all. Bright, successful and attractive, she lives in a beautiful apartment with sweeping views of Sydney. However, since the recent death of her beloved grandmother, she's been struggling to come to terms with her grief. Feeling nostalgic one evening, Poppy decides to sort through her grandmother's belongings, which she hasn't been able to face before. She's hardly started when she comes across an old leather diary with the name 'Maggie Abbott' written in the front. It's not long before she's drawn into Maggie's life and her fears for her soldier boyfriend during the First World War. As her interest in Maggie's diary intensifies, Poppy decides to spend some time at her grandmother's house in the country. Away from the city, Poppy begins to wonder if all the things she's always valued so much are what she really wants out of life. And then love intervenes...From the bestselling author of Bridie's Choice, this is the story of a woman leaving a fast-paced existence in the city for a calmer, more meaningful life in the country, where she finds herself re-evaluating just about everything.
In the wake of an unfortunate best-friend-and-boyfriend-caught-having-sex-in-a-chair incident, Jo Donnelly flees her civilised city life to take up a temporary job at the physiotherapy clinic in her small home town. Jo is ineptly assisted at work by a receptionist who divides her time between nail care and surfing the internet. Meanwhile, her new flatmate is a joyless couch potato who hogs the TV and is vigilant in her quest to prevent excessive electricity consumption. Life would seem a bit grim if not for Jo's eccentric honorary Aunty Rose, who lives up the valley with her pet piglet, four dogs and two sheep. Rose was a wise and infinitely patient friend to both Jo and her bona fide nephew, Matthew, while they were growing up. And when Rose is hit by illness Jo moves in to look after her, while Matt helps out as much as his farming duties allow. But illness aside, it's not long before the mischievous Rose is playing cupid...This is an utterly charming, funny, insightful novel of friendship and love.