WINNER ~ MAN BOOKER 2014
WINNER ~ INDIE AWARDS 2014 - BOOK OF THE YEAR and BEST FICTION
ABBEY'S CHOICE OCTOBER 2013 ----- A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.
Dorrigo Evans, an Australian surgeon in a POW camp on the Thai-Burma railway, is watching his men slowly and cruelly die, trying desperately to protect them, while being consumed by past events in his own life. Flanagan’s book jumps backwards and forwards in time and its power becomes progressively more resonant as consequences of actions reveal themselves, pulling you in different directions, often at the same time. There are many unforgettable scenes and, once read, the seeds they plant take hold and grow long after you have closed the book. Highly recommended. Greg
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Whilst walking her dog one afternoon, Frances sees a woman in a long, old-fashioned dress in an overgrown yard. Both Frances and her dog react strongly, Frances feeling like the world has altered in focus. But it has, anyway – Frances has moved to Sydney to be with Charlie, who has left his wife and son for her. The first flush of breathless romance is fading, and reality intruding, and the unsettling glimpses Frances has of the mysterious woman leave her more and more unsettled. A hauntingly beautiful novella. Lindy
Worlds of meaning spin out of perfectly chosen words in this rare, beguiling and brilliant ghost story by Miles Franklin Literary Award-winning writer Michelle de Kretser.
A fictional recreation of the life and times of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals – or was she? Based on years of research by a passionate advocate for the innocence of the real Frances Thwaites.
The notorious baby killer Frances Thwaites, in her day as famous perhaps as Ned Kelly, and whose execution in 1894 led the hangman to kill himself rather than perform the deed. Frances was alternately demonised and fantasised over, though her role as one of the colony's most infamous baby farmers has usually been depicted as evidence of a depraved psychopath. This novel, based on a meticulous re-examination of letters, trial transcripts and first-hand accounts, tells a different tale.
In the style of Alias Grace and The True History of the Kelly Gang, this tells the poignant story of a young girl unfairly condemned to life in the colony who struggled through adversity to survive the harsh environment of Australia - a girl hanged for a crime she may not have committed.
Beautifully written and evocatively told, this is a story at once lyrical and bold. The first work in a trilogy about the lives of Frances and her two daughters, this book both introduces a fresh new voice into the Australian literary scene, and resurrects the voice of a tragic Australian heroine so that her true story can at last be told.
'The art of the story is mostly about the journey, and the economy of means with which the writers here carry us a great distance is at times breathtaking.' Amanda Lohrey
In The Best Australian Stories 2014, Patrick White Award - winning author Amanda Lohrey selects the outstanding short fiction of the year. Sometimes fantastical, sometimes raw, and always a 'shot of adrenaline to the mind and heart', this collection features exciting new voices alongside the established and admired. The edges of reality blur in a corporate lawyer's tale of working in a 1200-storey glass tower. A prized coffee table becomes the focus of a father's anxieties and frustrations. Tense and fractured lines of communication shape the life of an interpreter on Christmas Island.
Imaginative, remarkable, intimate - this unmissable anthology elebrates the art of consummate storytelling.
"My name, then, is Barnaby Fletch. To the best of my knowledge I have no middle name and cannot say of whom I am the son, or of whom my father's father's father was the son. Alas, my origins are shrouded in mystery."
Thirteen-year-old Barnaby Fletch is a bag-and-bones orphan in London in the late 1700s. Barnaby lives on his wits and ill-gotten gains, on streets seething with the press of the throng and shadowed by sinister figures. Life is a precarious business. When he hears of a paradise on the other side of the world - a place called Botany Bay - he decides to commit a crime and get himself transported to a new life, a better life.
To succeed, he must survive the trials of Newgate Prison, the stinking hull of a prison ship and the unknown terrors of a journey across the world. And Botany Bay is far from the paradise Barnaby has imagined. When his past and present suddenly collide, he is soon fleeing for his life - once again. A riveting story of courage, hope and extraordinary adventure.
A collection of thrilling, original and imaginative stories from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Slap and Barracuda - a showcase all of his immense and unique story-telling talents.
Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice and revelation...
This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed bestselling international writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you deep into worlds both strange and familiar, and characters that will never let you go.
'Tsiolkas has become that rarest kind of writer in Australia, a serious literary writer who is also unputdownable, a mesmerising master of how to tell a story. He has this ability more than any other writer in the country....' Peter Craven, The Sun Herald
'The sheer energy of Tsiolkas' writing - its urgency and passion and sudden jags of tenderness - is often an end in itself: a thrilling, galvanising reminder of the capacity of fiction to speak to the world it inhabits.' James Bradley, The Monthly
Nicole Alexander, the 'heart of Australian storytelling', takes us on a captivating journey from the American Wild West to the wilds of outback Queensland, from the Civil War to the Great Depression, in an epic novel tracing one powerful but divided family. It is Dallas 1886, and the Wade Family is going from strength to strength: from a thriving newspaper and retail business in Texas to a sprawling sheep station half a world away in Queensland. Yet money and power cannot compensate for the tragedy that struck twenty-three years ago, when Joseph Wade was slaughtered and his seven-year-old daughter Philomena abducted by Apache Indians. Only her uncle, Aloysius, remains convinced that one day Philomena will return. So when news reaches him that the legendary Geronimo has been captured, and a beautiful white woman discovered with him, he believes his prayers have been answered. Little does he know that the seeds of disaster have just been sown. Over the coming years three generations of Wade men will succumb to an obsession with three generations of mixed-blood Wade women: the courageous Philomena, her hot-headed granddaughter Serena, and her gutsy great-granddaughter Abelena - a young woman destined for freedom in a distant red land. But at what price ...? 'Alexander writes [with] a deep love of the land' Courier-Mail
From Nicole Alexander, the 'heart of Australian storytelling', comes an epic historical novel that takes three brothers from the drought-stricken outback of Queensland to the horror of the trenches in World War One. They went to war and fought for love ...Although Madeleine has grown up in the shadow of her grandfather, the renowned artist David Harrow, she knows little about him. For David died long before she was born, and his paintings sold off to save the family property, Sunset Ridge. Now, decades on, with the possibility of a retrospective of David's work, Madeleine races to unravel the remarkable life of her grandfather, a veteran of the Great War, unaware that his legacy extends far beyond the boundaries of the family propertya It's 1916, and as Europe descends further into bloodshed, three Queensland brothers -Thaddeus, Luther and David Harrow - choose freedom over their restricted lives at Sunset Ridge. A 'freedom' that sees them bound for the hell of the trenches. With the world on fire around them, the brothers bear witness to both remarkable courage and shocking carnage. But they also come to understand the healing power of love - love for their comrades, love for each other, and love for the young, highly spirited girl they left back homea This is a story of bravery and misadventure, of intolerance and friendship, most of all it is the story of three young men who went to war and fought for love. 'Alexander writes [with] a deep love of the land' Courier-Mail
1830s Sydney Town - with its bar brawls, blackmail, friendship, romance, tattoos, gin and much more - is brought vividly to life as fiesty prostitute Friday, naive seamstress Harrie and cunning thief Sarah try to make their way as transported convict women. 1831: Assigned to a good family in Sydney Town and now learning the art of tattoo, convict girl Harrie Clarke is still haunted by the horror of the brutal murder she and friends Friday Woolfe and Sarah Morgan committed the previous year. Powerful and vindictive criminal Bella Jackson continues to demand money in exchange for her silence regarding their crime. And just when it seems that Harrie and her fervent and long-time admirer James Downey might finally be united, an act of pure nastiness severely threatens their chances - and Harrie's life. When things go from bad to much, much worse for Harrie, everyone who loves her must do their utmost to save her. But Friday, in love at last, is battling demons of her own, and Sarah is forced to lie low for fear of attracting the attention of the police. Who will be the one to rescue Harrie?
'Maybe this was finally Lily's time. Maybe this was the year she became a grown-up. She would have a proper, impressive job, and she could maybe even move out on her own. She flinched a bit when she realised that the missing element to this glorious new life was love, which seemed to be further away than it ever had been. Was it too much to ask for a guy to present himself who wasn't a nob or an alcoholic or a loser?' From the bestselling author of Air Kisses, Playing the Field and The Younger Man comes a funny, heartfelt novel about what happens when life, love, work and friendships collide. 'I love Zoe's writing so much I want to take it out for yum cha and champagne.' Bronwyn McCahon, Editor, Cosmopolitan 'Laugh-out-loud hilarious, and talks about stuff we've all gone through.' Cleo
Kate Grenville's Orange Prize-winning novel The Idea of Perfection is the story of the small town of Karakarook, and of Douglas Cheeseman and Harvey Savage - two people who seem the least likely in the world to fall in love. Unlike Felicity Porcelline, a woman dangerously haunted by the idea of perfection, they come to understand that what looks like weakness can be the best kind of strength.
This is Australia's past as you won't read it in any history book. Joan pops up in all over famous moments and gives her irreverent female version of them. She remakes history in her own image and asks: who gets written into history, who gets written out, and why?
A mother's greatest fear...A wife's worst nightmare...What would you do? When two technology-related disasters hit within days of each other, Paula knows her comfortable suburban life has been irrevocably blown apart. One involves the public shaming of her teenage daughter, the other is a discovery about her husband that shocks her to her core. With her world unravelling around her, Paula does the only thing that makes any sense to her: she runs away from it all. She pulls her children out of school and takes off on a trip across Australia with her elderly father and his caravan. The only rule is No Technology - no phones, no Facebook, no Instagram, no tablets, games or computers. It's time to get back to basics and learn how to be a family again. It all sounds so simple - and for a while, it is. But along the way Paula will meet new, exciting complications, and realise that running away is only a temporary solution. The past has to be faced before the future can begin. A thrilling, tender and hugely entertaining story of loss, love and discovery from the bestselling author of The Mothers' Group.
Navigatio tells the story of Saint Brendan of Clonfert, a sixth century monk and adventurer, and his legendary quest for the Isle of the Blessed via a gauntlet of monsters, devils, angels, prophets and beautiful maidens. Brendan's battles with the sea and the cosmos bear out what William Faulkner once called 'the human heart in conflict with itself'. This haunting parable of darkness and light, of temptation and belief, of voice and silence, is told with the utmost economy of words, making it a small masterpiece of compassionate perception. 'This is the spirit under sail. A beautiful mediation on losing one way and finding another. It is sensual and soulful. A rich and mellow book, one to take time over and savour in its many moods.' Michael McGirr, author of Things You Get For Free and Bypass
Ever since 'the incident' two years ago, Isabelle has been stuck in a dead-end job and has struggled to find her feet. It takes all of her determination to ward off 'The Black Place' that always threatens to devour her. Her best friend Evan is her safe place. They laugh at each other's jokes, share the same interests and take the piss out of each other with the ruthless efficiency of long acquaintance. Sex isn't an issue because Evan has made a bargain with God to keep it in his pants and Isabelle is still recovering from being deserted by her fiance Karl. Then just as Evan reconsiders his vow, Isabelle contrives a bizarre passion for her boss, Jack. Everything implodes one suffocatingly hot Australia Day. Escaping the resulting chaos, Isabelle flees to Prague where she must finally confront her fears.
In Gawell, New South Wales, a prisoner-of-war camp to house European, Korean and Japanese captives is built close to a farming community. Alice is a young woman living a dull life with her father-in-law on his farm while her new husband first fights, then is taken prisoner, in Greece. When Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist from Gawell's camp, is assigned to work on their farm, Alice's view of the world and her self-knowledge are dramatically expanded. But what most challenges Alice and the town is the foreignness of the Japanese compound and its culture, entirely perplexing to the inmates' captors. Driven by a desperate need to validate the funerals already held for them in Japan, the prisoners vote to take part in an outbreak, and the bloodshed and chaos this precipitates shatter the certainties and safeties of all who inhabit the region.
WINNER ~ INDIE AWARDS 2014 - BEST DEBUT FICTION
Gift Edition Hardback
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?
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe to divert them from leaving Papua New Guinea, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control. Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice.
'Love comes out of nowhere for most of us, when we least expect it.' Amidst the carnage of Gallipoli, British nurse Claire Nightingale meets Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren. Despite all odds, they fall deeply in love. Their flame burns bright and carries them through their darkest hours, even when war tears them apart. When Jamie encounters Turkish soldier Acar Shahin on the bloodstained battlefield, the men forge an unforgettable bond. Their chance meeting also leaves a precious clue to Jamie's whereabouts for Claire to follow. Come peacetime, Claire's desperate search to find Jamie takes her all the way to Istanbul, and deep into the heart of Acar's family, where she attracts the unexpected attention of a charismatic and brooding scholar. In the name of forgiveness, cultures come together, enemies embrace and forbidden passions ignite - but by the nail-biting conclusion, who will be left standing to capture Nurse Nightingale's heart? A breathtaking novel of heartbreak and heroism, love and longing by a powerhouse Australian storyteller. Praise for The Tailor's Girl: 'Fiona McIntosh is a superior writer in the genre, and if you enjoy popular romantic fiction, you'd be mad not to try her.' The Age 'Sure to appeal to lovers of period romantic dramas like Downton Abbey.' Woman's Day
WITH MILLIONS OF COPIES SOLD, AUSTRALIA'S FAVOURITE STORYTELLER RETURNS WITH HER BEST NOVEL YET. From the mountains to the valleys, from big cities to tiny towns, to the outback and the islands, Di Morrissey knows this country. She's been there. In The Road Back, Di weaves a tale of reconnection and starting over. Journalist Chris Baxter is at a crossroads. Returning with his teenage daughter to his mother's house in the beautiful township of Neverend, Chris hopes to pick up the pieces after his life takes an unexpected turn. Sometimes taking the road back is the start of a journey forward.
In 1881 'Big Jim' Durham ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great sugar mills of the Southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress and home to hundreds of workers, but 'Elianne' and the Durham Family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest of times, the 1960s. For Kate Durham and her brothers Neil and Alan, freedom is the catchword of the decade. Rock 'n' roll, the Pill, the Vietnam War, the rise of Feminism, Asian immigration and the Freedom Ride join forces to rattle the chains of traditional values. The workers leave the great sugar estates as mechanisation lessens the need for labour - and the Durham family, its secrets exposed, begins its fall from grace...