YOU COULD WIN A WONDERFUL VINTAGE STYLED BIKE when you buy this book from Abbey's. Entry forms are given to you with the book.
It is the small lives, tucked away, that reveal humanity in all its bigness. A charming treat of a novel - as sunny, light and enjoyable as a strawberry gelato eaten in an Italian piazza on a summer's day.
Luigi is a young Italian boy growing up in Tuscany in the 1920s, dreaming of cowboys and adventure, when a young Englishman, passing through on his way to Rome, gives him his first bicycle, thus sparking a lifelong passion.
When World War II begins, Luigi enlists with the Italian Army Cycling Corps (naturally), before unexpectedly finding himself fighting alongside the Partisans. Despite encountering great sorrow and tragedy, Luigi's zest for life remains undiminished, and his next adventure sees him cycling through the Holy Land, Turkey and Sri Lanka before finding an unexpected home - and an extraordinary surprise - in Australia.
An irrepressibly optimistic, sweetly funny story, Luigi's Freedom Ride is about life, bicycles and the joy of the journey - showing how even a small life, lived in the shadow of great events, can be rich in contentment and spirit.
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----- Millie Bird, aged 7, records dead things in her special book, but she wasn’t to know her Dad would be the 28th entry. Nor was she to know when her mother leaves her in the ladies’ underwear section of the department store, how long she would have to wait.
Karl, aged 87, has been left in an old people’s home and he doesn’t know how much more of his life he has to wait. And Agatha Pantha, aged 82, has been left alone after her husband dies and she doesn’t know how much longer she has to record measurements in her book of ageing.
How these three different characters form a unit makes for a charmingly off-centre story, as they escape their enforced waiting and attempt to reunite themselves with family, love and life. Throw in an incomplete mannequin, public transport, the Indian-Pacific and an assortment of helpful or interfering minor characters and you have a fine road trip of a read.
In turns, funny and poignant, wise and wide-ranging, this book crosses boundaries and deserves all the success it will inevitably have!
Brooke came in to Abbey's recently. It was 'the' book at the recent London Book Fair and has already been sold into 16 countries, with major deals in the US and UK - not bad for a debut novel! Brooke has worked as a bookseller in Victoria and Perth (where she now lives) and charmed everyone she met at the recent booksellers' conferences in Melbourne, with her modesty, intelligence and good nature. Her book is a universal favourite amongst those of us who have read it in advance of release, and we look forward to sharing this wonderful book with the wider reading public! Lindy
Photo: Brooke Davis (centre) at Abbey's
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Nick Earls is well-known for his comedic novels often about young men, decent but somewhat clueless, coping with being adults. In this engagingly funny new novel, he turns his sharply observant talent to a middle-aged man’s struggles in navigating the world around him. I can’t tell you how much I laughed (but I do apologise to the man I startled on the train when I brayed out loud!)
Andrew has finally had enough of being an infrequent visitor to his family’s lives, and has taken on another role in order to return to Brisbane. From being a private-equity troubleshooter for companies overseas, he has been shifted sideways into managing a radio station – AM, at that. His wife is a brisk, efficient doctor who seems chagrined and amused in equal measure by his return; his twin children are busy with technology and being teenagers; his father (once the reigning king of local radio) has moved in to recover from cancer surgery. There just doesn’t seem to be room for Andrew. To top it off, his biggest problem at work is the station’s biggest asset – a politically incorrect bigmouth who delights in offending all and sundry. Andrew starts to feel increasingly irrelevant – an analogue man in a digital age. Warm and wry, witty and wise – a great book to drive away the winter blues! Lindy
Andrew Van Fleet is 49 and feeling 50 closing in. He's bailed out of his private equity job for something that'll let him spend more time at home, but the house is overrun by iPads and teenage hormones and conversations that have moved on without him. Plus his ailing father is now lodged in the granny flat, convalescing from surgery and with his scrappy bulldog in tow. And then there's Brian Brightman, the expensive fading star at the radio station Andrew's signed up to manage, whose every broadcast offers fresh trouble. He's 49 too and, like Andrew, starting to wonder if the twenty-first century might prove to be his second best.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tom Keely is a broken man. Failed marriage and career, he is searching for redemption. When a woman from his past resurfaces with her enigmatic grandson, Keely finds both his past and present colliding with explosive consequences. Winton’s new book has divided opinion in the shop, but from my perspective I found this an incredibly disturbing and powerful read. The author demands the reader's participation, hence there are definitely loose ends in the story. For me this adds to the book's power and I found myself unable to put it down. Highly recommended. ~ Greg
Tom Keely's reputation is in ruins. And that's the upside.
Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry. He's done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.
But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he's not safe from entanglement. All it takes is an awkward encounter in the lobby. A woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he's never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself.
What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting. Inhabited by unforgettable characters, Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.
How far would you go to have a family? What would you hide for someone you love?
Confused and desperate, Zoe McAllister boards a ferry to Rottnest Island in the middle of winter holding a tiny baby close to her chest, terrified that her husband will find her or that her sister will call the police.
Years later, a teenage girl, Louise, is found on the island, unconscious and alone. Flown out for urgent medical treatment, when she recovers she returns home and overhears her parents discussing her past and the choices that they've made. Their secrets, slowly revealed, will shatter more than one family and, for Louise, nothing will ever be the same again.
LET HER GO is a gripping, emotionally charged story of family, secrets and the complications of love. Part thriller, part mystery, it will stay with you long after you close the pages wondering ...What would you have done?
PRAISE for Dawn Barker's previous novel Fractured: 'Moving at a cracking pace, Fractured is part psychological thriller, part family drama...This novel will be a great book club read as it ends with more questions than answers.' Bookseller & Publisher
'Fractured is an extraordinary exploration of mental illness and grief told with great confidence and compassion.' Newtown Review of Books
'Fractured is a touching, moving story about the devastating impact of postnatal psychosis on a family in its extreme manifestations.' Aussie Book Reviews
'A superb debut for Dawn Barker, Fractured is a psychologically complex, gripping story that I couldn't put down.' Bookdout.wordpress.com
When patriarch Gerald Hawkins passes away in his Tasmanian home after ten years of serious illness, his family experiences a wave of grief and, admittedly, a surge of relief. Gerald's dominating personality has loomed large over his wife Connie and their children, Andrew and Kerry, for most of their lives. Connie, whose own dreams were dispensed with upon marriage, is now determined to renew her long friendship with Gerald's estranged sister. She travels to France where she finds Flora struggling to make peace with the past and searching for a place to call home. Meanwhile Andrew's marriage is crumbling, and Kerry is trapped in stasis by unfinished business with her father. As the family adjusts to life after Gerald, they could not be more splintered. But there are surprises in store and secrets to unravel. And once the loss has been absorbed, is it possible that they could all find a way to start afresh with forgiveness, understanding and possibility? Or is Gerald's legacy too heavy a burden to overcome? PRAISE FOR LIZ BYRSKI 'Her plots and characters get stronger with each book' THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 'Liz Byrski has a guaranteed cheer squad for her novels which champion...women taking charge of their life and growing old creatively' DAILY TELEGRAPH
The graffiti on the holding room wall says it all: 'Gunyah is hell on earth'. And Ellen's about to find out why. Ellen was never quite the daughter her mother wanted. Patent leather shoes and frilly dresses just weren't her thing and, at age fourteen, she's ready to leave school and find her own way. For Ellen, like so many other teenagers at the end of the Sixties, life is full of possibilities. Surely there's nothing wrong with going where she wants and hanging out with Robbie? But when the police turn up, Ellen is deemed to be in 'moral danger' and is sentenced to the Gunyah Training School for Girls. Suddenly, she's no longer Ellen, she's Girl 43, and she has to follow the rules, work hard and - most importantly - stay quiet. When it's discovered that she's pregnant, there's no respite from the staff. Telling her she isn't capable of bringing up a child, they twist the truth to make her cooperate. But however hard they try, they can't destroy the connection between a mother and her child...or can they?
The original, autobiographical account of life and love in the Australian bush. In 1902, Jeannie Gunn, a Melbourne schoolteacher, went with her new husband to live on the remote Elsey cattle station near the Roper River in the Northern Territory. Though she spent little more than a year there, her experiences in the outback and her contact with the local Aborigines impressed her deeply, and on her return to Melbourne she set down her recollections in two books, We of the Never-Never and The Little Black Princess. These books have become classics of Australian literature, beloved by generations. We of the Never-Never is presented in a special condensed edition, The Little Black Princess is presented as the full original text.
Abraham Nevski is a dedicated and eccentric professor of medicine at the Royal Prince John Hospital. He prides himself on his diagnostic skills and powers of reasoning. On returning to work after a break he becomes aware of disturbing changes taking place in the hospital. A series of suspicious deaths then throws his world into confusion. Nevski's inner turmoil grows and he has to confront the dangers that close in around him. Riding a Crocodile is both an insider's account of life in a major teaching hospital and a chilling detective story, exploring life and death issues of urgent contemporary relevance.
An essential collection of Henry Lawson's best-loved stories. Rogues, larrikins and the lost people - these timeless stories range from inspired, laconic comedies to pathos and tragedy. This selection showcases Lawson's range as a fiction writer and highlights his profound influence on how Australians see themselves. Here are delightful tales, thrilling tales, tales of love, of strife and of adventure, tales full of humour - stories of every mood, all alive with the magic of Lawson's genius, a genius which ranks with that of the world's greatest short-story writers. Includes 'The Drover's Wife', 'The Union Buries Its Dead' and 'The Loaded Dog'. 'Lawson's genius remains as vivid and human as when he first boiled his literary billy' - The Bulletin 'A book of honest, direct, sympathetic, humorous writing about Australia from within is worth a library of travellers' tales ...The result is a real book - a book in a hundred. His language is terse, supple, and richly idiomatic. He can tell a yarn with the best.' - The Academy on While the Billy Boils
At turns heartbreaking and wise, tender and wry, Bobcat and Other Stories establishes Rebecca Lee as one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary fiction. A university student on her summer abroad is offered the unusual task of arranging a friend's marriage. Secret infidelities and one guest's dubious bobcat-related injury propel a Manhattan dinner party to its unexpected conclusion. Students at an elite architecture retreat seek the wisdom of their revered mentor but end up learning more about themselves and one another than about their shared craft. In these acutely observed and scaldingly honest stories Lee gives us characters who are complex and flawed, cracking open their fragile beliefs and exposing the paradoxes that lie within their romantic and intellectual pursuits. Whether they're in the countryside of the American Midwest, on a dusty prairie road in Saskatchewan, or among the skyscrapers and voluptuous hills of Hong Kong, the terrain is never as difficult to navigate as their own histories and desires.
Still considered one of Australia's funniest books ever, Here's Luck is Lennie Lower's most inspired lunacy. Here's Luck, Lennie Lower's wild and uproarious masterpiece, is set in Sydney during the early depression years and follows the hilarious exploits of its hero and narrator, Jack Gudgeon. Deserted by his long-suffering wife and gorgon-like sister-in-law, Gudgeon and his dreamy, disaster-prone teenage son, Stanley, manage to stumble into a never-ending series of adventures and catastrophes from which they invariably emerge with monumental hangovers. They are joined by a wonderful assortment of eccentric characters, who always materialise to enliven the parties that Gudgeon and son hold in their increasingly derelict home.
Claustrophobia is the taut, compelling story of a young Perth wife who sets about to protect her husband by stalking his ex-lover, but unexpectedly falls into a passionate affair and a world of lies. In a novel that possesses the dark wit, psychological insight and narrative momentum of a Patricia Highsmith, Tracy Ryan captures the disturbing elements that sometimes lurk beneath the surface of a marriage. The realities of obsessive attachment and social isolation are explored through a deft and thought-provoking look at a complex personality and a plot that twists its page-turning way into our psyche.
Nina Dall has seen it all by her twenty-first birthday, including her own meteoric rise to fame and its inevitable aftermath. She created teen band The Dolls to escape suburban hell. Now she needs to prove she's not a one-hit wonder and convince veteran producer John Villiers to be her own personal svengali. But he's got his own problems. Rose Dall craves adoration, and through The Dolls, she gets it. But with the band's every move coming under media scrutiny and cousin Nina going off the rails, she's pushed to breaking point. Can The Dolls survive each other? Alannah Dall had a pop career in the 1980s before disappearing from public view. She's resurfaced to steer her nieces away from the same scandals, but with her own comeback on the cards, The Dolls start to become a threat. A mesmerising ride into the heart of love, fame and rock'n'roll. You have to risk everything to get to the top - and even more to stay there. But how do you get back what's been lost along the way? Cherry Bomb is a brilliant debut novel that will grab you tight and never let you go.
From Hong Kong's glittering mansions to its shady opium divans, from its wealthy elite to its brutal triad societies, from warrior monks to merciless politicians, Scattered Monkeys is a heart-stopping, exhilarating thriller. Hong Kong, 1976. A family at war, an empire the prize ...Brendan Murray arrives in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong in 1976 to serve in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. Despite five years' experience as a cop in Australia, he discovers he has much to learn, especially when faced with three formidable women linked by both business and blood ...Jenny Woo, once a street urchin and now the owner of an infamous nightclub, seeks Brendan's friendship - something that does not go unnoticed by his scheming superiors in search of a high-level informant...Kwan Su-lin, a dedicated doctor who suffered horrifically at the hands of MaoTse-tung's infamous Red Guard, has allowed her remarkable martial arts skills to lie dormant. Until now ...Georgina Merchant, CEO of the most powerful company in Asia, a striking beauty, a ruthless adversary, a woman not to be crossed...When the mighty Merchant Corporation comes under threat, Brendan and his colleagues in the RHKP are drawn into a web of intrigue, with the stakes climbing higher at every turn.
Patrick White's magnificent debut novel-first published 1939, long out of print and now a Text Classic. Based on Patrick White's own experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales, Happy Valley paints a portrait of a community in a desolate landscape. It is a jagged and restless study of small-town and country life. White was twenty-seven when Happy Valley was published by George C. Harrop in London. This mesmerising first novel gives us a prolonged glimpse of literary genius in the making. It won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1941, but White did not allow the novel to be republished in English in his lifetime. Its appearance now in the Text Classics series is a major literary event. Happy Valley is the missing piece in the extraordinary jigsaw of White's work.