Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.
Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an evergrowing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into hundreds of exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s famous Galapagos finches.
In The Birdman’s Wife, the naïve young girl who falls in love with a demanding and ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to collect and illustrate Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.
In this indelible portrait, an extraordinary woman overshadowed by history steps back into the light where she belongs.
1952. Tasmania. The green, rolling hills of the dairy town Mole Creek have a dark underside - a labyrinthine underworld of tunnels that stretch for countless miles, caverns the size of cathedrals and underground rivers that flood after heavy rain. The caves are dangerous places, forbidden to children. But this is Tasmania - an island at the end of the earth. Here, rules are made to be broken.
For two young brothers, a hidden cave a short walk from the family farm seems the perfect escape from their abusive, shell-shocked father - until the older brother goes missing. Fearful of his father, nine-year-old Kip lies about what happened. It is a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Fifty years later, Kip - now an award-winning scientist - has a young son of his own, but cannot look at him without seeing his lost brother, Tommy. On a mission of atonement, he returns to the cave they called Kubla to discover if it’s ever too late to set things right. To have a second chance. To be the father he never had.
The Better Son is a richly imaginative and universal story about the danger of secrets, the beauty in forgiveness and the enthralling power of Tasmania’s unique natural landscapes.
The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie's voice. A whisper in the dark.
"Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them."
Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference.
Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow's house.
Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken...
This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same. 1926: Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads. Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds.
A delightful debut novel of secrets and small town obsessions from Australian musician and songwriter, Holly Throsby.
It wasn't just one person who went missing, it was two people. Two very different people. They were there, and then they were gone, as if from a crack in the sky. After that, in a small town like Goodwood, where we had what Nan called 'a high density of acquaintanceship', everything stopped. Or at least it felt that way. The normal feeling of things stopped.
Goodwood is a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. It's a place where it's impossible to keep a secret.
In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens. Two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood's most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home.
People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don't just disappear.
As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling.
Rich in character and complexity, its humour both droll and tender, Goodwood is a compelling ride into a small community, torn apart by dark rumours and mystery.
Little secrets grow up to be big lies...
They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything... or so they thought.
But Flick's seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family's happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can't seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son.
When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.
And he's done it folks... Phar Lap first, daylight second.
In a new novel about the Australian race horse Phar Lap, award -winning writer, Kelly Ana Morey recreates the short life of the gigantic chestnut gelding who became the darling of the Australian race tracks during the Depression years. From Timaru in New Zealand where he was born, to Australia where he rewrote track and race records and finally Mexico where he would run his last race, Daylight Second chronicles the death threats and attempts on Phar Lap's life that were made before the running of two of the three Melbourne Cups he contested, his many triumphs including winning the Melbourne Cup in 1930 and the Agua Caliente Handicap in 1932, and finally his death in America in mysterious circumstances.
Part richly imagined biography, part portrait of two marriages, Daylight Second is also the story of the people who knew the champion race horse as Bobbie; his trainer Harry Telford and beloved strapper Tommy Woodcock, and the two very different women who would become their wives.
This extraordinary novel by one of New Zealand's most audacious writers, brings to life the excitement of the track, the highs and lows of the racing game, and the challenges faced by urban working-class Australians between the wars.
A novel about love, music and coming to terms with the past, from the author of the international bestseller The Rosie Project. On the cusp of fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights. It's the lifestyle he wanted, but something's missing. Two decades ago, on the other side of the world, his part-time piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, who'd abandoned law studies to pursue her acting dream. She gave Adam a chance to make it something more than an affair-but he didn't take it. And now he can't shake off his nostalgia for what might have been. Then, out of nowhere, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously? How far will he go for a second chance?
'The express flew towards Paris over the flooded March swamps. In a parlour-car, the melancholy dark young woman looked out persistently at the sand-dunes, cement-mills, pines, the war-cemetery with stone banners like folded umbrellas, the fields under water, the bristling ponds with deserted boats and the little naked trees which marked the horizon-searching roads.' It is 1934, and Elvira Western has left London and her dull marriage to Paul, a doctor, for Paris and her waiting lover, Oliver, a student radical. But drab hotels and interminable discussions of politics are not her idea of romance, and soon Elvira is wishing she could leave the city of 'many beauties-and furies', and return home...Christina Stead's second novel dramatises a love triangle against a backdrop of political upheaval. Its publication in 1936 prompted a writer for the New Yorker to call Stead the 'most extraordinary woman novelist' since Virginia Woolf.
People live year after year in a hotel like this. We have their police papers, we know their sicknesses and family troubles; people come to confide in you. They tell you things they would not tell their own parents and friends, not even their lawyers and doctors. After the Second World War, bizarre characters from across the ruined continent have gathered at the 'fourth-rate' Hotel Swiss-Touring by Lake Geneva. Some are residents, while other guests have come for the season. In the claustrophobic atmosphere of the little hotel, their eccentricities and their desperation-their jealousies and vindictiveness-are all too apparent. First published in 1973, shortly before Christina Stead's return to Australia, The Little Hotel is a sharp, witty satire of changing lives in postwar Europe.
'Ever since his early manhood, since his marriage, he had bought women; most had been bargains and most had made delivery at once. He never paid in advance- 'I got no time for futures in women'.' New York, on the cusp of World War II. Robert Grant, a middle-aged businessman, lives life by his own rules. His chief hobbies are moneymaking and seduction; he is always on the hunt for the next woman to beguile and betray. That is, until he meets his match- Barbara, the 'blondine', a woman he cannot best. A sardonic commentary on sexual relations and war as potent as when it was first published in 1948, A Little Tea, a Little Chat holds up a mirror to the corruption and cravenness of our late-capitalist moment.
'I hate and despise business and anything to do with making money.' 'Do you think it's wrong?' 'It is the enemy of art.' Eighteen-year-old Honor Lawrence is out of place at the bank where she works. When she refuses to accept a promotion, despite her obvious poverty, her mentor, Augustus Debrett, doesn't quite know what to make of it, or of her. Honor is an enigma-and she leaves confusion and uneasiness in her wake. In The Puzzleheaded Girl, made up of four thematically linked novellas, Stead's unsurpassable skills of observation and social critique are on full display.