ABBEY'S CHOICE SEPTEMBER 2014
----- Set in the 1980s in Hobart and on the southern oceans, this finely crafted novel is as deceptively simple as Parrett's first, award-winning Past the Shallows
Isla and her brother have been taken to Hobart by their mother who is escaping an unhappy marriage. It is a grey sort of life for all of them, until her mother befriends some Danish sailors who are crew on the Nella Dan which supplies the Australian Antarctic bases under contract. One sailor in particular, Bo, brings a different way of seeing the world to Isla, and for a few weeks each summer, his kindness and quiet practicality brighten her life.
The chapters are interspersed with Bo's point-of-view as he works as a steward on the Nella Dan (a ship that engenders strong ties and affection in all who serve on her) and these sections are highly evocative of shipboard life and the wonders of the icy south. This is a quiet and reflective novel, pared down but beautifully formed. It is a story of small actions that generate great significance, of the helplessness of children who can only work things out in an incomplete manner, and of how adults bumble their way through life, not having all the answers themselves.
Deeply moving, and highly recommended. Lindy
Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother's sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart's stone streets seeps into everything. Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all - of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life onboard. Like the snow white petrels that survive in the harshest coldest place, this lonely girl at the bottom of the world will learn that it is possible to go anywhere, be anything. But she will also find out that it is just as easy to lose it all. For Isla, those two long summers will change everything. Favel Parrett delivers an evocative and gently told story about the power fear and kindness have to change lives.
Rachael is a child prodigy, a talented artist whose maturity and eloquence is far beyond her fourteen years. She's also energetic, charming and beautiful, beguiling everyone around her. To her mother, Camille, she is perfect. But perfection requires work, as Camille knows all too well.
For Rachael has another extraordinary gift: a murky one that rears its head from time to time, threatening to unbalance all the family has been working towards. When Rachael accuses her art teacher of sexual misconduct, Camille and Rachael's father, Wolfe, are drawn into a complex web of secrets and lies that pits husband against wife, and has the power to destroy all of their lives.
Set in the contrasting worlds of Australia and Paris, Rachael's Gift is a mystery story of the heart, about a mother's uncompromising love for her daughter, and a father's quest for the truth.
The wind from Siberia as announced by the BBC came down Bayswater Road from the direction of Marble Arch...Searing skin, and petrifying metal and wood, it took possession of London and this early day of the new year. Gently, somehow sympathetically, with a secret sort of throb, my ears ached against it, but rather more drearily and with a sense of injustice my eyes watered as I narrowed them at the steely dark sky and swirling smoke. The centre of the universe! The brilliance of the winter season! Twenty-five-year-old Clemency James has moved from Sydney to a chilly bedsit on the other side of the world. During the day she studies for the bar by correspondence; in the evenings she gives French lessons to earn a meagre wage. When she meets Christian, a charismatic would-be actor, she can see he's trouble - not least because he's involved with an older woman who has children. She is drawn to him nonetheless: drawn into his world of unpayable debts and wild promises. First published in 1960, The Catherine Wheel is Elizabeth Harrower's third novel and the only one of her books not set in Australia. In it she turns her unflinching gaze on the grim realities of 1950s London, and the madness that can infect couples.
A Miles Franklin Award-winning author engaging directly with Australia's political past and future. A young boy meets a stranger with a powerful secret, a gift of uncanny understanding and a talent for knots. From this encounter, Marcus Friendly's ideas of himself take shape as he rises to become Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister. The night he dies, a shadow, is there to collect him when he falls. Another young boy, Ross Devlin, witnesses the event. Ross eventually finds himself on an outback station working for Kyle Morrison, son of Australia's most famous poet, 'The Bounder'. Kyle suddenly needs help to undo a knot of his own, and a young union organiser, Max Petersen, steps in to right an old injustice. Now, after years in parliament, Max Petersen, the inheritor of the Marcus Friendly tradition in more ways than one, awaits a call from the PM for the ministry he craves. Around him, a crisis among friends and family is unfolding, and everyone is forced to confront the legacy they have inherited, their influence in a changing world and what follows on after them.
'Why do some people decide to get married when everyone around them would seem to agree that marriage, at least for the two people in question, is a terrifically bad idea?' The year is 1999, and Lachlan Colbert - Colby - has the world at his feet. He's got a big job on Wall Street and a sleek bachelor pad in the heart of Manhattan. With money no object, he and his friends take a trip to Australia to see in the new millennium. And it's there, on a hired yacht sailing the Whitsundays, that he meets Caitlin. Caitlin Hourigan has got wild hair and torn shorts - and has barely ever left the small patch of Queensland where she grew up. But Colby is smitten and for Caitlin, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, a blissful future awaits - marriage, a big house, a beautiful little boy. But nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. And for Lachlan and Caitlin the nightmare is only just beginning...
Shortly after 9.30 in the morning, a young man walks into Surf City, Bondi's newest shopping complex. He's wearing a dark grey hoodie - and a bomb around his neck. Just a few minutes later he is locked in a shop on the upper floor. And trapped with him are four innocent bystanders. For police chaplain Paul Doherty, called to the scene by Superintendent Boehm, it's a story that will end as tragically as it began. For this is clearly no ordinary siege. The boy, known as Ali Khan, seems as frightened as his hostages and has yet to utter a single word. The seconds tick by for the five in the shop: Mitchell, the talented schoolboy; Mouse, the shop assistant; Kimmi, the nail-bar technician; and Roger Callaghan, the real estate agent whose reason for being in Bondi that day is far from innocent. And of course there's Ali Khan. Is he the embodiment of evil, as the villagers in his Tanzanian birthplace believe? Or simply an innocent boy, betrayed at every turn, who just wants a place to call home?
Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life - a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career - but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she's known about herself and her past. Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory... Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby's only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid. Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence. Slowly, the gaps in Ruby's memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core - about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.
You make deals with God. You make deals with the Devil. You're not fussy. But as a wise man once said: "It's the saying you don't care what you get what gets you jiggered." So you say it, and you're jiggered, but what you give birth to is a hedgehog. It's prickly and its cry is a noise so terrible that you wish someone would scrape fingernails on a blackboard to give you some relief.
In a fairytale, the only good mother is six feet under. All the others are bad news. A fairytale mother will exchange her first-born child for a handful of leafy greens. And if times get tough, she'll walk her babes into the woods and leave them there. But mothers of today do no such things. Do they?
In this collection of heart-breakingly honest stories, the mothers of the Brothers Grimm are brought - with wit, subversiveness and lyrical prose - into the here and now. Danielle Wood turns four fairytales on their heads and makes them exquisitely her own.
The adventures of the transported convict women continue in this stunning sequel to Behind the Sun. Philippa Gregory meets Bryce Courtenay as Sydney's history comes vividly to life. 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 ...
1926: Violet Armstrong is one of the few remaining members of staff working at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel as it closes down over winter. Only a handful of guests are left, including the heir to a rich grazing family, his sister and her suave suitor. When a snowstorm moves in, the hotel is cut off and they are all trapped. No one could have predicted what would unfold. 2014: After years of putting her sick brother's needs before her own, Lauren Beck leaves her home and takes a job at a Blue Mountains cafe, the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel's renovations. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect who is overseeing the project, and an attraction begins to grow. In a wing of the old hotel, Lauren finds a series of passionate love letters dated back to 1926, alluding to an affair - and a shocking secret.If she can unravel this long-ago mystery, will it make Lauren brave enough to take a risk and change everything in her own life?Inspired by elements of her grandmother's life, a rich and satisfying tale of intrigue, heartbreak and love from the author of the bestselling Lighthouse Bay and Wildflower Hill.
1891: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather's health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare. 2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer's block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it's a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.
In 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love ...and with heartbreak. Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother's forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future. What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family's happiness is at stake - or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future? A breathtaking novel about finding love against all the odds that will keep you captivated from beginning to end. Praise for Barbara Hannay's bestsellers: 'Hannay's touch is deft, her pacing perfect and it all adds up to a gem of a story that certainly deserves a RITA.' Smart Bitches, Trashy Books 'A fantastic story with beautiful characters and a lovely backdrop of rural Australia ...heartache, loss, love and new beginnings.' 1 girl ...2 many books
The year is 1977, and Adrian is nine. He lives with his gran and his uncle Rory; his best friend is Clinton Tull. He loves to draw and he wants a dog; he's afraid of quicksand, shopping centres and self-combustion. Adrian watches his suburban world, but there is much he cannot understand. He does not for instance, know why three neighbourhood children might set out to buy ice-cream and never come back home...
Through the long years of the Great Depression, Harper Flute watches with a child's clear eyes her family's struggle to survive in a hot and impoverished landscape. As life on the surface grows harsher, her brother Tin escapes ever deeper into a subterranean world of darkness and troubling secrets, until his memory becomes a myth barely whispered around the countryside.
Martin and Maggie, a judge and an artist, have forged a life together for thirty-seven years. They have a son who is a successful lawyer and a grandson to dote on. Life is good, comfortable, familiar. But one day Martin leaves a family lunch and drives to a suburb miles away, to a particular house in a particular street, where an accident triggers a chain of events. No one knows why he was there - not even Martin himself - and as his mind starts unravelling, it is left to Maggie to discover what in Martin's past is troubling him, and where it is going to take them. While Maggie pieces together the events leading up to the accident, Martin takes refuge in a single memory, a night in New York almost forty years ago - the night he and Maggie met. As Martin's mind spirals inward, the fabric that has been holding his lifetime of secrets at bay begins to fray. In his efforts to protect his family from the mistakes in his past, has Martin damned his son to the fate of repeating them? This Picture of You is a searing story of love and betrayal, a gripping portrait of a family and the history that threatens to tear it apart at the seams.
A young woman once told Thomas Keneally her life story. It was to lodge in his mind and haunt his imagination, becoming the kernel for this enthralling and emotive novel. It tells of a marriage that becomes a nightmare, of a distraught woman's flight, actual and symbolic, into the Australian interior, a story of pursuit, tragic accident and a final, strange catharsis.
Four mothers. Four teenage daughters. An isolated tropical paradise with no internet or mobile phone reception. What could possibly go wrong? There's tension, bitchiness, bullying, sex, drunken confessions, bad behaviour and breakdowns - and wait till you see what the teenagers get up to...How can we let our daughters go to forge lives of their own when what we most want to do is hold them close and never let them go? How do we let them grow and keep them protected from the dark things in the world at the same time? And how can mothers and daughters navigate the troubled, stormy waters of adolescence without hurting themselves and each other? A clear-eyed, insightful and wildly entertaining look into the complicated, emotional world of mothers and daughters by the acclaimed author of Into My Arms, Last Summer and After the Fall.
By the bestselling author of The Lavender Keeper A humble soldier wakes in a military hospital with no recollection of his past. Jones has only a few horrifying memories of the battlefield at Ypres, and his identity becomes a puzzle he must solve. A stunning seamstress dreams of her own high-fashion salon in London. After a fated meeting with Jones, Eden Valentine is driven to help the soldier by something more than charity. A mysterious and aristocratic man may hold the key to Jones's past - and to Eden's future. But the news that he bears will bring shattering consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart. The Tailor's Girl is a heart-stopping story of true love and courage from a phenomenal Australian storyteller. 'If you enjoy popular romantic fiction, you'd be mad not to try this.' Sydney Morning Herald 'Everything I want in a curl-up-on-the-sofa read ...The Tailor's Girl is an exquisite story that just bursts from the pages and leaps into your heart.' Write Note Reviews
The hunt for gold in a South African mine is a deadly battle between the legtimate operation run by former recce commando Cameron McMurtrie and the zama zamas, pirate miners led by the brutal Wellington Shumba. When an engineer is taken hostage, ambitious high-flyer Kylie Hamilton comes on the scene from the Australian head office to supposedly help...Cameron and Kylie have become Wellington's prey. They must unite - their lives depend on it. 'FAST PACED AND EXCITING, THIS IS A WINNER' CANBERRA TIMES 'His latest thriller is another ripping yarn based on realistic scenarios in the classic African adventure genre' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Park...writes in the vein of Wilbur Smith and Bryce Courtenay, with a deep love for the African bush and wildlife.' SUN-HERALD
Winner of the 2014 Viva La Novella Prize 'My grandmother had been right to hide her Buddhist rituals for so many years during doi moi, when ancestor worship was forbidden. The spirits were more important than the rules of men.' When the dead begin speaking to sixteen-year-old Kim Nguyen, her peaceful childhood is over. Suddenly everyone wants to exploit her new talent - her family, the Vietnamese government and even the spirits themselves. The Other Shore is a delicate meditation on the nature of ghosts, belief and how the future is shaped by the past.
In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real. Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In 'Heat', we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In 'Water', van Neerven offers a futuristic imagining of a people whose existence is under threat. While in 'Light', familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging. Heat and Light presents a surprising and unexpected narrative journey while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.