ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The next in the brilliant collection of novellas, the perfect way to spend a few hours in this time-poor world! Ryan is a casualty of the economic downturn, and has resorted to taking up the offer of his sister Natalie's spare room. While he struggles to find a job, he finds that he can be useful in taking on some of the responsibility for his nephew as Natalie (who appeared obliquely in the first novella Gotham) works towards getting accepted for the Venice biennale . Harrison is a decided little boy, possibly on the spectrum, loved by his parents but perhaps not given their best attention. He and Ryan form a bond that truly defines what family can be… Once again, a beautifully crafted story that manages convey worlds of meaning beyond the wordcount! Lindy Jones
Venice is about love and the tensions that pull us apart: the love between Harrison and his uncle Ryan, who is in need of a person to belong to, Natalie, who is pulled between her art and her heart, and Phil's awkward stilted love. Think, Nick Hornby's About a Boy.
"This floored me. The format is a game changer and the linked novellas combine to create the best book I've read in 12 years, since David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Five complex and distinct stories set in New York, Brisbane, Vancouver, Alaska and L.A. that somehow magically meet-I can't quite believe it. Earls has never had his due but if this doesn't get incredible press from here to Timbuktu, then publishing truly is broken. Or maybe he just fixed it, because Wisdom Tree is a transcendent wonder."- Chris Flynn, author of Tiger in Eden and The Glass Kingdom
"Nick paints the picture of Brisbane perfectly. The smells, sounds, tastes and temperature surround us as we witness Ryan's relationships grow. A sensory wonderland that carries us on the journey." - Gyton Grantley
Internationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives - including 'Alice', published for the first time in 2015 in the New Yorker. Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.
Whilst living in exile on St Helena, Napoleon exerted an extraordinary influence on young Betsy Balcombe. How did she get from Napoleon's side to the Australian bush?
When Tom Keneally discovered by chance at the National Gallery of Victoria that Betsy Balcombe, a young girl living on St Helena while the Emperor Napoleon was exiled there, had become the Emperor's ‘intimate friend and annoyer', and had then emigrated with her family to Australia, he was impelled to begin another extraordinary novel, exploring the intersection between the ordinary people of the world and those we deem exceptional.
Betsy Balcombe moved as a child with her family to St Helena, ‘that high mid-Atlantic rock of exile'. Ten years later her family befriended, served and were ruined by their relationship with Napoleon. To redeem their fortunes William Balcombe, Betsy's father, betrayed the Emperor and accepted a job as the colonial treasurer of New South Wales, taking his family with him. After enduring a profound tragedy on the voyage out, and never quite recovering from the results of his association with Napoleon, William's life deteriorated; however, his family struggled and survived in Australia.
Tom Keneally recreates Betsy's friendship with The Great Ogre, her enmities and alliances with his court, and her dramatic coming of age during her years with them on the island. With his ability for bringing historical stories to life in the most brilliant and surprising ways, Keneally vividly shares this remarkable tale and the beginning of an Australian dynasty.
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A popular teacher with something to hide...
A new principal determined to uncover the truth...
A young mother, suddenly single, who struggles to rebuild her life...
A grieving daughter who must learn to face the world again...
A family forced to flee their homeland and start afresh...
A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it's hard to know who to trust and what to believe...
The Teacher's Secret is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumour and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonour and humiliation.
An electrifying debut novel about faith and lies, the spirit and the flesh. When her mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Natasha returns to the home she fled many years before. But her father, a Charismatic Christian, has not changed: he is still the domineering yet magnetic man she ran from, and the family is still in his thrall. He comes home one night with astonishing news: he has received a message from God that his wife is to be healed, and they must hold a party to celebrate. As Natasha and her sisters prepare for the big event - and the miracle - she struggles to reconcile her family's faith with her sense that they are pretending.
Michael, an aspiring writer who has recently finished his PhD, takes a job as the secretary to his literary hero, Lucian Clarke, a reclusive novelist with a mysterious cosmopolitan past, who lives in a cottage in a village on a mountain outside Hobart which gives the book its title, Wood Green.
Peopled by an ensemble cast, the local publican the single mother who manages the pub’s kitchen, the unhappily married couple that runs the corner store, a newcomer from Johannesburg with a murky past, a snivelling B&B proprietor and a determined ex-girlfriend, Wood Green artfully evokes the claustrophobia of small-town life. While Michael believes he is making a new life for himself, Lucian has other plans. Rabin writes with wit and intelligence – and deftly executes an unsuspected plot twist – in his exploration of the perils of literary ambition and the elusive prospect of artistic legacy. Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Sean Rabin has worked as a dishwasher, cook, script reader, copy-editor and journalist. He has lived in Ireland, Italy, London and New York, and now resides in Sydney, Australia.
When not writing, he is reading and listening to music. His short stories have been published in Australia and the United States.
The first glimpse of the sea on Marine Drive filled my heart, if not my head. I turned away from the red shadow. I stopped thinking of that pyramid of killers, and Sanjay's improvidence. I stopped thinking about my own part in the madness. And I rode, with my friends, into the end of everything.
Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia. In The Mountain Shadow, the long-awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons, playing by a different set of rules.
It has been two years since the events in Shantaram, and since Lin lost two people he had come to love: his father figure, Khaderbhai, and his soul mate, Karla, married to a handsome Indian media tycoon. Lin returns from a smuggling trip to a city that seems to have changed too much, too soon. Many of his old friends are long gone, the new mafia leadership has become entangled in increasingly violent and dangerous intrigues, and a fabled holy man challenges everything that Lin thought he'd learned about love and life. But Lin can't leave the Island City: Karla, and a fatal promise, won't let him go.
Fans of Vikram Seth, John Irving and David Mitchell will love Shantaram and The Mountain Shadow.
A group of Jewish refugees are thrown together on board a dilapidated freighter charting a course for Australia. Fleeing terrible scenes of destruction in Europe, they are bound by a deep sense of loss and the uncertainty of their fate. As the ship lists, inner conflicts burst to the surface and romance, revenge, guilt and desperation fill the craft. There's poignancy, drama and an abiding strength of humanity as the passengers' lives play out in this unbearable hinterland between sky and sea. Now, seventy years since its publication in 1946, Between Sky & Sea cements its place as a major Australian major work of diaspora fiction. Arnold Zable's introduction highlights the chilling parallels between Bergner's tale and the sinking of the SIEV X off the Australian coast, giving the reader pause to reflect on the continuing plight of asylum seekers throughout history and across the globe.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- For a debut novel, this is an assured and eloquent read. It packs a lot into what might seem a slight premise. Cate has died, and knows it, but not how, or when. She watches her family as they grieve, and ultimately, heal. Gently wise. Lindy Jones
Cate Carlton has recently died, yet she is able to linger on, watching her three young children and her husband as they come to terms with their life without her on their rural horse property.
As the months pass and her children grow, they cope in different ways, drawn closer and pulled apart by their shared loss. And all Cate can do is watch on helplessly, seeing their grief, how much they miss her and how - heartbreakingly - they begin to heal.
Gradually unfolding to reveal Cate's life, her marriage, and the unhappy secret she shared with one of her children, In the Quiet is compelling, simple, tender, true - heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.
This is the story of John Wonder, a man with three families, each one kept secret from the other, each one containing two children, a boy and a girl. As he travels from family to family in different cities, he works as an Authenticator, verifying world records, confirming facts, setting things straight, while his own life is a teetering tower of breathtaking lies and betrayals... The Wonder Lover is a stunning novel that again and magnificently confirms Malcolm Knox as one of our brightest stars, an imaginative tour de force that ranks alongside the best work of Nabokov, Amis, Ireland and Carey. The Guardian famously wrote of Malcolm, 'If Winton is an aria, Knox is early Rolling Stones', but this time around he's got the orchestra along as well and every single note rings deep and rich and true. This bedtime story told by children to adults is jaw-droppingly original, breathtakingly audacious and fearlessly accomplished.
A young girl sees ghosts from her third eye, located where her belly button should be. A one-dimensional yellow man steps out of a cinema screen, hoping to lead a three-dimensional life. A journalist goes on assignment to report the latest food trend, which turns ice-cream eating into an extreme sport. In Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh re-imagines our world with a dark, satirical twist. These twelve stories combine absurd humour with searing critiques on contemporary society i the rampant consumerism, the casual misogyny, the insidious fear of those who are different. Brilliantly clever and brimming with heart, this unforgettable collection is the work of a significant new talent.
The Ties That Bind is an emotionally riveting debut novel about the power of a mother's love and the bonds among family that, though severed, can never be fully broken.
On opposite sides of the world, two lives are changed forever. One by the smallest bruise. The other by a devastating bushfire. And both by a shocking secret...
Miami art curator Courtney Hamilton and her husband David live the perfect life until their ten-year-old son Matthew is diagnosed with leukaemia. He needs a bone-marrow transplant but, with Courtney being adopted, the chances of finding a match within his family are slim.
Desperate to find a donor, Courtney tracks the scattered details of her birth 15,000 kilometres away, to the remote town of Somerset in the Victorian bush.
Meanwhile Jade Taylor wakes up in hospital in Somerset having survived the deadly bushfire that destroyed the family home and their beloved olive groves. Gone too are the landmarks that remind her of her mother, Asha, a woman whose repeated absences scarred her childhood.
As Jade rallies her fractured family to rebuild their lives, Courtney arrives in the burnt countryside to search for her lost parents - but discovers far more...
The dazzling story of family, passion, secrets and vengeance, woven through the hardships of both World Wars, and revealing the intriguing history of the Palace, the opulent Blue Mountains hotel famed for its luxury and mysterious owner.
Angie loved Mr Fox's magnificent, absurd hotel. In fact, it was her one true great love. But . today Angie was so cross, so fed up with everybody and everything, she would probably cheer if a wave of fire swept over the cliff and engulfed the Palace and all its guests.
A sweltering summer's day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains. Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door. The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family's secrets and lies.
In 2013, Fox's granddaughter Lisa, seeks the truth about the past. Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: 'the girl who broke all our hearts'? Why do locals call Fox's hotel the 'palace of tears'? Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.
A grand piano burns in the night, a seance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter's final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away. With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end.
'I wouldn't walk on coals of fire for any man, but Flo? She's my angel puss. My child.' It's 1960, and twenty-one-year-old Harriet ignores her father's warning that 'only fools, Bohemians and tarts live at Kings Cross', and moves into Mrs Delvecchio Schwartz's rooming house. There she learns about men, love and tarot cards. But it is mute four-year-old Flo who captures Harriet's heart, and who teaches her that protecting those you care for most can be hardest of all. ANGEL PUSS vividly evokes the dynamism and passions of a Kings Cross that has gone. It is also the story of love, and the sacrifices a woman will make to protect and nurture a beloved child.
Everyone knows the story of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. But what about their sister Mary? Master storyteller Colleen McCullough picks up the tale twenty years after Jane Austen's novel closes - bringing Mary out of the shadows and propelling her on a surprising, imaginative and triumphant journey of her own. Colleen has produced a page-turning look at the ongoing lives of the Bennet sisters, and a sparkling romance that shows it is never too late to find love.
Di writes about the Australia she knows, she loves, she's explored. Rain Music is inspired by her adventures in Far North Queensland - its characters, its forgotten history, its modern dilemmas. Brother and sister Ned and Bella Chisholm are struggling with a family tragedy that has set them on opposite paths. After taking off to pursue his musical dreams in Far North Queensland, Ned disappears. When Bella goes in search of him, she finds herself in remote Cooktown, the isolated, little-known gem of the far north of Australia, and a place where both Ned and Bella's lives will be dramatically changed forever. One story through two sets of eyes.
From the author of Currawong Creek and Turtle Reef comes a beautiful story of family, friendship and the healing power of love. When Sydney botanist Kim Sullivan and her husband inherit Journey's End, a rundown farm high on the Great Eastern Escarpment, they dream of one day restoring it to its natural state. Ten years later, however, Kim is tragically widowed. Selling up is the only practical option, so she and her children head to the mountains to organise the sale. The last thing Kim expects is for Journey's End to cast its wild spell on them all. The family decide to stay, and Kim forges on with plans to rewild the property, propagating plants and acquiring a menagerie of native animals. But wayward wildlife, hostile farmers and her own lingering grief make the task seem hopeless. That is, until she meets the mysterious Taj, a man who has a way with animals. Kim begins to feel that she might find love again. But Taj has his own tragic past - one that could drive a wedge between them that can not be overcome ...