From award-winning writer Fiona Capp comes a novel about blackmail, risk, corruption and consequences - think Ian McEwan meets Peter Temple - set in the millionaire's playground of Portsea. This is modern Melbourne literary noir at its finest.
Having lost all his family's money in ill-advised investments during the GFC, Ned is reduced to squatting in a boatshed in wealthy Portsea. He is avoiding the world, particularly his sister, Angela, who after an accident, is now a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair, and completely dependent on both her carer, Mai, and Ned - not to mention the income from their family investments. But one day, Ned overhears a conversation between a millionaire property developer and a politician, and realizes that this might be his opportunity to restore their fortunes ... if he has the nerve.
A nail-biting and compelling story of risk, blackmail and the corrosive nature of guilt - and how we all have to live with the consequences of our actions.
Shorthand typist required by English speaker in the South of France. Live-in, full board plus salary commensurate with experience.' Iris Turner, an unworldly young Englishwoman, arrives in the French Riviera to take up a secretarial role for the mysterious Hammond Brooke. Living in a small, exclusive hotel among eccentric and unpredictable aristocrats and struggling to gain her employer's trust, she soon realises that nothing is as it seems. Initiated into the mysterious world of perfume, she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue and deception. Gradually discovering the truth, she gains a new understanding of the meaning of love, loyalty and betrayal. By the bestselling author of The Olive Sisters, this is a captivating and evocative novel full of surprising twists and turns. 'Hampson has created a vivid world and colourful characters a a tale with verve, sharp observations and humour.' Sarah Turnbull, author of Almost French
1917, Italy. Australian journalist Rebecca Quinn is an unconventional woman. At the height of World War I, she has given up the safety of her Sydney home for the bloody battlefields of Europe, following her journalist husband to the frontline as a war correspondent in Italy. Reporting the horrors of the Italian campaign, Rebecca finds herself thrown together with American-born Italian photographer Alessandro Panucci, and soon discovers another battleground every bit as dangerous and unpredictable: the human heart. A passionate and poignant love story set on the beautiful Italian coast by the bestselling author of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE and THE WAR BRIDE.
The bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives delivers her most powerful novel yet. Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a team of two all their lives. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe's father shrouded in mystery, they've never needed anyone else - until Alice gets sick. Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two near-strangers: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, her social worker. As the lives of the three women become inextricably tied, a chain of events is set into motion, forcing them to confront their deepest fears and secrets. Imbued with heart and humour in even the darkest moments, The Mother's Promise is an unforgettable novel about the strength of a mother's love.
A stunning literary debut that takes the reader into the mysteries and truths that lie at the heart of our country.
In the rear vision, the road was golden and straight and even, its length making sense of the sky, of the vast black cloud that was set to engulf it. I pulled over and got out. Stared at it, this gleaming snake - where I'd been, where it was going. The route that Jed had once taken.
After years of travelling, Saul is trying to settle down. But one night he receives the devastating news of the death of his oldest friend, Jed, recently returned from working in a remote Aboriginal community. Saul's discovery in Jed's belongings of a photo of a woman convinces him that she may hold the answers to Jed's fate. So he heads out on a journey into the heart of the Australian desert to find the truth, setting in motion a powerful story about the landscapes that shape us and the ghosts that lay their claim.
The Crying Place is a haunting, luminous novel about love, country, and the varied ways in which we grieve. In its unflinching portrayal of the borderlands where worlds come together, and the past and present overlap, it speaks of the places and moments that bind us. The myths that draw us in. And, ultimately, the ways in which we find our way home.
How do you know if your friends actually like you?
Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina try to catch up once a year for a girls' getaway. Careers, husbands and babies have pulled these old high-school friends in different directions, and the closeness they once enjoyed is increasingly elusive.
This year, in a bid to revive their intimacy they each share a secret in an anonymous letter. But the revelations are unnerving. Then a fifth letter is discovered, venting long-held grudges and murderous thoughts. But who was the author? And which of the friends should be worried?
THE FIFTH LETTER is a searing examination of the bonds of women's friendship groups, the loyalty and honesty they demand, and the pain of ending relationships that once seemed essential but might be outgrown.
'He touched my face. When his hand went along my bruised top lip and my almost broken nose, I winced from the pain. His fist went into a deep denim pocket. Pulled out a Syrinapx bottle, twisted the cap off and handed me two light blue pills.'
How did Bucky get here? A series of accidents. A tragic love for a violent man. An addiction to painkillers he can't seem to kick. An unlikely friendship with an ageing patient.
Drugs, memories and the objects of his desire are colluding against Bucky. And when it hits him. Bam. A ton of bricks...
The shadowy places of Western Sydney can be lit up with the hope of love, but no streetlight can illuminate like obsession.
A novel of addiction, secrets and misplaced love, this is an Australian debut not to be missed.
As the war draws to a close, one woman faces her greatest battle...
Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on Amiens, her family's sprawling sheep station in northern New South Wales. The horrors of war have for the most part left her untouched. But with her father succumbing to wounds he's borne since the Great War, the management of the farm is increasingly falling on Kate's shoulders.
With only the sheep-rearing book The Woolgrower's Companion to guide her, Kate rises to the challenge. However the arrival of two Italian POW labourers unsettles not only the other workers, but Kate too - especially when she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali. Then she receives devastating news.
The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear.
After a year apart, Maryanne returns to her husband, Roy, bringing their eight-year-old son Daniel and his teenage sister Freya with her. The family move from Sydney to Newcastle, where Roy has bought a derelict house on the coast. As Roy painstakingly patches the holes in the floorboards and plasters over cracks in the walls, Maryanne believes, for a while, that they can rebuild a life together.
But Freya doesn't want a fresh start - she just wants out - and Daniel drifts around the sprawling, run-down house in a dream, infuriating his father, who soon forgets the promises he has made.
Some cracks can never be smoothed over, and tension grows between Roy and Maryanne until their uneasy peace is ruptured - with devastating consequences.
Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.
Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.
Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, and Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.
Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?
A brilliant collection of short stories by the bestselling, award-winning author of Leaning Towards Infinity, Painted Woman and The Secret Cure
Do You Love Me or What? is a collection of eight sparkling, nuanced short stories from one of Australia’s most celebrated and loved writers. Written in elegant, shimmering prose, Sue’s stories are woven with themes encompassing love, loss and yearning, memory and identity, the desert and water, and people who live on the periphery of society. Her sentences are spare and evocative, yet paint fully realised pictures that speak of the poignant, shared experiences of the nature of relationships, past and present.
It is January 1951, and after a year away Eleanor Webber has returned home to River Run, her family’s sprawling sheep property in western New South Wales. Fleeing a failed love affair back in Sydney, she hopes for some time and space to heal.
But with shearing of over 25,000 sheep about to commence, and the infamous and moneyed Margaret Winslow and her husband Keith staying in the main house as her mother’s guests, that dream is quickly dashed.
More worryingly, her half-brother Robbie is increasingly running wild, playing tricks on his governess, antagonising the jackeroos and obsessing about a communist invasion. Though only eleven, Robbie has appointed himself guardian of the property and, in his treehouse by the river, he readies for an imminent attack. Armed with a gun.
Then, with a storm looming and tensions rising in the shearing shed, a mysterious stranger appears on the horizon.
And in one disastrous moment young Robbie entangles Eleanor in a situation that will have serious repercussions for every member of the Webber family...
Over the years, the residents of Emerald Street have become more than just neighbours, they have built lasting friendships over a drink and chat on their back verandahs. Now a new chapter begins with the children having left home. Helen and Dennis have moved from their high maintenance family property to an apartment by the river with all the mod cons. For Joyce and Mac, the empty nest has Joyce craving a new challenge, while Mac fancies retirement on the south coast. Meanwhile, Polly embarks on a surprising long-distance relationship. But she worries about her friend next door. Stella's erratic behaviour is starting to resemble something much more serious than endearing eccentricity... With her trademark warmth and wisdom, Liz Byrski involves us in the lives and loves of Emerald Street, and reminds us what it is to be truly neighbourly.
Jean Harley - wife, mother, lover, dancer - is a shining light in the lives of those who know and love her. But when tragedy strikes, what becomes of the people she leaves behind? Her devoted husband, Stan, is now a single father to their young son, Orion. Her best friends, Neddy and Viv, find their relationship unravelling at the seams. And Charley, the ex-con who caused it all, struggles to reconcile his past crimes with his present mistakes. Life without Jean will take some getting used to, but her indelible imprint remains. Jean Harley Was Here is a touching and original exploration of love, relationships, and the ways in which we need each other.
Some time in the near future, university lecturer Caspar receives a gift from a former student called Liv- a memory stick containing a virtual narrative. Hooked up to a virtual reality bodysuit, he becomes immersed in the experience of their past sexual relationship. But this time it is her experience. What was for him an erotic interlude, resonant with the thrill of seduction, was very different for her - and when he has lived it, he will understand how. Latera A convicted paedophile recruited to Liv's experiment in collective consciousness discovers a way to escape from his own desolation. A synthetic boy, designed by Liv's team to 'love' men who desire adolescents, begins to question the terms of his existence. L, in transition to a state beyond gender, befriends Liv, in transition to a state beyond age. Liv herself has finally transcended the corporeal - but there is still the problem of love. An Uncertain Grace is a novel in five parts by one of Australia's most inventive and provocative writers. Moving, thoughtful, sometimes playful, it is about who we are - our best and worst selves, our innermost selves - and who we might become.
Recently divorced and trying to make sense of her new life, Anne takes her daughter Aida on an overnight bushwalk in the moody wilderness of Wilsons Promontory. In a split second, Aida disappears and a frantic Anne scrambles for help. Some of the emergency trackers who search for Aida already doubt Anne's story. Nearly two years later and still tormented by remorse and grief, Anne is charged with her daughter's murder. Witnesses have come forward, offering evidence which points to her guilt. She is stalked by the media and shunned by friends, former colleagues and neighbours. On bail and awaiting trial, Anne works to reconstruct her last hours with Aida. She remembers the sun high in the sky, the bush noisy with insects, and her own anxiety, as oppressive as the heat haze. A superbly written and conceived literary work about the best and the worst aspects of family life, this story asks difficult questions about society, the media, and our rush to judgement. This is a thoughtful, provocative and unflinching novel in the tradition of Helen Garner, Joan London and Charlotte Wood.
Politics - it's a place for shiny people with ugly souls. As a journalist Jack thought he'd met every shade of nutter, narcissist and bully to be found. But then he took a job in politics and discovered he'd only scratched the surface. Even better, it's Jack's job to maintain the pretence that all is normal, that our political masters have everyone's best interests at heart, that politics is not just a collection of attention-seeking egomaniacs looking for somewhere to park their character defects. Yes, Jack is a political spin doctor. His new boss, Ray Sloan, is terrifying - and that's on his good days - and his former friends in the media regard him as a turncoat and a traitor. Elections, budgets and blackmail - it's all part of the bizarre world Jack now finds himself in. If you are looking for a tale to reaffirm your faith in democracy, this probably isn't the one.
A long-deserted drive-in, waiting for a rerun of the one story that might give it life; a child who discovers his identity in a photograph hidden in his parents' room ...Stephen Orr's stories are happy to let you in, but not out. In Datsunland, his characters are outsiders peering into worlds they don't recognise, or understand: an Indian doctor arriving in the outback, discovering an uncomfortable truth about the Australian dream; a family trying to have their son's name removed from a Great War cowards' list; a confused teenager with a gun making an ad for an evangelical ministry. Each story is set in a place where, as Borges described, 'heaven and hell seem out of proportion'. There is no easy escape from the world's most desperate car yard, or the school with a secret that permeates all but one of the fourteen stories in Datsunland. Here is a glimpse of inner lives, love, the astonishment of being ourselves.
A compulsive and startling psychological thriller for fans of Girl on a Train and Gone Girl. Loren Wynne-Estes appears to have it all: she's the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who's landed a handsome husband, a stunning home, a fleet of shiny cars and two beautiful daughters... Then one day a fellow parent taps Loren on the shoulder outside the grand school gate, hands her a note... and suddenly everything's at stake. Loren's Facebook-perfect marriage is spectacularly exposed - revealing an underbelly of lies and betrayal. What is uncovered will scandalise a small town, destroy lives and leave a family divided. But who is to be believed and who is to blame? Will the right person be brought to justice or is there one who got away?
'It's hard to find the right words to praise this novel. I think we need a whole new critical vocabulary to be invented. Rawson recreates a vanished historical world with utterly convincing characters as well as inhabits the mind of a cephalopod alien and make us feel, in both cases, yes, that's exactly how it is. Jane Rawson's writing is mysterious, chilling and tender. The book is a sort of miracle.' Lian Hearn
From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George's fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth.
This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.
What if moving to a crumbling Australian coastal town meant giving up your only dream? In 1974, Nayeema reluctantly leaves Sydney's inner city to move to Burraboo, a tired coastal town, with her husband Fawzy. In doing so, Nayeema surrenders her only dream, but once there she falls under the sway of new infatuations. On a houseboat in the pristine bay nearby, she sells the comforting food of her Egyptian childhood, but keeps her income a secret from her husband. Through this act of defiance and independence, Nayeema unwittingly unlocks a mysterious connection with her new land. Then everything changes when a local teenage girl goes missing and racial tensions ignite in the town. As Nayeema's houseboat arrangements become more entangled, her yearnings must fight her own history, the impetuous jinn and each other, to finally reveal the mystery of the strange birthmark that prickles on her chest.
Harley, a man of Nyoongar ancestry, finds himself at a difficult point in the history of his country, family and self. As the apparently successful outcome of his white grandfather's enthusiastic attempts to isolate and breed the 'first white man born', he wants to be a failure. But would such failure mean his Nyoongar ancestors could label him a success? And how can the attempted genocide represented by his family history be told?
Thirty-one year old Beth, who has grown up in the Western Australian wheatbelt, is running from her past when she heads to an island in Papua New Guinea. Interwoven with her story about the joys and brutalities of island life is the story of her parents' passionate, tender love for each other and the tragedy that forever marks the lives around them.