Perfume blogger Polly is in crisis. Will her husband's absence break her... or make her? A novel of perfumes, exploring life, love, loss and forgiveness - Maggie Alderson's new bestseller. Are you still married if you haven't seen your husband for months? Polly's life is great. Her children are away at uni, her glamorous mother - still modelling at eighty-five - is happily settled in a retirement village, and her perfume blog is taking off. Then her husband announces he needs some space and promptly vanishes. As Polly grapples with her bewildering situation, she clings to a few new friends to keep her going - Shirlee, the loudmouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old flame from university. And while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, Polly knows she can't keep reality at bay forever. Eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths: about her husband, herself and who she really wants to be.
Zoe Wylde is a woman at a crossroad. Five years ago, she fled her successful career as a concert harpist in London to return to her Bondi home. She still plays, but now her audience is on the way out... literally. It's complicated and complication is something Zoe understands well. Her best friend is chasing a new love, her brother's chasing too much love and her father has been married far too many times. Compared to them she thought she was doing okay. She's met the guy she is sure is the ONE. He wooed her and has been sleeping with her for almost five years. It would all be perfect... if he wasn't married. Zoe is learning that hearts, like harps, are capable of beautiful music if treated the right way and can be tricky to manoeuvre. She's over the old tune. But does Zoe have the courage to rewrite the song of her own life?
Suffering from a fatal disease, Lucien Gracq travels to Paris to complete the epic poem he is writing and live out his last days. There he joins a secret writers' society, Le club des fugitifs, that guarantees to publish the work of its members anonymously, thus relieving them of the burdens of life, and more importantly, the disappointments of authorship. In Paris, Gracq finds himself crossing paths with a parade of phantasms, illustrious writers from the previous century - masters of identity, connoisseurs of eroticism, theorists of game and rule, emigres and Oulipeans. He flees from the deathly allure of the Fugitives, and towards the arms of his beloved - but it may be too late. Written in thirty-four cantos, Blindness & Rage recalls Virgil and Dante in its descent into the underworld of writing, and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin with its mixture of wonder and melancholy. The short lines bring out the rhythmic qualities of Castro's prose, enhance his playfulness and love of puns, his use of allusion and metaphor. Always an innovator, in Blindness & Rage he again throws down a challenge to the limits of the novel form. Brian Castro is the author of the prize-winning Australian classic Shanghai Dancing, and recipient of the 2014 Patrick White Literary Award. His recent novels include The Garden Book and The Bath Fugues, both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and Street to Street, loosely based on the life of the poet Christopher Brennan. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Adelaide University.
At the mysterious Miss Lily's secret 'school', young women selected from Europe's royalty and highest families learn how to captivate a man - as a husband, or at a dinner party, in a salon or at a grouse shoot. For in 1914, persuading men is the only true power a woman has.
Sophie Higgs is not upper crust. She is colonial Australian, the daughter of a corned beef millionaire. But of all Miss Lily's 'lovely ladies', Sophie may be the only one to understand Miss Lily's true ambition: to stop the almost inevitable war between the British and German empires. And only Sophie may have the courage to carry out a desperate plan to block use of the most terrifying weapon of the war.
Luminous and deeply affecting, A Hundred Small Lessons is about the many small decisions - the invisible moments - that come to make a life. The intertwined lives of two women from different generations tell a rich and intimate story of how we feel what it is to be human, and how place can transform who we are. It takes account of what it means to be mother or daughter; father or son. It's a story of love, and of life.
When Elsie Gormley falls and is forced to leave her Brisbane home of sixty-two years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, with their new life - new house, new city, new baby. Lucy and her husband Ben are struggling to transform from adventurous lovers to new parents and seek to smooth the rough edges of their present with memories of their past as they try to discover their future selves.
In her nearby nursing home, Elsie revisits the span of her life - the moments she can't bear to let go; the haunts to which she might yet return. Her memories of marriage, motherhood, love and death are intertwined with her old house, whose rooms seem to breathe Elsie's secrets into Lucy.
Through one hot, wet Brisbane summer, seven lives - and two different slices of time - wind along with the flow of the river, as two families chart the ways in which we come, sudden and oblivious, into each other's stories, and the unexpected ripples that flow out from those chance encounters.
In 1796, a young cabin boy, Will Martin, goes on a voyage of discovery in the Tom Thumb with Matthew Flinders and Mr Bass: two men and a boy in a tiny boat on an exploratory journey south from Sydney Cove to the Illawarra, full of hope and dreams, daring and fearfulness.
Set on the banks of Lake Illawarra and spanning four centuries, Storyland is a unique and compelling novel of people and place - which tells in essence the story of Australia. Told in an unfurling narrative of interlinking stories, in a style reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, McKinnon weaves together the stories of Will Martin together with the stories of four others: a desperate ex-convict, Hawker, who commits an act of terrible brutality; Lola, who in 1900 runs a dairy farm on the Illawarra with her brother and sister, when they come under suspicion for a crime they did not commit; Bel, a young girl who goes on a rafting adventure with her friends in 1998 and is unexpectedly caught up in violent events; and in 2033, Nada, who sees her world start to crumble apart.
Intriguingly, all these characters are all connected - not only through the same land and water they inhabit over the decades, but also by tendrils of blood, history, memory and property...
Compelling, thrilling and ambitious, Storyland is our story, the story of Australia. 'The land is a book waiting to be read' as one of the characters says - and this novel tells us an unforgettable and unputdownable story of our history, our present and our future.
Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It's complicated. They're joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town, so making a clean break is tough. But, let's face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.
Despondently driving around the back streets of Woolloomooloo one night, Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city's hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she's peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she's planning a pop-up bistro.
When Lucy fires up Fortune's old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As she cries over the ingredients for Frankie's French Onion Soup, she imagines what Fortune was like in its heyday. It's strange, Lucy can sense Frankie beside her, almost see him there...
This fiery chef, who lived with a passion for food and women in almost equal measure, just might help Lucy cook herself up a better life. But is she brave enough to believe?
A surprising, smart, charming novel that shows every day brings with it a second chance.
Four different women. The same big problem. One magical solution?
Despite excelling at university, Mezz has ended up the second-choice doctor in a two-doctor town, and won't be winning Mother of the Year any time soon. Miserably overweight, she knows it's only a matter of time until her gorgeous husband starts to stray...
Jewels runs a successful business and lives in her dream house. All she needs to make life complete is a baby. She'll do anything to lose weight and become a mother... just as soon as the Tim Tams are finished.
Ellie's life looks perfect on Facebook. But unlike the sunny snapshots, her world in Canberra is dull: she left everything behind in London, and the woman she sacrificed her life for is hardly ever home. Her ever-increasing waistline is testimony to just how small Ellie's life has become.
Kat's baby is her world. As a Bosnian refugee, she wants nothing more than a stable, happy life for Ami, but Kat's relationship with Ami's dad is collapsing. If she could just lose the 'baby weight' maybe Josh would look at her the way he used to.
When Mezz, Jewels, Ellie and Kat meet in an online weight-loss forum, a common goal accelerates their friendship. As the kilos start to disappear but their problems don't, they begin to realise that weight-loss might not be the key to happiness, but that supporting and believing in the ones you love, and yourself, just might be...
One afternoon, near the tourist trap of Checkpoint Charlie, Clare meets Andi. There is an instant attraction, and when Andi invites her to stay, Clare thinks she may finally have found somewhere to call home. But as the days pass and the walls of Andi's apartment close in, Clare begins to wonder if it's really love that Andi is searching for a or something else altogether. Berlin Syndrome is a closely observed and gripping psychological thriller that shifts between Andi's and Clare's perspectives, revealing the power of obsession, the fluidity of truth, and the kaleidoscopic nature of human relationships. A startling debut from a talented new writer.
It's March 1985 and Nicky Starling is turning eight, but it's a sad day. Nicky's grandmother Didie has just died. Almost worse - his father's beloved football team has lost the first match of the season. Nicky will miss Didie but he still has Rose, Didie's nurse. He wishes he could love footy, but what he really loves are the tales of King Arthur and stories from Shakespeare that his mother reads to him and that he acts out in his bedroom. But these stories don't have happy endings, an alarming fact for a boy whose family life is starting to fracture. Funny, tender and savage, The Starlings is a wonderfully entertaining novel about secrets and defeat, about heroism and love, about what it might mean to lose everything.
Isabel Weaving is pining for her second husband, the charismatic Max, but he is no longer around. She adores her beloved granddaughter, Sophie, and her distant son, Dominic. But she views the rest of her family (placid daughter, Kate, mild-mannered first husband, Steve, bossy big sister, Zoe) with withering distaste. Cooee is Vivienne Kelly's debut novel, originally published in 2008-a story full of wit, dark humour and unexpected twists and turns.
SIGNED COPIES SHIPPING NOW!
Travelling between lush gardens in France, windswept coastlines of Tasmania, to Tuscan hillsides and beyond, The Midsummer Garden lures the reader on an unforgettable culinary and botanical journey.
1487 Artemisia is young to be in charge of the kitchens at Chateau de Boschaud but, having been taught the herbalists' lore, her knowledge of how food can delight the senses is unsurpassed. All of her concentration and flair is needed as she oversees the final preparations for the sumptuous wedding feast of Lord Boschaud and his bride while concealing her own secret dream. For after the celebrations are over, she dares to believe that her future lies outside the Chateau. But who will she trust?
2014 Pip Arnet is an expert in predicting threats to healthy ecosystems. Trouble is, she doesn't seem to recognise these signs in her own life. What Pip holds dearest right now is her potential to make a real difference in the marine biology of her beloved Tasmanian coastline. She'd thought that her fiance Jack understood this, believed that he knew she couldn't make any plans until her studies were complete. But lately, since she's finally moved in with him, Jack appears to have forgotten everything they'd discussed.
When a gift of several dusty, beautiful old copper pots arrives in Pip's kitchen, the two stories come together in a rich and sensuous celebration of family and love, passion and sacrifice.
Lauren Ramsey is a teacher whose mantra is to never let a child fall through the cracks. But Lauren is so concerned about the welfare of a little boy in her kindy class she doesn't realise her own daughter, Skye, needs help... At fourteen, Skye Ramsey is dealing with the usual pressures faced by teenage girls, from the pitfalls of social media to coping with fickle friends and the attention of boys. The only person who seems to listen to Skye is Tamara Thompson, the manager of her favourite clothes shop...Tamara knows what it's like to be a troubled teen because as an adolescent she felt unloved and overlooked. She now has a successful career and a partner who adores her, but her sense of worthlessness and fear of rejection are threatening to overwhelm her... All three women are searching for a happier future, but finding it may lie in resolving secrets from their pasts... From the bestselling author of Red Dust and Crimson Dawn comes a moving and intriguing novel about love, friendship and how the truth can sometimes set us free...
Alexandra Frobisher is a modern-thinking woman with hopes of a career in England's famous chocolate-making town of York. She has received several proposals of marriage, although none of them promises that elusive extra - love. Matthew Britten-Jones is a man of charm and strong social standing. He impresses Alex and her parents with his wit and intelligence, but would an amicable union be enough for a fulfilling life together? At the end of the war, Captain Harry Blakeney discovers a dead soldier in a trench in France. In the man's possession is a secret love note, tucked inside a tin of chocolate that had been sent to the soldiers as a gift from the people back home. In pursuit of the author of this mysterious message, Harry travels to Rowntree's chocolate factory in England's north, where his life becomes inextricably bound with Alexandra and Matthew's. Only together will they be able to unlock secrets of the past and offer each other the greatest gift for the future. From the battlefields of northern France to the medieval city of York, this is a heartbreaking tale about a triangle of love in all its forms and a story about the bittersweet taste of life... and of chocolate.
This is the story of the families of the plains-obsessed with their land and history, their culture and mythology-and of the man who ventured into their world. First published in 1982, The Plains is a mesmerising work of startling originality. This handsome new hardback edition is introduced by Ben Lerner, author of the internationally acclaimed novels Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04, and a work of criticism, The Hatred of Poetry.
Dr Martin Homer has a naturally sunny disposition. A steadfast and honourable man with supreme empathic interpersonal skills, he is much loved by all of his patients. Martin has only loved one woman – Sarah, his wife – and they have a cosy and respectful marriage.
The death of Martin’s mother disrupts this happy scene and catapults Martin into a completely foreign state of existence. He comes face to face with the black dog of grief and depression, before ascending to a manic high that spirals out of control, eventually leading Martin to a place even he might not be able to come back from.
In Two Minds will have you laughing hysterically on one page and reaching for the tissues on the next. Gordon Parker’s impressive career in psychiatry reveals itself through extremely rich descriptions of depression, bipolar and borderline personality disorders.
One of the best novels of recent years, a complete success'-Le Monde (France) Following years of unrequited love, an out-of-work school teacher takes matters into his own hands, triggering a chain of events neither he nor his psychiatrist could have anticipated. At once a psychological thriller and a social critique, Seven Types of Ambiguity is a story of obsessive love in an age of obsessive materialism.
Michaelis is four when they first move to Australia, leaving behind the cold and the snow and the mud, the flat grey landscape, his father, his mother's family, and everything he has ever known. He is seven when they pack up again and go home, nine when they return to Australia. When you are used to it, leaving is the easiest thing in the world-and where the sea is warm and the days linger, it is easier to forget. But his stepfather is a bully, and the absence of his real father masks a painful truth. Before long, Michaelis learns that no matter how far you go, your past always follows you, trailing questions in its wake. Beginning with memory's first fragments, The Last Thread traces a boy's journey into adulthood against a backdrop of family secrets, betrayals and unhealed wounds.
Melbourne secretary Anna Emerson's life is turned upside down when a stranger hands her a plane ticket to the Congo. The newly independent country is in turmoil, Simba rebels are on the move – but the invitation holds a precious clue to the whereabouts of her estranged father.
Dan Miller signs up as a mercenary commando to fight the Communist uprising. He supports the cause, but that's not really why he's there. A devastating tragedy has taken all meaning from his life, and he's got nothing left to lose.
In the Congo, Dan's belief in the war begins to crumble. Anna heads deeper into danger as she travels from a grand colonial mansion to an abandoned hotel on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to a leprosy mission in the jungle and beyond. Their two paths collide through circumstances more extraordinary than fate.
Inspired by real events, Congo Dawn combines epic drama with an intimate journey into the heart of a fractured family, as two characters, in search of people they lost, at last find a way to come home. It is a landmark novel about good and evil, and the inexhaustible power of love.
Elena Rubik can't seem to stay dead. She persists: as a set of corneas, as a newsletter subscriber, as a member of fanfiction forums. Her best friend Jules Valentine meanwhile is unwittingly inveigled into an indie-film turned corporate branding stunt. When Jules leaks information about the true story behind the video - by then an overworked viral meme - wannabe investigative reporter April Kuan is assigned the case. But as April trails Jules all over Perth she too becomes ensnared in the machinations of shady corporate interests as the very laws of physics and time begin to bend. Rubik is a wide-ranging, brilliantly intertwined novel-instories that slip outside the borders of realism. Spotted with disappearances, mysteries and told with a sharp-edged wit and cutting social commentary, it is an original and ingenious reflection of technological anxiety, loneliness and connectivity in the internet age. 'Recalling the wit and social commentary of Julie Koh's Portable Curiosities alongside the surreal connected-universe storytelling of Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, Rubik is a shot in the arm of Australian fiction, one that will undoubtedly reveal more secrets on successive rereads.' - Books and Publishing
William ‘Billy’ Sing was born in 1886 to an English mother and Chinese father. He and his two sisters were brought up in Clermont and Proserpine, in rural Queensland. He was one of the first to enlist in 1914 and at Gallipoli became famous for his shooting prowess.
In his new novel, Billy Sing, Ouyang Yu embodies Sing's voice in a magically descriptive prose that captures both the Australian landscape and vernacular. In writing about Sing's triumphant yet conflicted life, and the horrors of war, Yu captures with imaginative power what it might mean to be both an outsider and a hero in one's own country. The telling is poetic and realist, the author's understanding of being a Chinese-Australian sensitively informs the narrative.
‘Australian son of both “Mother England” and “Father Cathay”, Billy Sing is a Gallipoli hero and a modern killer, beloved and abandoned, admirable and deluded, lost and found. In his most concentrated, accessible and humane novel yet, Ouyang Yu brings a figure from remote history fully alive with intensity and tragic depth, lets us hear his voice and feel his pain. Ouyang restores Billy Sing to an Australian history that has threatened to erase him, but leaves us fundamentally unsettled about just what that history has been and might be.