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Cool Water

Myfanwy Jones

$32.99

Paperback

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English
Hachette Australia
28 February 2024

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A multi-generational novel set at the Tinaroo Dam in far north Queensland, this fine and beautifully rendered novel explores the trauma of bad parenting and toxic masculinity with sensitivity and quiet intensity. Frank and his family have gathered at the dam for his daughter's wedding because she has happy memories of the place. Frank doesn't - his father Joe was a tyrant who made his life hell. But Joe is dead and Frank has yet to come to terms with the loss, which is greater than he acknowledges. Joe didn't start as a hard and furious man, but his father Victor was a vicious monster who terrorised his family whilst presenting a congenial front to the small town that has sprung up around the construction site of the dam. Victor however, is a returned soldier, and the things he saw in New Guinea killed any softer nature and the treatment since returning - promises broken by the government - have transformed him. The novel doesn't excuse the violence and emotional damage, but shows how it can start and be passed on - and how it can be changed by men wanting not to be their own fathers... An outstanding read. Lindy

'Why this novel? Because we need empathy, understanding, some magic and hope more than ever in our lifetimes.' HOLLY RINGLAND

'Most novels leave us with learnings, but very few refine your character. I left more astute, more empathic, and somehow wiser after I read these pages.' HILDE HINTON

Frank feared a reckoning, but what he feared more was that all the men in his family were cursed.

Frank Herbert's family has gathered at Tinaroo Dam for his daughter Lily's wedding - the first time he's been back since the death of his father, Joe, a year earlier. Like Frank, the dam is at an all-time low and as the water recedes, objects begin to emerge - abstract and disquieting.

Joe's father Victor - Frank's grandfather - was the butcher of Tinaroo during the dam's construction, but Joe refused to speak of him. Joe was not a talker, but he could roar. And he could smash things.

What sorrow was his fury, and this place, concealing? And can Frank find a way into a future of his own making?

Moving between the weekend of the wedding and the explosive year in the 1950s that would shape the Herbert men's destiny, Cool Water is an unforgettable novel about fathers and sons, what it means to be a good man, and the damage that can ripple through generations.

A breathtaking story brimming with insight and emotional power by Miles Franklin-shortlisted author Myfanwy Jones.

'Myfanwy Jones has become one of my favourite authors and Cool Water should make her one for any Australian reader. This is a generational novel imbued with grace and grit.' A.S. PATRIC

'Cool Water leaves an enduring imprint. A vivid and profound novel that conjures old hurts from the depths and brings them to the light. I loved this novel.' KATE MILDENHALL

'Crystal-clear prose . . . [An] accomplished novel' SATURDAY PAPER

By:  
Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   380g
ISBN:   9780733650024
ISBN 10:   0733650023
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Myfanwy Jones is the author of Leap, shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, and The Rainy Season, finalist for the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature's Best Writing Award. She also co-wrote the bestselling Parlour Games for Modern Families, awarded the 2010 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including most recently Split: true stories of leaving, loss, and new beginnings. Myfanwy works as an editor and writing mentor, and lives beside a creek in Melbourne/Naarm. www.myfanywajones.com

Reviews for Cool Water

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A multi-generational novel set at the Tinaroo Dam in far north Queensland, this fine and beautifully rendered novel explores the trauma of bad parenting and toxic masculinity with sensitivity and quiet intensity. Frank and his family have gathered at the dam for his daughter's wedding because she has happy memories of the place. Frank doesn't - his father Joe was a tyrant who made his life hell. But Joe is dead and Frank has yet to come to terms with the loss, which is greater than he acknowledges. Joe didn't start as a hard and furious man, but his father Victor was a vicious monster who terrorised his family whilst presenting a congenial front to the small town that has sprung up around the construction site of the dam. Victor however, is a returned soldier, and the things he saw in New Guinea killed any softer nature and the treatment since returning - promises broken by the government - have transformed him. The novel doesn't excuse the violence and emotional damage, but shows how it can start and be passed on - and how it can be changed by men wanting not to be their own fathers... An outstanding read. Lindy


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