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Australian Fiction

The Year of the Farmer

The Year of the Farmer

Rosalie Ham

$32.99
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In a quiet farming town somewhere in country New South Wales, war is brewing.

The last few years have been punishingly dry, especially for the farmers, but otherwise, it's all Neralie Mackintosh's fault. If she'd never left town then her ex, the hapless but extremely eligible Mitchell Bishop, would never have fallen into the clutches of the truly awful Mandy, who now lords it over everyone as if she owns the place.

So, now that Neralie has returned to run the local pub, the whole town is determined to reinstate her to her rightful position in the social order. But Mandy Bishop has other ideas. Meanwhile the head of the local water board - Glenys 'Gravedigger' Dingle - is looking for a way to line her pockets at the expense of hardworking farmers already up to their eyes in debt. And Mandy and Neralie's war may be just the chance she was looking for...

A darkly satirical novel of a small country town battling the elements and one another, from the bestselling author of The Dressmaker.

PRAISE FOR THE YEAR OF THE FARMER Rosalie Ham deftly sharpens the razor edge between comedy and tragedy. The Year of the Farmer is a book that delights, appals but never waivers in its brutal honesty. If you didn't laugh, you'd cry. Sue Maslin, producer of The Dressmaker Where Ham excels - is in her delineation of small-town communities...

And her keen eye for the ridiculous, for the pretensions and prejudices we all share, means that her writing is nothing short of entertaining.

But what is most striking about The Year of the Farmer is how timely a novel it is, offering as it does an insight into the predicament of those who live on the land, their fates a hostage not just to the fortunes of nature but also to the narrow-minded and self-serving interests of government. The Australian A tightly plotted, highly entertaining romp that poses some big questions. The Saturday Paper A quiet and stunning achievement...

The characters within it are fully realized and show Ms Ham's genuine understanding for the plights suffered by those backbone folks out there earning a living off a tough environment. The Lesser Column
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The Valley

The Valley

Steve Hawke

$27.99
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A murder in the remote bush in 1916 sparks a chain of events that will haunt a family for generations. Hidden in the refuge of a secret valley, their tiny community lives unknown to the world. When, a century later, Broome schoolboy Dancer falls foul of the local bikie gang, he and his father head up the Gibb River Road. Here, in a maze of rugged ranges and remote communities, Dancer begins to unravel the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of Milly Rider, the mother he never knew. But the valley hides its secrets well. As Dancer learns the ways of his mother's country, he uncovers a precious inheritance - one not even those closest to Milly expected to find.
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The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

Joanna Nell

$29.99
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Joanna Nell's life-affirming debut is a moving, funny, heartwarming tale of love and community in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Grace and Frankie

The life of 79-year-old pensioner PEGGY SMART is as beige as the decor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. Following a very minor traffic accident, things have turned frosty with her grown-up children and she is afraid they are trying to take away her independence.

The highlight of Peggy's day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim. She dreams of inviting the handsome widower - treasurer of the Residents' Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village - to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties.

But a chance encounter with an old school friend she hasn't seen in five decades - the glamorous fashionista ANGIE VALENTINE - sets Peggy on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

'I haven't been this entranced by a character since Eleanor (Oliphant, of course). This book is a joy - it's a celebration of age instead of an apology for it, and a reminder that life is always an adventure if you let it be. I loved this uniquely endearing book' KELLY RIMMER

'I loved it! I want to be Peggy when I'm older. With many laugh-out-loud moments, this book is sure to make you see "getting old" in a different light. A refreshing, funny, realistic and warm read' FIONA PALMER

'The perfect blend of funny and moving: had me laughing and crying in this ultimately uplifting story' NATASHA LESTER
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The Children's House

The Children's House

Alice Nelson

$32.99
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A love song to the idea of families in all their mysteries and complexities, their different configurations and the hope that creates them.

Marina and her husband, Jacob, were each born on a kibbutz in Israel. They meet years later at a university in California, when Jacob is a successful psychiatrist with a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a convent inhabited by elderly nuns. Outside the house one day Marina encounters Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, and her toddler, Gabriel. Unmoored and devastated, Constance and Gabriel quickly come to depend on Marina; and her bond with the little boy intensifies. The pure, blinding love that it is possible to feel for children not our own is the thread that weaves through The Children?s House. When Marina learns some disturbing news about her long-disappeared mother, Gizela, she leaves New York in search of the loose ends of her life. As Christmas nears, her tight-knit, loving family, along with Constance and Gabriel, join Marina in her mother's former home, with a startling consequence, an act that will transform all of their lives forever. Alice Nelson skilfully weaves together these shared stories about the terrible things humans are capable of into a beautifully told, hope-filled novel exploring the profound consolations that we can find in each other.
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Shell

Shell

Kristina Olsson

$35.00
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SIGNED COPIES SHIPPING NOW!

A big, bold and hauntingly beautiful story that captures a defining moment in Australia's history.

Everywhere he looked he saw what Utzon saw. The drama of harbour and horizon, and at night, the star-clotted sky. It held the shape of the possible, of a promise made and waiting to be kept...

In 1965 as Danish architect Jorn Utzon's striking vision for the Sydney Opera House transforms the skyline and unleashes a storm of controversy, the shadow of the Vietnam War and a deadly lottery threaten to tear the country apart.

Journalist Pearl Keogh, exiled to the women's pages after being photographed at an anti-war protest, is desperate to find her two missing brothers and save them from the draft. Axel Lindquist, a visionary young glass artist from Sweden, is obsessed with creating a unique work that will do justice to Utzon's towering masterpiece.

In this big, bold and hauntingly beautiful portrait of art and life, Shell captures a world on the brink of seismic change though the eyes of two unforgettable characters caught in the eye of the storm.

And reminds us why taking a side matters.

More of the latest new releases
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Two Steps Forward

Two Steps Forward

Graeme Simsion ,  Anne Buist

$22.99
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A novel set on the picturesque Camino de Santiago about a widow and a recently divorced man finding themselves and each other along the way.

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past - for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce. Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk two thousand kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino - the Way - for centuries. The Camino changes you, it's said. It's a chance to find a new version of yourself. But can these two very different people find each other? In this smart, funny, and romantic journey, Martin's and Zoe's stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.

Two Steps Forward is a novel about renewal-physical, psychological, and spiritual. It's about the challenge of walking a long distance and of working out where you are going. And it's about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.
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Cedar Valley

Cedar Valley

Holly Throsby

$29.99
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'He strolled down Valley Road, only briefly, past the hairdresser and a small cafe. A warm wind stirred, carrying with it the faint smell of pies and horses, and the man paused for just a moment before he sat down. Benny Miller would have driven right past him in her station wagon on that bright and brimming day.'

On the first day of summer in 1993, two strangers arrive in the town of Cedar Valley.

One is a calm looking man in a brown suit. He makes his way down the main street and walks directly to Cedar Valley Curios & Oldwares, sitting down on the footpath, where he leans silently against the big glass window for hours.

The other is 21-year-old Benny Miller. Fresh out of university, Benny has come to Cedar Valley in search of information about her mother, Vivian, who has recently died. Vivian's mysterious old friend, Odette Fisher, has offered Benny her modest pale green cottage for as long as she wants it.

Is there any connection between the man on the pavement and Benny's quest to learn more about her mother? Holly Throsby is the perfect guide as Cedar Valley and its inhabitants slowly reveal their secrets.
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The Bus on Thursday

The Bus on Thursday

Shirley Barrett

$29.99
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That's when I literally had thoughts of becoming a nun, because I thought, Well, I'm never going to have sex again. If I become a nun, I would at least have somewhere to live.

It wasn't just the bad break-up that caused Eleanor's life to unravel. It was the cancer. And the demons that came with it.

Freshly single and thoroughly traumatised from the ordeals of breast cancer, Eleanor Mellett starts a new job as a teacher in a remote mountain hamlet. It's certainly peaceful enough, almost too peaceful. But what's become of the previous teacher, the saintly Miss Barker, who has disappeared abruptly under mysterious circumstances? And what's with all those locks on the door? And what the hell is that bus doing idling outside her house late, late at night?

Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in Twin Peaks. Darkly funny, deeply unsettling and surprisingly poignant, Shirley Barrett's The Bus on Thursday is a strange and wild ride for all fans of Helen Fielding, Maria Semple, David Lynch and Stephen King.
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Jungle Without Water

Jungle Without Water

Sreedhevi Iyer

$24.99
This debut short story collection from an Australian author delves into the shifting boundaries and human displacement of our era.

Of Indian-Malaysian background, Sreedhevi Iyer is adept at locating tensions within her own diaspora while also casting a forensic eye on Australian social and cultural attitudes. A teacher of creative writing at RMIT and the University of Melbourne, Iyer has a gift for radiant prose, but also an astonishing range of voices, from simple riffs on backyard suburbia to the magic realism of a narrative told by a divine coconut. Her sharp wit and sense of irony keep stories of refugees, inter-racial tension and human prejudice profoundly in our sights.

Iyer has an incredible knack for locating and revealing fractures, faultlines and tensions - cultural, familial and historical - in any given moment. - Benjamin Law
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Matryoshka

Matryoshka

Katherine Johnson

$32.99  $29.99
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When Sara Rose returns to live in her recently deceased grandmother's Tasmanian cottage, her past and that of her mother and grandmother is ever-present. Sara's grandmother, Nina Barsova, a Russian post-war immigrant, lovingly raised Sara in the cottage at the foot of Mt Wellington but without ever explaining why Sara's own mother, Helena, abandoned her as a baby.

Sara, a geneticist, also longs to know the identity of her father, and Helena won't tell her. Now, estranged not only from her mother, but also from her husband, Sara raises her daughter, Ellie, with a central wish to spare her the same feeling of abandonment that she experienced as a child.

When Sara meets an Afghani refugee separated from his beloved wife and family, she decides to try to repair relations with Helena - but when a lie told by her grandmother years before begins to unravel, a darker truth than she could ever imagine is revealed.

Matryoshka is a haunting and beautifully written story about the power of maternal love, and the danger of secrets passed down through generations.
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Suddenly One Summer

Suddenly One Summer

Fleur McDonald

$19.99
When Brianna Donahue was three years old, her mother mysteriously disappeared while farming in Merriwell Bay, Western Australia. Her body has never been found. Brianna works the same land with her father Russell, while almost single-handedly raising her two children as her husband Caleb works as a fly-in fly-out criminal lawyer in Perth.

One scorching summer's morning, her son Trent goes missing and, while frantically searching for him, Brianna must come to terms with the fact that her marriage has large cracks in it.

Over two thousand kilometres away in South Australia, Detective Dave Burrows receives a phone call reporting stolen sheep from an elderly farmer. When he and his partner Jack arrive at the farm, it's clear that Guy has early signs of dementia. Following a conversation with his wife Kim, Dave becomes intrigued with Guy's family history. Was there a sister, or was there not? No one seems to know.

So how will Dave's investigation impact Brianna's world? While battling the threat of bushfires back in Merriwell Bay, Brianna is faced with challenges that test her relationships with those she loves most. Suspenseful and incendiary, Suddenly One Summer is an intriguing and heartfelt story of the unlikely connections of life on the land.

'Entertaining and intriguing...' Weekly Times

'An enthralling read with surprising twists and merging stories.' Talking Books Blog

'Fleur McDonald always tells rural stories in a special way; the mystery made this a stellar read.' Sam Still Reading
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Arcadia

Arcadia

Di Morrissey ,  Georgia Douglas

$34.99
A breathtaking Tasmanian tale of ancient forests; of art and science; of love and, above all, of friendship.

In the 1930s, in an isolated and beautiful corner of southern Tasmania, a new young wife arrives at her husband's secluded property - Arcadia. Stella, an artist, falls in love with Arcadia's wild, ancient forest. And when an unknown predator strikes, she is saved by an unusual protector...

Two generations later, Stella's granddaughter, Sally, and her best friend, Jessica, stumble over Stella's secret life in the forest and find themselves threatened in turn.

What starts as a girls' adventurous road trip becomes a hunt for the story of the past, to solve the present, and save their future...

A modern mystery born in a timeless Tasmanian forest, from Australia's favourite storyteller.
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A Pure Clear Light: Text Classics

A Pure Clear Light: Text Classics

Madeleine St John

$12.95
Simon and Flora Beaufort have three perfect children and a comfortable, happy life in London. When Flora takes the children for a month-long vacation in France, Simon stays home to work on his latest film project... what could go wrong?

A Pure Clear Light examines a marriage at the moment it goes haplessly off-track - Simon succumbs to the temptation of his cool, blonde accountant and Flora heeds the cry of her reawakened faith. Ultimately, though, neither Simon nor Flora can escape the revelation that lies beyond excuses and remorse and candour, at the heart of the phenomenon called love. In St John's hands, what is commonplace is transformed and transcendent.
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A Stairway to Paradise: Text Classics

A Stairway to Paradise: Text Classics

Madeleine St John

$12.95
Alex and Andrew are friends. And Barbara ... Barbara is a goddess. Here is the eternal triangle, the story of three people in an unhappy tangle of emotions, none able to articulate the precise quality of their longing and dissatisfaction.

Are any of them truly interested in reaching the 'paradise' they claim to be seeking, or are they actually trying to avoid it?

In St. John's hands, what is commonplace is transformed and transcendent. This is the work of an extraordinary writer.
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Table For Eight

Table For Eight

Tricia Stringer

$32.99
Bestselling author and master storyteller Tricia Stringer tackles troubled relationships, second chances and love old and new in this uplifting story of unlikely dining companions thrown together on a glamorous cruise. Readers of Liz Byrski, Monica McInerney and Rachael Johns will love this book.

'A delightful, wise and heart-warming novel about second chances that celebrates friendships old and new. I devoured every page.' Rachael Johns A cruise, no matter how magical, can't change your life. Can it...?

Clever, charming dressmaker Ketty Clift is embarking on her final cruise from Sydney before she must make serious changes in her life. Supported by the ship's all-powerful maitre d' Carlos, she has a mission: transform the lives of those who join her at her dining table every evening. Not only can Ketty turn Cinderellas into princesses with her legendary style-eye, but she has a gift for bringing people together.

But this trip is different. As the glamour and indulgence of the cruise takes hold, and the ship sails further away from Sydney towards the Pacific Islands, it becomes clear that her fellow travellers - a troubled family, a grieving widower and an angry divorcee determined to wreak revenge on her ex - are going to be harder work than usual.

As Ketty tries to deal with her own problems, including the unexpected arrival on board of her long-lost love, Leo - the man who broke her heart - as well as troubling news from home, she begins to realise this might be the one cruise that will defeat her.
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Earworm: A Tale Told by a Love Song

Earworm: A Tale Told by a Love Song

Colin Varney

$26.99
Earworm is a tale of grief, desire, infidelity and family secrets narrated by love song.

Empty Fairground is a hit from the nineties. Nicole was conceived to it and now it dwells in her head - a living entity accessing her thoughts and dreams. When Nicole discovers her deceased father is not her biological parent, certainties disintegrate and the song strives to separate fantasy from memory and myth from history, building towards an extraordinary crescendo.

Drenched in rhythm and the vividness of pop lyrics, Earworm explores the complexities of filial and romantic love, connecting us to our universal communion with music.

'Colin Varney is an entirely groovy new voice in Australian fiction.' - Danielle Wood, author The Alphabet of Light and Dark.
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The Natural Way of Things

The Natural Way of Things

Charlotte Wood

$22.99
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Joint winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2016 - Fiction category
Winner of the 2016 Stella Prize.

She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, 'I need to know where I am.' The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, 'Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.'

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of nowhere. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

With extraordinary echoes of The Handmaid's Tale and Lord of the Flies, The Natural Way of Things is a compulsively readable, scarifying and deeply moving contemporary novel. It confirms Charlotte Wood's position as one of our most thoughtful, provocative and fearless truth-tellers, as she unflinchingly reveals us and our world to ourselves.

'As a man, to read it is as unsettling as receiving one piece of bad news after another. It is confronting. Yet anyone who reads it, man or woman, is going to be left with a sense that a long-hidden truth has been revealed to them. The Natural Way of Things is a brave, brilliant book. I would defy anyone to read it and not come out a changed person.' Malcolm Knox, author of The Wonder Lover

'This is a stunning exploration of ambiguities - of power, of morality, of judgment. With a fearless clarity, Wood's elegantly spare and brutal prose dissects humanity, hatreds, our ambivalent capacities for friendship and betrayal, and the powerful appearance - always - of moments of grace and great beauty. The book's ending undid me through the shape of the world it reveals as much as its revisions of escape and survival. It will not leave you easily; it took my breath away.' Ashley Hay, author of The Railwayman's Wife
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