The bestselling novel that has taken Australia, and the world, by storm.
'Without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade ... A rollicking ride, rich in philosophy, wit, truth and pathos' Sydney Morning Herald
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.
But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year - an instant Australian classic.
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Part mystery, part coming of age story, The Van Apfel Girls are Gone is set in a distant suburb on the encroaching bushland, over the long hot summer of 1992.
It's the summer of the school's Showstopper concert. The summer Tikka never forgot. The summer the Van Apfel sisters disappeared.
'We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with.'
Tikka Molloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long hot summer of 1992 - the summer the Van Apfel sisters disappeared. Hannah, beautiful Cordelia and Ruth vanished during the night of the school's Showstopper concert at the amphitheatre by the river, surrounded by encroaching bushland.
Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try and make sense of the summer that shaped her, and the girls that she never forgot.Blackly comic, sharply observed and wonderfully endearing, this is Picnic at Hanging Rock for a new generation, a haunting coming-of-age story with a shimmering, unexplained mystery at its heart.
Jenny Trelawney is no ordinary thief. Forced by poverty to live in the forest, she becomes a successful highwaywoman - until her luck runs out.
Transported to Britain's furthest colony, Jenny must tackle new challenges and growing responsibilities. And when famine hits the new colony, Jenny becomes convinced that those she most cares about will not survive. She becomes the leader in a grand plot of escape, but is survival any more certain in a small open boat on an unknown ocean?
Meg Keneally's debut solo novel is an epic historical adventure based on the extraordinary life of convict Mary Bryant.
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'You look the type to break your father's heart.'
'Yeah, but he broke mine first.'
When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie's mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb's dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.
As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie's life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he's now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own...
An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.
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'Marriage isn't always a bed of roses. And there are many ways to be a wife,' the vicar informs the town...
It's 1930, and as the Depression overtakes rural New South Wales, what it means to be a wife tests the four respectable ladies of Prospect to their very limit.
Louisa Worthington fled to the city ten years ago, pregnant, poor and under a cloud of scandal. Now she's back - blonde and brazen - with her heart set on the married son of the town's mayor.
Adelaide Nightingale, newly widowed and starved of romance, yearns for adoration, security and a version of herself defined by beauty not business.
Maggie Albright dreams of empire building, but is hamstrung by her over-cautious husband, who grows less handsome by the day.
Then there's Pearl Fletcher, happily married to Joe, the district's most successful sheep farmer, but protecting a secret that could tear their family apart.
And hovering in the town's shadows is a ghost from their past. A man newly released from jail ruthlessly bent on exploiting the ladies' hopes and fears to get what he wants. And what he wants is Louisa...
I have wished so many times that I had acted differently.
I wish that I had been more worthy of you...
Eventually the war will end, and then we will find each other.
Until then, remember me.
Budapest, 1938. In a city park, beneath a bleakly looming statue, five Jewish mathematicians gather to share ideas, trade proofs and whisper sedition. Expelled from the university and persecuted by the state's laws, they live in an uneasy but not unhappy bubble of work, friendship and slim plans of escape.
Sydney, 2007. Illy has just buried her father, a violent, unpredictable man whose bitterness she never understood. And now, the day after his funeral, Illy's mother has gifted her a curious notebook. Its faded pages are a mix of personal stories and mathematical discovery, all recounted by a young woman seemingly blind to Europe's coming storm. A woman very different to the mother and grandmother everybody knows.
Inspired by a true story, Miriam Sved's beautifully crafted novel charts a course through both the light and dark of human relationships: a vivid recreation of Hungary before German occupation, a decades-old mystery locked in the histories of five students, and a story about the selfless power of love, even years and worlds apart.
Shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2018
Highly Commended in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Shortlisted for the ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writers 2018
Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for a Science Fiction Novel 2017
Longlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction 2018
Nominated for Ditmar Award Best New Talent 2018
In the near future Australia is about to experience colonisation once more. What have we learned from our past? A daring debut novel from the winner of the 2016 black&write! writing fellowship.
Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.
This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history. This Terra Nullius is something new, but all too familiar. An incredible debut from a striking new Australian Aboriginal voice.
Unimaginable danger creeps ever closer to Miss Lily and her loved ones...
Amid the decadence and instability of Berlin in the 1920s, a band of women must unite to save all that is precious to them.
With her dangerous past behind her, Australian heiress Sophie Higgs lives in quiet comfort as the Countess of Shillings, until Hannelore, Princess of Arneburg, charms the Prince of Wales. He orders Sophie, Nigel - and Miss Lily - to investigate the mysterious politician Hannelore believes is the only man who can save Europe from another devastating war.
His name is Adolf Hitler.
As unimaginable peril threatens to destroy countries and tear families apart, Sophie must face Goering's Brownshirt Nazi thugs, blackmail, and the many possible faces of love.
And then the man she once adored and thought was lost reappears, and Sophie will be confronted by the girl intent on killing the mother who betrayed her family in the war: Miss Lily.
The third book in the Miss Lily series, The Lily in the Snow is a story filled with secrets that also explores the strength of friendship and the changing face of women in this new Europe.
Australian heiress Sophie Higgs was 'a rose of no-man's land', founding hospitals across war-torn Europe during the horror that was WW1.
Now, in the 1920s, Sophie's wartime work must be erased so that the men who returned can find some kind of 'normality'.
Sophie is, however, a graduate of the mysterious Miss Lily's school of charm and intrigue, and once more she risks her own life as she attempts to save others still trapped in the turmoil and aftermath of war.
But in this new world, nothing is clear, in politics or in love. For the role of men has changed too. Torn between the love of three very different men, Sophie will face her greatest danger yet as she attempts an impossible journey across the world to save Nigel, Earl of Shillings - and her beloved Miss Lily.
In this sequel to the bestselling Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies, Jackie French draws us further into a compelling story that celebrates the passion and adventure of an unstoppable army of women who changed the world.
It is the mid-1980s. In Australia, stay-at-home wives jostle with want-it-all feminists, while AIDS threatens the sexual freedom of everyone. On the other side of the world, the Soviet bloc is in turmoil.
Mikhail Gorbachev has been in power for a year when twenty-four-year-old book illustrator Galina Kogan leaves Leningrad - forbidden ever to return. As a Jew, she's inherited several generations worth of Russia's chronic anti-Semitism. As a Soviet citizen, she is unprepared for Australia and its easy-going ways.
Once settled in Melbourne, Galina is befriended by Sylvie and Leonard Morrow, and their adult son, Andrew. The Morrow marriage of thirty years balances on secrets. Leonard is a man with conflicted desires and passions, while Sylvie chafes against the confines of domestic life. Their son, Andrew, a successful mosaicist, is a deeply shy man.
He is content with his life and work - until he finds himself increasingly drawn to Galina. While Galina grapples with the tumultuous demands that come with being an immigrant in Australia, her presence disrupts the lives of each of the Morrows. No one is left unchanged.Invented Lives tells a story of exile- exile from country, exile at home, and exile from one's true self. It is also a story about love.
In the ghost hours of a Monday morning a man feels a dull thud against the side of his car near the entrance to Redfern Station. He doesn't stop immediately. By the time he returns to the scene, the road is empty, but there is a dent in the car, high up on the passenger door, and what looks like blood. Only a man could have made such a dent, he thinks. For some reason he looks up, though he knows no one is there. Has he hit someone, and if so, where is the victim?
So begins a story that takes us to the heart of contemporary Australia's festering relationship to its indigenous past. A story about guilt for acts which precede us, crimes we are not sure we have committed, crimes gone on so long they now seem criminal-less.
Part crime novel, part road movie, part love story, No One takes its protagonist to the very heart of a nation where non-existence is the true existence, where crimes cannot be resolved and guilt cannot be redeemed, and no one knows what to do with ghosts that are real.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Muriel Kemp was an infamous artist living and working in poverty in the Surry Hills of the Depression era. She died in mysterious circumstances in 1936, leaving behind an ouvre of unsettling portaits and studies that the establishment loathed. In 1992 a Wollongong nurse, Jane Cooper, comes into contact with an old harpy of a neighbour, who claims she is Muriel Kemp, and wants Jane to write her biography. Jane is repulsed and attracted in equal measure, and as Muriel tells her edited version of her life and times, the narrative switches to the past to tell another piece of her story. An evocative and deeply researched novel which recreates the grime and Bohemian glamour of the 20s and 30s, but also catches coastal city life of the 90s equally well. Lindy Jones
A story about art, murder, and making your place in history.
Whatever it was that drew me to Muriel, it wasn't her charm.
In 1992, morning sickness drives Jane to pre-dawn walks of her neighbourhood where she meets an unfriendly woman who sprays her with a hose as she passes by. When they do talk: Muriel Kemp eyes my pregnant belly and tells me if I really want to succeed, I'd get rid of the baby.
Driven to find out more about her curmudgeonly neighbour, Jane Cooper begins to investigate the life of Muriel, who claims to be a famous artist from Sydney's bohemian 1920s. Contemporary critics argue that legend, rather than ability, has secured her position in history. They also claim that the real Muriel Kemp died in 1936.
Murderer, narcissist, sexual deviant or artistic genius and a woman before her time: Who really is Muriel Kemp?
Winner of the 2018 Indie Book Award for Fiction!
'It is quite a feat to write characters with such nuance...in harnessing her storytelling facility to expose the flaws in the system with what is becoming trademark empathy, Laguna is an author proving the novel is a crucial document of the times.' - Louise Swinn, The Australian
I never had words to ask anybody the questions, so I never had the answers.
Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop's chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch - a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can't protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal.
Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back.
The Choke is a brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can't be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. This compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.
Sofie Laguna, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award for The Eye of the Sheep, once again shows she is a writer of rare empathy, originality and blazing talent.
Ninety years after they were thought to have died heroically in the Great War, the stretcher-bearer Simpson and his donkey journey through country Victoria, performing minor miracles and surviving on offerings left at war memorials. They are making their twenty-ninth, and perhaps final, attempt to find the country's famed Inland Sea.
On the road north from Melbourne, Simpson and his weary donkey encounter a broke single mother, a suicidal Vietnam veteran, a refugee who has lost everything, an abused teenager and a deranged ex-teacher. These are society's downtrodden, whom Simpson believes can be renewed by the healing waters of the sea.
In Simpson Returns, Wayne Macauley sticks a pin in the balloon of our national myth. A concise satire of Australian platitudes about fairness and egalitarianism, it is timely, devastating and witheringly funny.
'A thoughtful, multi-layered tale that probes the stories we tell ourselves about family and friendship, power and control. MacColl's writing deftly - yet gently - explores the nature of courage and kept me guessing to the very end.' - Kirsty Manning, author of the bestselling The Jade Lily
In 1920, seventeen-year-old Maddie Bright gratefully accepts a job as a serving girl on the royal tour of Australia by Edward, Prince of Wales. Maddie's talents soon earn her the respect of Helen Burns, the prince's vivacious press secretary, and Rupert Waters, his most loyal man, and Maddie is in awe of Edward himself, the 'people's' prince.
What starts as a desire to help her family, devastated by the recent war, becomes for Maddie a chance to work on something that matters. When the unthinkable happens, it is swift and life changing.
Decades later, Maddie Bright is living in a ramshackle house in Paddington, Brisbane. She has Ed, her drunken and devoted neighbour, to talk to, the television news to shout at, and door-knocker religions to join. But when London journalist Victoria Byrd gets the sniff of a story that might lead to the true identity of a famously reclusive writer, Maddie's version of her own story may change.
1920, 1981 and 1997: the strands twist across the seas and over two continents to build a compelling story of love and fame, motherhood and friendship. Set at key moments in the lives of two of the most loved and hated figures of the twentieth century, in Maddie Bright, a reader will find a friend and, by novel's close, that friend's true and moving story.
'Astonishingly wonderful and magical and moving and uplifting and DIFFERENT.' Marian Keyes
Abigail Sorensen has spent her life trying to unwrap the events of 1990.
It was the year she started receiving random chapters from a self-help book called The Guidebook in the post.
It was also the year Robert, her brother, disappeared on the eve of her sixteenth birthday.
She believes the absurdity of The Guidebook and the mystery of her brother's disappearance must be connected.
Now thirty-five, owner of The Happiness Cafe and mother of four-year-old Oscar, Abigail has been invited to learn the truth behind The Guidebook at an all-expenses-paid retreat.
What she finds will be unexpected, life-affirming, and heartbreaking.
A story with extraordinary heart, warmth and wisdom.
'Is marriage just a series of texts about where the children are and whether we need milk until one of you dies?'
Susannah Parks - wife, mother, cleaner of surfaces and runner of household - is a viola virtuoso. Except she hasn't picked up a viola for over a decade. She has, however, picked up a lot of Lego, socks, wet towels and other exhibits of mundanity. She has also picked up on the possibility that her husband has lost interest in her. (And frankly, she's not very interested in Susannah Parks either.) But this year, she has resolved to be very interesting. Also thoughtful, useful, cheerful, relevant, self-sufficient, stylish, alluring and intelligent.
In her highly confidential diary, Susannah documents the search for the elusive spark in her marriage, along with all the high and low notes of life with her four beloved children, with her free-spirited (and world famous) best friend Ria, and with Hugh, the man who fills her heart with burning passion and her washing pile with shirts.
And perhaps amid the chaos she might be brave enough to find the missing pieces of herself.
'I loved it! It's got a kind of Bridget Jones feel and such a page turner. Great fun but with such beautiful heart. I've already cast the film/series in my head!' Rebecca Gibney Vanessa Rooney is a thirty-something dental hygienist who finds herself a single mum with a hole in her heart where her husband had been.
Somehow she finds the courage to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a romance novel but soon discovers that her novel has been plagiarised by her idol, celebrity author Charlotte Lancaster.
Vanessa reluctantly sues Charlotte with the help of suburban solicitor Dave Rendall, who's nursing some unfulfilled dreams of his own. When gun QC Marcus Stafford agrees to join their legal team, Vanessa feels like her perfect man has stepped right out of the pages of her book and into her life.
As all hell breaks loose publicly and privately, Vanessa confronts a painful past and realises what Dave already knew - that she's an intelligent, funny, amazing woman and Marcus Stafford is, well, a tosspot.
Vanessa finally understands that what she wanted wasn't what she needed, but has this realisation come too late?
It is the duty of a good child to let his parents know the second they turn into animals.
Barbara Glover's parents metamorphosed when she hit puberty, becoming bovine from the waist down. Fearful of her transformative powers, she tends diligently to them, keeping them like animals on the family's remote farm and-along with her brother, Damian, who harbours incestuous longings for her-protecting their terrible secret from the world. First published in 1971, Thomas Keneally's A Dutiful Daughter is strange and disturbing, and utterly unlike any other Australian novel.
'Karly's novels are always full and rounded; reading one is like stepping into a new community for the duration and being welcomed in with open arms... a heart-warming read that will have you flipping the pages long into the night.' Theresa Smith Writes
A year after finding her husband and her closest friend in bed together, bestselling author Hayley Stevens was excited to be saying goodbye to the city and heading west to Lochway, a small colonial village sitting on the beautiful Macdonald River. Wanting peace and quiet, Hayley had impulsively bought a cosy sandstone cottage there surrounded by lush rose gardens, with a small overseer's cottage-ideal for a writer's retreat.
What she didn't expect was the almost immediate 'gift' of a very noisy donkey named Errol. Nor did Hayley expect to meet her handsome new neighbour, Luke Mason, when she was covered in mud trying to drag Errol out of Luke's dam. The strange thing was though that Luke seemed very familiar to her.
As Hayley slowly gains acceptance into her small community and starts writing again she becomes almost afraid of the inexplicable visions she sees. What does it all mean? And why does Luke refuse to listen to her? Written with warmth and humour, Someone Like You is an intriguing, funny and romantic story about past lives and new beginnings.
'Karly Lane's latest book is a must-read ... there's plenty to enjoy in this sweet, rural read.' Gold Coast Bulletin
Detective Dave Burrows returns in the most compelling and exciting case of his early career.
In Barrabine, as Dave's workload skyrockets, Melinda, Dave's wife, is unhappy about being left alone so much to raise their eighteen-month-old daughter, Bec. It's not how Dave wants it either, but complaints, leads and crimes all have to be investigated - it's what he joined the force for.
Melinda's interfering father isn't helping. He's never thought that Dave was right for his daughter and he's not shy about telling Dave what he's doing wrong. When things come to a head at home, Dave's policing mate, Spencer, comes up with a plan.
In the most dangerous mission of his life, Dave knows what he's risking. If he's found out, he'll never see Melinda or Bec again. Of that he's sure.
Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. Her London colleagues find her distant and mysterious, her cool beauty the topic of conversations around its quiet halls. No one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image.
It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine's poise is dashed and the tightly controlled life she's built around herself is shattered. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek.
Mossad's interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt, while the one person who can help Severine - the solicitor handling the pearls - is bound by client confidentiality. As she follows Mayek's trail, there is still one lifelong secret for her to reveal - and one for her to discover.
From the snowy woodlands outside Prague to the Tuileries of Paris and the heather-covered moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that explores whether love and hope can ever overpower atrocity in a time of war and hate.
You've been given the gift of life, now go live it.
Gabby McPhee is the owner of The Tin Man, a chic new cafe and coffee roasting house in Melbourne. The struggles of her recent heart transplant are behind her and life is looking up - until a mysterious customer appears in the cafe, convinced that Gabby has her deceased husband's heart beating inside her chest.
Krystal Arthur is a bereaved widow, struggling to hold herself and her two young boys together since Evan's death, and plagued by unanswered questions. Why was her husband in another city the night he died? And why won't his spirit rest?
Krystal is convinced that Gabby holds the clues she needs to move towards a brighter future. Gabby needs Krystal to help her let go of her troubled past. The two women must come together to try to unlock the secrets in Evan's heart in order to set free their own.
By the internationally bestselling author of The Chocolate Promise, this is a profound and moving novel about the deeper mysteries of love and loss - and the priceless gift of life.
'A lovely Australian novel from an accomplished writer.' Good Reading
'Three Gold Coins is a story of new love, second chances, and la dolce vita.' High Life Magazine
One coin for love, one for marriage, one to return to Rome.
Two days ago, Lara Foxleigh tossed three gold euros into the Trevi Fountain. Now, she is caring for a cranky old man and living in a picturesque villa, half a world away from her home and the concerns of her loving family.
Soon, it seems as if those wishes she made in Rome just might be coming true, and she may even be able to help heal a fifteen-year-old tragedy.
Until Lara's past threatens to destroy everything she loves...
Three Gold Coins is a masterfully written celebration of food, family, triumph over adversity and love - a deliciously imperfect life.
'Food, family, friendship and love: this is the heart of Three Gold Coins.' Theresa Smith Writes
Di Morrissey has written 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 young wife arrives at her husband's secluded property - Arcadia. Stella, an artist, falls in love with Arcadia's wild, ancient forest. But 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...
'There's no denying the beauty and opulence of Morrissey's rendering of place...
She is a master of the genre.' Weekend Australian
Clem Whelan's got a problem: trapped in the suburbs in the Sunnyboy summer of 1984 he has to decide what to do with his life. Matriculation? He's more than able, but not remotely interested. Become a writer? His failed lawyer neighbour Peter encourages him, but maybe it's just another dead end? To make sense of the world, Clem uses his telescope to spy on his neighbours. From his wall, John Lennon gives him advice; his sister (busy with her Feres Trabilsie hairdressing apprenticeship) tells him he's a pervert; his best friend, Curtis, gets hooked on sex and Dante and, as the year progresses and the essays go unwritten, he starts to understand the excellence of it all.
His Pop, facing the first dawn of dementia, determined to follow an old map into the desert in search of Lasseter's Reef. His old neighbour, Vicky, returning to Lanark Avenue - and a smile is all it takes. Followed by a series of failed driving tests; and the man at his door, claiming to be his father.
It's going to be a long year, but in the end Clem emerges from the machine a different person, ready to face what he now understands about life, love, and the importance of family and neighbours.
For readers of The Woolgrower's Companion and The Three Miss Allens...
Their friendship transcends nationality and background, but can it overcome the horrors of the past? A post-Second World War story of strong female ties and family, secrets and lies, set in the multicultural Australia of the fifties.
Can the Bonegilla girls defeat their past? Or will it come to claim them?
1954: When sixteen-year-old Hungarian Elizabeta arrives in Australia with her family, she is hoping to escape the hopelessness of life as a refugee in post-war Germany.
Her first stop is the Bonegilla Migrant Camp on the banks of the Murray in rural Victoria, a temporary home for thousands of new arrivals, all looking for work and a better life. There, Elizabeta becomes firm friends with the feisty Greek Vasiliki; quiet Italian Iliana; and the adventurous Frances, the daughter of the camp's director.
In this vibrant and growing country, the Bonegilla girls rush together towards a life that seems full of promise, even as they cope with the legacy of war, the oppressive nature of family tradition and ever-present sorrow. So when a ghost from the past reaches out for Elizabeta and threatens to pull her back into the shadows, there is nothing that her friends wouldn't do to keep her safe.
But secrets have a way of making themselves known and lies have a way of changing everything they touch...
Recently orphaned, Angel Martin moves into a boarding house populated by an assortment of eccentric and colourful characters. She's befriended by the gregarious Winifred Varnham - a vision in exotic fabrics - and the numerically gifted Barnaby Grange. But not everyone is kind and her scrimping landlady, Missus Potts, is only the beginning of Angel's troubles.
Angel refuses to accept her fate. She is determined to forge a sense of belonging despite rejection from her two maiden aunts, Clara and Elsa, who blame Angel's mother for their brother's death. Her Sunday visits to the aunts' house by the Bay expand her world in ways she couldn't have imagined.
Elizabeth Stead brings her classic subversive wit and personal insight to this nostalgic portrait of wartime Sydney. In Angel Martin, she has created a singular and irrepressible character. A true original.