Callum Smith - Wordsmith, Words for short - is a newspaper journalist of the old school. He knows how to write a story that sings, knows all the tricks of the tabloid trade. And he likes to drink with his colleagues, sometimes to flirt dangerously with young women.When his marriage blows up after a night of drinking goes way too far, Words is forced to leave the family home. Desperate to impress his estranged wife and feckless teenage son, he quits his job, taking a pay cut to work with a new online publication covering local crime. There the plum role of editor will soon be his, he reasons.To Words, 'Honesty is a thief - it steals your life.' Better to do whatever it takes to get back in someone's good books. And that is what he sets out to do, in a series of ever more calamitous, destructive and amoral adventures. Will the irredeemable Words win back his family? Or is comeuppance around the corner?
In the summer of 1976 it’s picking season on an Australian stone-fruit orchard run by Celia, a hard-working woman in her early forties. Years ago, when her husband was killed as a bystander in an armed robbery, Celia left the city and brought her newborn daughter Zoe to this farm for a secure life. Now sixteen, Zoe is a passionate, intelligent girl, chafing against her mother’s protectiveness, yearning to find intensity and a bit of danger.
Barging into this world as itinerant fruit-pickers come a desperate brother and sister from Sydney. The hard-bitten Sheena has kidnapped her wild, ebullient eighteen-year-old brother Kieran and dragged him out west, away from trouble in the city. Kieran and Zoe are drawn to each other the instant they meet, sparking excitement, worry, lust, trouble...
How do we protect people we love? How do we bear watching them go out into the perilous world with no guarantee of safety or happiness? What bargains do people make with darkness in order to survive? From the creator of Offspring and author of Useful, The Whole Bright Year is a gripping, wry and tender novel about how holding on too tightly can cost us what we love.
In this tug-of-love there can be no winners . . .It's January 1974, and a devastating flood is about to change the lives of four generations of women. Maggie Rowe is thirty-five, a teacher, and still living with her mother, Vera, in a tiny cottage in Hill Street, Brisbane. Next door lives Donna Birtles, a feckless twenty-something single mum, and her little daughter, Flower.Early one rain-drenched morning at the height of the flood, Donna and Flower seek shelter with Maggie and Vera . . . However, once the water recedes, Donna seems reluctant to move out, particularly when she meets Roddy, a casual worker on the clean-up gang. With Donna now disappearing for months on end, Maggie is forced to take on the role of Flower's guardian - at the expense of her own hopes and longings.Flower is the daughter Maggie never had. And she's the daughter Donna had but didn't want.So when Donna finally returns to reclaim her child, who has the right to be Flower's mother?
A captivating novel full of strength, quiet courage and the struggle to overcome silence.Sam is a young boy recovering from an operation that has left him unable to speak ever again. He lives with his mother and sister Katie, all dutifully cared for by Aunt Dettie, their father's sister, who believes herself sympathetic to his pain. Their father abandoned the family some time ago, but when their mother begins to date again, Aunt Dettie reacts very badly. After an unexpected phone call, Aunt Dettie packs Sam and Katie into the backseat of her car and tells them that she's taking them to Perth to be reunited with their father. As Dettie drives the children across Australia in the middle of a sweltering and dangerous bushfire season, her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, and the children begin to realise that there is something very wrong. Voiceless, Sam can only watch helplessly as the family trip becomes a smoke-filled nightmare.
After forty-five years in Sydney, Cassandra Aberline returns to her home town in the Western Australian wheat belt in the same way she left- on the Indian Pacific train.As they cross the emptiness of the vast Australian inland, Cassie travels back through her memories, too, frightened that she's about to lose them forever - and with them, her last chance to answer the question that has haunted her almost all her life.
'Haunting and lyrical, humming with compassion and insight, Dustfall heralds the arrival of a brilliant new literary voice. Michelle Johnston is a rare talent, and this is a rare jewel of a novel.' - Kathryn Heyman Dr Raymond Filigree, running away from a disastrous medical career, mistakes an unknown name on a map for the perfect refuge. He travels to the isolated town of Wittenoom and takes charge of its small hospital, a place where no previous doctor has managed to stay longer than an eye blink. Instead of settling into a quiet, solitary life, he discovers an asbestos mining corporation with no regard for the safety of its workers and no care for the truth. Thirty years later, Dr Lou Fitzgerald stumbles across the abandoned Wittenoom Hospital. She, too, is a fugitive from a medical career toppled by a single error. Here she discovers faded letters and barely used medical equipment, and, slowly the story of the hospital's tragic past comes to her. Dustfall is the tale of the crashing consequences of medical error, the suffering caused by asbestos mining and the power of storytelling.
How do you know if your friends actually like you? Four friends, five letters, one big secret. A 'pacey, circle-of-friends thriller, which accelerates in its intensity and sheer originality with every page' Australian Women's Weekly
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.
1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn't easy.
Into the Hasses' new life wanders Lily's shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after three harrowing years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily and Girlie really are.
Inspired by the author's own family history, The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. Kali Napier breathes a fever-pitch intensity into the story of these emotionally fragile characters as their secrets are revealed with tragic consequences. If you loved The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower's Companion you will love this story.
A charming and witty novel, set in a small country town in 1919.
‘When Adelaide Nightingale, Louisa Worthington, Maggie O’Connell and Pearl McCleary threw caution to the winds in the most brazen way imaginable, disgrace was inevitable.’
It’s September 1919. The war is over, and everyone who was going to die from the flu has done so. But there’s a shortage of husbands and women in strife will flounder without a male to act on their behalf.
And in the southern NSW town of Prospect, four ladies bereft of men have problems that threaten to overwhelm them.
Beautiful Louisa Worthington, whose dashing husband died for King and Country, is being ruined by the debts he left behind.
Young Maggie O’Connell, who lost her mother in childbirth and her father to a redhead, is raising her two wayward brothers and fighting for land she can’t prove is hers.
Adelaide Nightingale has a husband, but he’s returned from the war in a rage and is refusing to tackle the thieving manager of their famous family store.
Pearl McCleary, Adelaide’s new housekeeper, must find her missing fiancé before it’s too late and someone dies.
Thank God these desperate ladies have a solution: a part-time husband who will rescue them all. To find him, they’ll advertise. To afford him, they’ll share...
A rural romance with plenty of heart Nick Langtree has lived reclusively on his farm, Winters Hill, ever since the tragic death of his wife. On the occasional trip into nearby White Gum Creek he keeps to himself and that's the way he likes it. And though over the last six years the townsfolk have tried to reach out to Nick, he's pushed them all away.Whenever Nick comes into the Gumnut Bakery, Natasha Duroz tries to engage him in conversation when she serves him. There's something about him that intrigues Tash, but she's not sure if it's because she feels sorry for him or there's something more.At last encouraged by the warmth of a few old and new friends, Nick gradually begins to re-engage with the outside world. Then, suddenly some minor vandalism on his farm escalates and odd things begin to happen on Winters Hill. Is someone out to hurt Nick or have his years of solitude been playing tricks on his mind?This entrancing novel is about overcoming heartache and loss through the power of friendship and love.
The gossips call 19–year–old Edie Cottingham the ‘Too Girl' – too stubborn, too outspoken, and too modern to get a husband. But Edie does not care. She is determined to defy them all and find love with Theo Hooley, the gentle church organist and veteran of the African Boer war.
But just as Theo prepares to ask Edie's father for her hand, their world is turned upside down. Edie's mother is gone and she must care for her new baby sister. Gracie is a sickly baby with a special smile that enchants everyone who sees it. How can Edie marry and leave the family home now?
But Theo Hooley is a man who knows how to wait. Every Sunday, Theo walks from his home to woo Edie. Each week Edie refuses him, knowing that he is asking for more than a walk around the lake on a Sunday afternoon. Each week Theo resolves anew to wait for her.
Slowly the town begins to fall under the spell of the romance. Women sigh and men mutter at the challenge Theo presents to their relationships. As the children create a growing procession that follows Theo each week, the whole community becomes caught up in his display of devotion, until an unexpected event changes all their lives.
TO DO LIST
1) Buy hummus
2) Pay Pilates teacher
3) Find prostitute for son...
When it comes to sex, even the best laid plans come unstuck – in the stickiest way possible
As a crossword-addicted English teacher, Lucy never expected to be arrested for kerb-crawling. But her autistic twenty-year-old son Merlin is desperate to lose his virginity, and a prostitute seems like the only option . . . only Lucy picks up an undercover policewoman instead.
Let off with a suspended sentence, Lucy resigns herself to the fact that her son will never have sex, let alone find love… until the morning she miraculously discovers Merlin in bed with a girl.
But is tough, tattooed Kayleigh just taking Merlin for a ride? If so, why? And what has brought Lucy’s snake of an ex-husband wriggling back into their lives?
As all her best laid plans for Merlin’s happiness chaotically unravel, will Lucy ever be able to cut her son’s psychological umbilical cord and start to live her own life? And will the funny, quirky and marvellously magical Merlin ever find real love?
With plenty of comic twists and emotional turns, Kathy Lette’s riotous yet heartrending novel tackles the taboo subject of sex for the ‘differently abled’ – and shows us that when it comes to sex, we all have special needs...
Have you ever had a secret?
In a small suburb of Gawler, South Australia, the tang of cut grass and eucalyptus seem to mingle perpetually on the warm air.
The neat houses perched under the big gum on Church Street have seen many things over the long years. Years of sprinklers stuttering over clipped lawns, children playing behind low brick walls. The milkie, coming and going, leaving out bottles, or blocks of butter and cheese. A seemingly endless stream of youthful paperboys. Couples tending their veggies and chasing chooks. Family barbecues. Gossipy neighbours hanging out washing or drinking sundowners on their verandahs. Arguments. Accidents. Births, deaths, marriages. The street has seen it all.
Until the arrival of Thomas, Elsie and Aida.
In this, Kim Lock's third novel of what really goes on behind closed doors, she weaves the tale of three ordinary people with big secrets; a story of forty years of betrayal, marriage, loss and laughter. It is a joyous story, a rich tapestry of Australian life as well as a heartwarming depiction of love against the odds.
For years Nick Harris has been drifting, until the day he finds himself surrounded by red dirt and razor wire, staring at brownskinned men inside a detention centre. He's no crusader, no bleeding-heart. It's just a job. The strange thing is, the longer Nick looks, the more normal the detainees seem, and the crazier everything around them- the desert that is its own prison, the staff filled with resentment and disdain, the system that represents both salvation and damnation. Nick is a future seeker-just like his 'clients'. Only, he comes to realise they're not just clients. They have personalities and share conversations, just like him. They joke and steal and cry and conspire. They are bad men, good men, dumb men, smart men-just men. Like him.