General fiction

Post tale a stylish debut

March 31, 2016
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Post tale a stylish debut

Wake By Anna Hope(Random House, RRP $37) This incredible debut novel from author Anna Hope weaves together the tales of three extraordinary women, Hettie, Evelyn and Ada. Hettie spends her nights at Hammersmith Palais, dancing for a nickel with gentlemen, Evelyn works at the pensions office, helping soldiers who are struggling since the World...

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Harrowing and heartbreaking

March 17, 2016
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Harrowing and heartbreaking

The Road Between Us, by Nigel Farndale (Random House, RRP $38) In 1939, two young men in a Picadilly Circus hotel are unaware that their lives are about to change in drastic and unforseen ways. Charles and Anselm are arrested for homosexuality. Charles is discharged from the RAF, and Anselm is sent to a...

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Close but no cigar, old bean …

October 26, 2015
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Close but no cigar, old bean …

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson, RRP $35) I’m a big P G Wodehouse fan. I’ve been reading his novels and short stories on and off since high school, when friends of mine put me on to Jeeves and Wooster. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks is an effort...

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Mother never gave up hope

August 21, 2015
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Mother never gave up hope

The Road from Midnight, by Wendyl Nissen (Paul Little Books, RRP $29.95) New Zealand-born Jane lives life in the limelight as editor of woman’s fashion magazines in both Australia and then back in Auckland, New Zealand. She marries Lawrence who features on news channels in New Zealand and is seeking his next news assignment in...

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Romance by the numbers

February 18, 2015
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Romance by the numbers

The Winter Sea, by Di Morrissey (Pan Macmillan Australia, RRP $35): I wouldn’t say Di Morrissey is a lazy author but The Winter Sea has a real paint-by-numbers feel to it. An everlasting love, a new love and a family secret roll around together in this plot as the lead character Cassie Holloway, fresh from...

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This fairytale’s not for children

December 17, 2014
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This fairytale’s not for children

The Mijo Tree, by Janet Frame (Penguin, RRP $25): This is an odd little tale. Published posthumously, the manuscript gathered dust in the Hocken Library archive for many years. Illustrated to great – and somewhat dark effect – The Mijo Tree tells the deceptively simple tale of a small seed who wishes to see...

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Rich vein of humour uncovered

July 18, 2014
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Rich vein of humour uncovered

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan (Allen & Unwin, RRP $37): We all enjoy a sneaky peek into the lives of the fabulously rich and, over the years, those financially blessed citizens have copped more than their fair share of sniggers at the hands of some very clever writers. From Evelyn Waugh to Henry James,...

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Forensics queen a winner again

June 27, 2014
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Forensics queen a winner again

Bones of the Lost, by Kathy Reichs (William Heinemann, RRP $37): While not as fast-paced as some crime novels, Bones of the Lost will drag you into the story from the very first page and keep your attention to the very end. In this 16th novel to feature forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, what at...

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Engrossing, dark story of tragedy

April 5, 2014
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Engrossing, dark story of tragedy

A Treacherous Paradise, by Henning Mankell (Harvill Secker, RRP $38): Best known as author of the chilling Kurt Wallander crime novels, Henning Mankell has certainly opted for a change of pace with his latest novel. A Treacherous Paradise is a complex and powerful historical novel set in early 20th Century Sweden and Mozambique. Based...

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Keyes’ chronicles continue

August 23, 2013
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Keyes’ chronicles continue

The Mystery of Mercy Close, by Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph, RRP $38): If you have read any of Marian Keyes’ earlier stories featuring the delightfully dysfunctional Walsh family, this will be the one you’ve been waiting for. The Walsh family first popped up in Watermelon, back in 1995. That novel topped bestseller lists everywhere...

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