The Yellow Villa by Amanda Hampson book cover
Book reviews

The Yellow Villa, by Amanda Hampson

Do you really need to move to the other side of the world to start a new life? That’s what thirty-something former Sydneysiders Mia and Ben think, in The Yellow Villa (published by Penguin Random House, 2018), the fourth novel of Sydney based Australian author Amanda Hampson. The couple have moved lock, stock, and barrel …

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The Wife and the Widow book cover
Book reviews

The Wife and the Widow, by Christian White

Come closer. I’ll let in you on a secret. I’m going to tell you what happens in The Wife and the Widow (published by Affirm Press, 2019), the second novel of Australian writer Christian White, but I’m not going to give away anything. I mean it. What I’m talking about is one of the mightiest …

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The Paper House book cover
Book reviews

The Paper House, by Anna Spargo-Ryan

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the story for the words in The Paper House (published by Picador/Pan Macmillan Australia, 2016), the debut novel of Australian journalist and writer, Anna Spargo-Ryan. But let me elaborate before going any further. Heather and Dave are a young couple who move to Melbourne, so Dave can take up a …

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The Nowhere Child book cover
Book reviews

The Nowhere Child, by Christian White

Aspiring novelists looking for pointers on how to structure their plots should look no further than The Nowhere Child (published by Affirm Press, 2017), the debut novel of Melbourne based Australian author Christian White. In short, start with a simple idea and proceed to complicate the hell out of it. The former web designer in …

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Picnic at Mount Disappointment book cover
Book reviews

Picnic at Mount Disappointment, by Melissa Bruce

What I cannot fathom is why Picnic at Mount Disappointment (published by Ginninderra Press, 2017), the debut novel of Sydney based Australian writer Melissa Bruce, has not been nominated for more literary awards than it so far has. Aside from taking out the 2017 Woollahra Digital Literary Award for Fiction, the book seems to have …

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The Weekend book cover
Book reviews

The Weekend, by Charlotte Wood

Oh how time and age do fray the ties that bind. Three seventy-something friends Judy, Wendy, and Adele, gather at the weekend house of Sylvie, who died almost a year earlier. The timing couldn’t be any more auspicious, it’s Christmas, nor surely the task at hand, to clear out the old holiday home on the …

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The Lying Life of Adults book cover
Book reviews

The Lying Life of Adults, by Elena Ferrante

We did not have the sort of dinner table conversations Italian high schooler Giovanna, had with her parents, when I was a teenager. During a particularly terse exchange one evening in their Naples home, her mother declares: “For fifteen years your father has had another wife.” Giovanna pauses before responding: “And you, too, you have …

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The Improbability of Love
Book reviews

The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild

It can’t be often that a chance trip – at the last minute to boot – to a junk shop to buy a gift for someone you really didn’t want to buy a gift for, becomes an experience that is both life-changing and a life-threatening. But that’s exactly what happens to Annie, a thirty-something, down-on-her-luck …

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The Gingerbread house book cover
Book reviews

The Gingerbread House by Kate Beaufoy

There’s a memorable scene in The Gingerbread House (published by Black & White Publishing, in 2017), where Katia, the story’s mute teenage narrator, is quietly hiding in a tree house on the grounds of her grandmother’s countryside home. A gardener has arrived to tend to the lawns of the house, and Katia – as she …

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