Text Publishing, $29.99 pb, 247 pp, 9781921922831
Toni Jordan’s third novel, after the successful Addition (2009), takes its story from a photograph that graces the cover and that the author tells us she pondered for a long time. It is a romantic wartime scene, a crush of bodies at a Melbourne train station, mostly with soldiers bound for their unknown futures. A woman has been lifted by a stranger on the platform so she can farewell her sweetheart. Jordan tells us the story came to her unexpectedly: ‘grand and sweeping, but also intimate and fragile.’ From this one image nine characters emerge whose lives are interconnected and whose voices will be heard individually in the ensuing nine chapters.