‘Pretty’s what got you here’

Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s second novel
by
July 2021, no. 433
Buy this book

The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Scribe, $32.99 pb, 351 pp

‘Pretty’s what got you here’

Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s second novel
by
July 2021, no. 433
Laura Elizabeth Woollett (photograph by Leah Jing McIntosh)
Laura Elizabeth Woollett (photograph by Leah Jing McIntosh)

The title character of Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s second novel, The Newcomer, is Paulina Novak, who has arrived on Fairfolk Island after leaving a finance career in Sydney. If she is wanting to make a new start, then she’s mistaken; Paulina’s life seems perpetually sullied by alcoholism, an eating disorder, and a tendency to fall for callous men. Acquaintances say that her head is ‘messy’. Paulina herself remarks: ‘My whole life’s a fuck-up.’

Watching on with growing concern is the young woman’s mother, Judy. The latter spends hours on the phone with her daughter, urging her to eat something or, better still, return home. Judy must listen as her child declares, ‘Mum, I want to die.’

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Newcomer' by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

The Newcomer

by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Scribe, $32.99 pb, 351 pp

Buy this book

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