Fiction

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Margaret Robson Kett reviews four recent Young Adults novels

Margaret Robson Kett
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Friendship can be a powerful force for change in a young adult’s life. These four new books explore the full gamut of the unlikely, advantageous, and destructive consequences of relationships. ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Yellow House' by Emily O’Grady

Jay Daniel Thompson
Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Cub lives next door to the yellow house. The girl also lives in the shadow of her grandfather, Les, who once owned that property, and who died years ago, after doing ‘ugly things’ to women. Indeed, Les’s crimes seem to cast a pall over Cub’s entire family. This is a family where warmth ...

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Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'The Children’s House' by Alice Nelson

Sarah Holland-Batt
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

What are the limits of maternal love? How do children fare in its absence? Is mothering a socialised behaviour or a biological impulse? These are the questions Alice Nelson pursues in her second novel, The Children’s House, which draws its title from the name given to the separate quarters ...

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Brenda Walker reviews 'The Year of the Farmer' by Rosalie Ham

Brenda Walker
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

‘In time and with water, everything changes,’ according to Leonardo da Vinci, who worked with Machiavelli on a strategic and ultimately doomed attempt to channel the flow of the Arno. Large-scale water management has had some notable successes in parts of Australia ...

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Jane Sullivan reviews 'Too Much Lip' by Melissa Lucashenko

Jane Sullivan
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A stranger rides into a one-horse town on a shiny new motorbike. Cue Ennio Morricone music. Except it’s not a stranger, it’s that skinny dark girl Kerry Salter, back to say goodbye to her Pop before he falls off the perch. The first conversation she has is in the Bundjalung language ...

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Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Killing Commendatore' by Haruki Murakami

Cassandra Atherton
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

There is a running joke in Japan that autumn doesn’t start each year until Haruki Murakami has lost the Nobel Prize for Literature. Most recently, in 2017, he lost to Kazuo Ishiguro, who was born in Japan but is now a British citizen. To date, two Japanese writers have been awarded the prize ...

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Nicole Abadee reviews 'Bridge of Clay' by Markus Zusak

Nicole Abadee
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Most writers seek to better their previous books, but in Markus Zusak’s case this goal was particularly difficult, given that his last book was The Book Thief. Published in 2005, it has sold sixteen million copies worldwide and spent ten years on the New York Times bestseller list ...

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Jack Rowland reviews 'The Second Cure' by Margaret Morgan

Jack Rowland
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A plague with myriad weird effects spreads throughout the world in Margaret Morgan’s début, a speculative political thriller. The disease’s name is toxoplasmosis pestis: it causes people to develop intense synaesthesia, to act in impulsive and dangerous ways, or to lose their religious faith ...

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David Dick reviews 'Satan Repentant' by Michael Aiken

David Dick
Monday, 17 September 2018

It is time to repent my sins. Recently, I have been asking myself if poetry is exempt from a need to entertain. Is the act of reading a poem or a book of poetry an escapist, amusing, joyous diversion from the rigours of reality? Or is it something more tedious, cold-blooded, blandly ...

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Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s novel Beautiful Revolutionary chronicles the decade leading up to the Jonestown massacre in Guyana when Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple, orchestrated the ‘revolutionary suicide’ and murder of more than 900 members of his congregation ...

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