New Fiction Releases

birdmans-wife196x300The Birdman’s Wife (hardback)

by Melissa Ashley

Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the beauty of birds but her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was more than the woman behind the man. Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In The Birdman’s Wife, the naïve young girl who falls in love with a demanding and ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on an expedition to collect and illustrate Australia’s birdlife.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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cousins196x300Cousins

by Salley Vickers

Brilliant and mercurial Will Tye suffers a life changing accident. The terrible event ripples through three generations of the complex and eccentric Tye family, bringing to light old tragedies and dangerous secrets. Each member of the family holds some clue to the chain of events which may have led to the accident and each holds themselves to blame. Most closely affected is Will’s cousin Cecelia, whose affinity with Will leaves her most vulnerable to his suffering. Told through the eyes of three women close to Will, his sister, his grandmother and his aunt, Cousins is a novel weaving darkness and light which takes us from the outbreak of WW2 to the present day.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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dark-flood-rises196x300The Dark Flood Rises

by Margaret Drabble

Francesca Stubbs holds our hand as we take a walk through old age and death. Fran brings us to drinks with her dear friends, dropping off mouth-watering suppers for Claude, her ex-husband, warm and cosy in his infirmity. She visits her daughter, Poppet, holed up as the waters rise in a sodden West Country, and texts her son Christopher in Lanzarote, as he deals with the estate of his shockingly deceased girlfriend. The questions of what constitutes a good death and how we understand it preoccupy this glittering novel. In her beautifully imagined new book, Margaret Drabble is at her incisive best, exploring the end of life with her trademark humour, composure and wisdom.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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old-scores196x300Old Scores

by David Whish-Wilson

It’s the early 1980s: the heady days of excess, dirty secrets and personal favours. Former detective Frank Swann is still in disgrace, working as a low-rent PI. But when he’s offered a security job by the premier’s fixer, it soon becomes clear that someone is bugging the premier’s phone – and it may cost Swann more than his job to find out why.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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days-without-end196x300Days Without End

by Sebastian Barry

Having signed up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America’s past. Days Without End is a novel that will remain with you.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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conclave196x300Conclave

by Robert Harris

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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judas194x300Judas

by Amos Oz

Shmuel, a young student, finds a mysterious handwritten note on a campus notice board. This takes him to a strange house where an elderly, invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him. But there is someone else in the house too… a woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past. Shmuel is captivated by her, and he is also drawn to the old man, an intellectual obsession which also evolves into gentle love and devotion. Shmuel begins to uncover the house’s tangled history and, in doing so, reaches an understanding that harks back to the beginning of Jerusalem itself.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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commonwealth194x300Commonwealth

by Ann Patchett

It is 1964: Bert Cousins, the deputy District Attorney, shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party. While the cops of Los Angeles drink, talk and dance into the June afternoon, he notices a beautiful woman. When Bert kisses Beverly Keating, his host’s wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families whose shared fate will define them. In 1988, Franny Keating is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets one of her idols, the famous author Leon Posen, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story. Franny never dreams that the consequences of this encounter will extend beyond her own life into those of her parents and siblings.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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sellout194x300The Sellout (Winner of 2016 Man Booker Prize)

by David Beatty

The black narrator of The Sellout is raised by his single father, a controversial sociologist. Led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes, he discovers that, after his father is killed in a police shoot-out, there never was a memoir. In addition, the narrator’s hometown has been removed from the map to save California embarrassment due to its disrepair. In response, he reinstates slavery and segregates the local high school. What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life and the civil rights movement. A caustic satire on US racial politics.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $26.99

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The Boy Behind the Curtain book coverThe Boy Behind the Curtain

by Tim Winton

All our days, both of us have tried to avoid trouble, and yet it’s been our business. Without strife the cop and the novelist have nothing to work with.

Beginning with a reflection on his childhood fascination with guns, and ending with a return visit to the NGV, Winton’s new memoir The Boy Behind the Curtain is a real treat for fans. He is a private man, but if you have ever heard him speak you will know he is by nature thoughtful and reflective. The range of subjects in The Boy Behind the Curtain is broad: the allure of risk taking in a piece giving the book its title; in ‘Havoc’ a description of the impact of a traumatic motorcycle accident his father was involved in when Winton was a boy; ‘Twice on Sundays’ reflects on the role of religion and spirituality in his life; ‘Using the C-Word’ is a look at class and its role in his life as well as the life of the nation and in ‘The Demon Shark’ he examines our obsession with sharks. Other topics include Elizabeth Jolley, our treatment of refugees and the family’s ancient but embarrassing car.

Nobody is better at writing about landscape and our connection to it than Tim Winton. Reading his fiction is just about as close as you can get to diving into the sea or walking barefoot in the dirt without actually taking a step yourself. In one of the most beautiful chapters in the book ‘Chasing Giants’ he tells of paddling out with his wife in search of whales as they travel up the WA coast.

Then, beneath me and slightly ahead, I saw a shadow. For a moment it looked like the profile of a whale swimming across my path along the seabed. But we were in only 5 meters of water and the scale was all wrong. A moment later I realized it wasn’t the whole creature I was seeing. This was only its tail. Right beneath me. Getting bigger by the instant, scything up underfoot.

FORMAT: Hardback | PRICE: $45.00

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His Bloody Project book coverHis Bloody Project

by Graeme Macrae Burnet

His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Booker Prize shortlisted second novel, is a tightly constructed historical page turner. Though entirely a work of fiction, it is presented as a collation of documents relating to a triple murder that took place in the Scottish Highlands in 1869. A young crofter, Roderick Macrae, brutally murdered 3 members of a neighbouring family, confessed immediately to the crime and was prosecuted. The novel includes Roderick’s own account of the event, case notes from visiting physicians, witness statements, and an account of the trial. As there is no doubt about Roderick’s guilt, the real focus is on his sanity at the time, and in this matter there is much disagreement. His Bloody Project is just that – bloody. It is also clever, at times funny, and often tragic.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $19.99

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Out of Bounds by Val McDermid book coverOut of Bounds

by Val McDermid

Late one night in Scotland four boys steal a car and take it for a joyride. Hitting a roundabout at full speed, the driver loses control and crashes, killing the three passengers. As part of routine procedure, a blood test is run on the survivor to check for alcohol, and the results reveal a familial DNA hit to an open unsolved rape and murder case from two decades ago. Karen Pirie, head of Police Scotland’s Historic Crime Unit, takes on the case and quickly finds herself in the midst of legal and ethical quandaries. The boy is adopted, and his adoptive parents do not want his birth records revealed. Much to the annoyance of her boss and some colleagues, Karen also takes an interest in a current case that doesn’t rightly belong to her. A man has been found dead on a park bench, gun in hand. Karen thinks the detective assigned to the case is lazy and too inclined jump to the conclusion that the death is a suicide. When she discovers the victim’s mother was killed some years ago in what was assumed to be an IRA attack, but never proven, Karen can’t stop herself from interfering in the case.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Nutshell by Ian McEwan book coverNutshell

by Ian McEwan

Heavily pregnant Trudy has betrayed her poet husband John with his brother Claude. The pair have hatched a murderous plot to rid themselves of husband and brother, thus gaining a valuable London house as well as their freedom. There are several problems however. Firstly, Claude, apart from being monumentally boring, is also quite stupid. Trudy knows this, but cannot control her attraction to him. Secondly, there is a witness to everything they do – John and Trudy’s unborn child, who eavesdrops on his mother’s life from her womb and who narrates the Hamlet-like story, with revenge in mind. Part comedy, part tragedy, Nutshell manages to keep you guessing right to the last page. In store August 24.

FORMAT: Hardback | PRICE: $32.99

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The Dry by Jane Harper book coverThe Dry

by Jane Harper

Federal police officer Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funeral of his oldest friend Luke Hadler, whose body, along with those of his wife Karen and son Billy, has been found on his farm in the small rural community. It looks very much like a double murder suicide, presumably brought about by the extreme stress being experienced by farmers in the never ending drought. Twenty years earlier Ellie Deacon, a friend of both Falk and Luke’s, had drowned in the local river and the town had blamed Falk. He and his dad had fled Kiewarra for Melbourne and never returned. Now Luke’s parents want his help. They are not convinced their son did kill himself and his family, and it turns out the local cop might agree with them.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers book coverHeroes of the Frontier

by Dave Eggers

Beset by what feel like insurmountable problems, single mother Josie flees her home in Ohio and sets off with her two kids, Paul and Ana, in an old RV to explore Alaska. Imagining a new life without the lawsuits, the guilty conscience, the next to useless ex-partner and the infuriating other parents at her kids’ school, Josie drifts across the state encountering a litany of kooky characters and situations. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to matter how far she goes or how many glasses of wine she drinks, Josie cannot avoid her own past or the reality of present day America. By turns hilariously funny, biting and poignant, Dave Eggers’ new novel is a fabulous read.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Bunting Quest (web)The Bunting Quest

by Steven Marcuson

A Claremont map dealer, Steven Marcuson, was fascinated by Bunting’s World Map. How could the west coast of Australia be depicted so accurately 25 years before the accepted date of European discovery? His research led to him to write a fictional thriller concerning the theft of the priceless map and a 400 year old religious mystery that results in people being prepared to kill to obtain the map.. The question is why?

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.95

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Music and Freedom by Zoe Morrison book coverMusic and Freedom

by Zoe Morrison

What a wonderful debut novel this is. In Oxford in 2005 an elderly woman, Alice Murray, spends her days performing four tasks. She files away sheet music; she burns all her husband’s books and papers; she makes mysterious phone calls and she strikes notes on a Steinway. Alice is also slowly starving herself to death. And then she hears music, a piano being played. It sounds as though it is coming from next door, but she knows the house to be vacant. Whoever is playing the music is making mistakes and Alice can not stop herself from sounding out corrections on her own piano, thus beginning a musical conversation that will save her life.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler book coverVinegar Girl

by Anne Tyler

Twenty nine year old Kate Battista lives in her childhood home with her scientist father Louis and teenage sister Bunny. Years ago she was expelled from college and has never bothered to re-apply, instead slowly sliding into a life of caring for her father and sister while working as an aid at a nearby pre-school. Not one to suffer fools gladly, Kate is sharp, witty and abrupt with practically no social skills. When Louis thinks he is in danger of losing the best assistant he’s ever had – Russian Pyotr Shcherbakov, in the US on a special visa about to expire – he hatches a plan for Kate and Pyotr to marry, thus providing the latter with a green card. Needless to say, Kate is not thrilled and drama ensues. Pyotr’s language skills and Kate’s hilarious exchanges with both parents and children at her school provide much of the comedy in this light romance, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Barkskins by Annie Proulx book coverBarkskins

by Annie Proulx

Late in the 17th century two Frenchmen, Charles Duquet and René Sel, travel to New France as indentured labourers. In exchange for three years work felling trees they are promised land of their own. Duquet does a bunk, becomes a fur trader and eventually founds a timber empire Duke & Sons. Sel remains, marries a native woman and lives a tough life. Annie Proulx’s new novel follows these two men and their descendants over the following three hundred years as the forests of North America suffer a decimation equaled by that of the native population. Large in scope and length, Barkskins is dramatic, grisly and utterly absorbing.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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