New Fiction Releases

Outside Looking In

by T C Boyle

It is Harvard in the early 1960s. Just off campus, Dr Timothy Leary plays host for his PhD students, laying on a spread of cocktails, pizza and LSD. Among the guests is Fitzhugh Loney, a psychology student, and his librarian wife Joanie. Married young, and both diligently and unglamorously toiling to support their son, they are not the sort of people one would expect to be seduced by the nascent drug culture. But their nights on LSD prove so extraordinary – so revelatory, so earth-shattering, so downright seductive – that Fitzhugh and Joanie are soon captive to the whims of the charismatic and subversive Dr Tim. Follow Fitzhugh and Joanie on their quest for transcendence, as sultry Mexican nights at Hotel Catalina give way to a ramshackle mansion in upstate New York, where thirty devotees – students, wives and children – play out the final act of a terrible, beautiful experiment.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo

by Christy Lefteri

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.
FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Electric Hotel

by Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith’s The Electric Hotel winds through the nascent days of cinema in Paris and Fort Lee, New Jersey–America’s first movie town–and on the battlefields of Belgium during World War I. A sweeping work of historical fiction, it shimmers between past and present as it tells the story of the rise and fall of a prodigious film studio and one man’s doomed obsession with all that passes in front of the viewfinder. For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films, who started out as a concession agent for the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel–the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose–the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments and reels in desperate need of restoration, and Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’. In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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The Other Half Of Augusta Hope

by Joanna Glen

Augusta Hope has never felt like she fits in. At six, she’s memorising the dictionary. At seven, she’s correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi.
And now that she’s an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia. When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta’s life, she’s propelled headfirst into the unknown. She’s determined to find where she belongs – but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away?

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The Island of Sea Women

by Lisa See

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epic set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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The Hidden

by Mary Chamberlin

Dora Simon is comfortable in her retirement, indulging her interests in gardening and music. Joe O’Cleary is content on the Jersey farm he helped rebuild with its owner, Geoffrey Laurent, with time to pursue his life-long hobby of birdwatching. But their worlds are shattered by the arrival of Barbara Hummel, a young German anxious to track down the identity of a mysterious woman whose photograph she found among her mother’s possessions. Forced to resurrect long-buried secrets, and confront a past they never thought they would revisit, Dora and Joe’s lives unravel – and entwine – in shocking and surprising ways. Trapped in the Channel Islands under the German occupation in the Second World War, Dora, a Jewish refugee, conceals her identity; Joe, a Catholic priest, conceals a secret. The consequences of the lies both are forced to live are as unexpected as they are devastating.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $26.99

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The Dissent of Annie Lang

by Ros Franey

Growing up in a strict religious family in the 1920s, Annie Lang is witness to disturbing events that no one will explain. Only the family dog may know the answers.
Six years on, student Annie returns from France to find her beloved brother in a mental hospital and her ally, the Sunday school teacher, vanished without trace. With the help of her childhood diary, and sister Beatrice, Annie turns detective to unearth the truth. Her journey leads to a discovery so disturbing that she believes it will ruin all their lives, unless they can atone for the past. Ros Franey beautifully captures that point when a child can sense, and indeed dissent against, secrets that adults think they are too young to grasp. Impulsive, brave and lovable, Annie Lang is formidable when she takes matters into her own hands.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Too Much Lip (Winner 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award)

by Melissa Lucashenko

Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.
Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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The Friend (Winner of the 2018 US National Book Award for Fiction)

by Sigrid Nunez

When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatised by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog’s care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unravelling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $22.99

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Fleishman is in Trouble

by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Finally free from his nightmare of a marriage, Toby Fleishman is ready for a life of online dating and weekend-only parental duties. But as he optimistically looks to a future that is wildly different from the one he imagined, his life turns upside-down as his ex-wife, Rachel, suddenly disappears. While Toby tries to find out what happened – juggling work, kids and his new, app-assisted sexual popularity – his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if he ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it all that clearly in the first place . . .

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Machines Like Me

by Ian McEwan

Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: what makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns of the power to invent things beyond our control.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Age of Light

by Whitney Scharer

One cool day in 1929, Lee Miller arrives in bohemian Paris to pursue her dream of being an artist, having left behind a successful modelling career at Vogue. Gorgeous and talented, she catches the eye of renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray and convinces him to hire her as his assistant. Man is an egotistical, charismatic force, and soon their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined. As Lee begins to assert herself, and moves from being a muse to an artist, Man’s jealousy spirals out of control, and their mutual betrayals threaten to destroy them both . . .The Age of Light is a powerfully sensuous tale of ambition, love, and the personal price of making art. In this immersive debut novel, Whitney Scharer has brought a brilliant and pioneering artist out of the shadow of a man’s story and into the light.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Spring

by Ali Smith

The third instalment in the inventive novel cycle, the Seasonal Quartet. Spring will come. The leaves on its trees will open after blossom. Before it arrives, a hundred years of empire-making. The dawn breaks cold and still but, deep in the earth, things are growing.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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New Crime Releases

Scholar

by Dervla McTiernan

When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. A security card in the dead woman’s pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research. The enquiry into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure. As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $19.99

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