Staff Recommendations

Anne, Chris & the team give your their favourites & recommended must-reads.

Anya

Boy Swallows Universe

by Trent Dalton

Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life keeps throwing obstacles in the way, not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. Eli’s life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He’s about to fall in love, not to mention he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day to save his mum.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Aston

French Exit

by Patrick de Witt

Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s their cat, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. The curious trio escape pariahdom and land in Paris – a backdrop for self-destruction and economic ruin. The new scene is peopled by a number of singular characters: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic and Mme. Reynard an aggressive house guest and friendly American expat.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Justine

The True Colour of the Sea

by Robert Drewe

A beguiling young woman nurses a baby by a lake while hiding brutal scars. Uneasy descendants of a cannibal victim visit the Pacific island of their ancestor’s murder. A Caribbean cruise of elderly tourists faces life with wicked optimism. Witty, clever, ever touching and always inventive, the eleven stories in The True Colour of the Sea take us to many varied coasts: whether a tense Christmas holiday apartment overlooking the Indian Ocean or the shabby glamour of a Cuban resort hotel. Relationships might be frayed, savaged, regretted or celebrated, but here there is always the life-force of the ocean – seducing, threatening, inspiring.

FORMAT: Hardback | PRICE: $29.99

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Gabrielle

Transcription

by Kate Atkinson

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past for ever. Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Anne

The Children’s House

by Alice Nelson

A love song to the idea of families in all their mysteries and complexities, their different configurations and the hope that creates them. Marina and her husband, Jacob, were each born on a kibbutz in Israel. They meet years later at a university in California, when Jacob is a successful psychiatrist with a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a convent inhabited by elderly nuns. Outside the house one day Marina encounters Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, and her toddler, Gabriel. Unmoored and devastated, Constance and Gabriel quickly come to depend on Marina; and her bond with the little boy intensifies. The pure, blinding love that it is possible to feel for children not our own is the thread that weaves through The Children’s House. When Marina learns some disturbing news about her long-disappeared mother, Gizela, she leaves New York in search of the loose ends of her life. As Christmas nears, her tight-knit, loving family, along with Constance and Gabriel, join Marina in her mother’s former home, with a startling consequence, an act that will transform all of their lives forever

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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