Australian Fiction reviews

The Spill by Imbi Neeme

The late, great Inga Clendinnen had a theory that history based on personal recollections could be considered, essentially, ‘fake news’ because we all remember details differently; what seems true fo…

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The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott

‘A farmer lived, but not well.’ The opening line of Robbie Arnott’s second novel, The Rain Heron, grabs you by the throat. The rest of the novel never lets you go. In a swirling display of rich, desc…

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The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

To write this review, obviously, I had to have completed reading the book and that is the sadness for me because I did not want it to end. This absorbing story that incorporates lexicography, diction…

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Sheerwater by Leah Swann

Leah Swann’s debut novel is literary fiction with the tempo of a crime novel. Told over three dramatic days, even astute readers will be stunned by the conclusion.

Ava, the mother of two young boys…

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Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe

Although Stone Sky Gold Mountain is only Mirandi Riwoe’s second work of literary fiction (her first, Fish Girl, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize), she has also written three historical crime nove…

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The Adversary by Ronnie Scott

With his debut novel The Adversary, Ronnie Scott has gifted readers the most relatable coming-of-age narrative I’ve encountered in some time. With a hot and empty Melbourne summer ahead our unnamed p…

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I Don’t Know How That Happened by Oliver Driscoll

The pared-back prose poems in this collection examine the seemingly small details of domestic life. They tell the stories of encounters – moments of contact and subtle conflict – that happen between …

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The Loudness of Unsaid Things by Hilde Hinton

Reading The Loudness of Unsaid Things, I was reminded of two other debut novels that I have also reviewed: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. With both those book…

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The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay

The Animals in That Country is a standout debut novel of 2020. It is the second work of fiction from Laura Jean McKay, following her acclaimed short-story collection, Holiday in Cambodia (2013). Orig…

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The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham

‘The coconut children on the trees need to drop into the water. That way the ocean can carry them to another island, where they can grow.’

Cabramatta, 1998. Vincent Tran has returned after two year…

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