Australian Fiction reviews

We Were Never Friends by Margaret Bearman

I approached this book curiously, thinking, ‘Why George Coates?’ The George Coates I know of was a distinguished war artist, who worked in London and Paris, where he met, and married, fellow art stud…

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Desire Lines by Felicity Volk

Paddy is seven years old when his parents hand him over to the care of the nuns. It is 1952, and some might say he is lucky to get away from his abusive father and the family’s poverty-line existence…

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The Origin of Me by Bernard Gallate

Previously known for his work in children’s literature, Bernard Gallate brings a lightness and sense of play to his debut adult novel, The Origin of Me.

Things aren’t going too well for fifteen-ye…

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The Salt Madonna by Catherine Noske

On the tiny fictional island of Chesil, something is not right. The presence of Mulvey, the overbearing magnate at the top of the hill, looms over the dwindling community, increasingly troubled by th…

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Melting Moments by Anna Goldsworthy

Fans of Anna Goldsworthy’s award-winning writing to date will be delighted – and far from surprised – to find that many of the notable qualities of her nonfiction and memoir writing are adroitly depl…

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The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts

Against a backdrop of familiar ecological catastrophe – fires, floods, and the terrifying spectre of the future of a warmed world – a young woman’s life is unravelling in Sydney’s inner west. She wor…

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Sweetness and Light by Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper’s unsettling, atmospheric second novel, Sweetness and Light, is set first on the west coast of India and later on the east. We initially encounter Australian expat Connor, who is ostensib…

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Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne

Laura McPhee-Browne’s Cherry Beach is an assured debut with a distinct voice. I read it in two nights: cringing and sometimes gasping in recognition. Although set mainly in Toronto, the story also fl…

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The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

Evie Wyld returns with another novel in which narratives converge over historical time, as they did in her Miles Franklin Literary Award-winning All the Birds, Singing. In The Bass Rock, Wyld constru…

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A Couple of Things Before the End by Sean O'Beirne

All hail Sean O’Beirne, and his brilliant debut collection of short stories, A Couple of Things Before the End, a timely excoriation of the nostalgic myths of Australianness. With a master satirist’s…

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