The Bookshop on Jacaranda Street: Marlish Glorie

Fifty-something Helen Budd-Doyle has had enough. Her marriage is dead and she lives in a house crammed with ghosts. Her elder son Gabriel is in the army; the other, Vivian, has drifted aimlessly into a mining job up North. One cold morning she chops up her bed, sets fire to it and moves next-door to live with her neighbours Astrid and Hendel. This is the start of a new life for Helen, away from the stifling sadness of her marital home, her bewildered, well-meaning husband Arnold and his piles of junk.

A windfall from an unexpected source leads her to buy a decrepit second-hand book shop from a man in a pub and her sons come home, one to help revivify the business, one to persuade Arnold to let go of his obsessively hoarded treasures. As they pick their way through this uncertain territory, unlikely new connections open up their lives and help reconcile an old family sadness.

This is Marlish Glorie’s first novel and her style can be somewhat clunky at times. She has, however, assembled a collection of pleasingly oddball characters to explore the landscape of family and friendship.

Cover image for The Bookshop on Jacaranda Street

The Bookshop on Jacaranda Street

Marlish Glorie

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