Page 525 of our reviews

The Spare Room: Helen Garner

Helen Garner’s new novel starts with a woman called ‘Helen’ putting out fresh sheets for a friend who’s coming to stay, and thinking: what colour should they be? Helen’s friend, Nicola – lovely, play…

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Luke Davies: God of Speed

The book opens in 1973 with Howard Hughes, enigma and twentieth-century icon, hidden from the world in a London hotel room, where he sits in bed waiting for the dawn and a meeting with an old friend.…

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Disquiet: Julia Leigh

Disquiet is the much awaited second novel from Australian Julia Leigh, whose first book The Hunter was critically acclaimed both here and overseas. While the length of this work may be a disappointme…

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The Biographer: Virginia Duigan

This is a sad book about successful people living in fear of judgment and discovery. Duigan has written about a complex woman in her second book, The Biographer. Greer Gordon is a woman who makes de…

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The Abstinence Teacher: Tom Perotta

Tom Perotta is a master of smart suburban satire (Election, Little Children), specialising in hot-button issues at the heart of the American psyche. In *The Abstinence Teache*r, Perotta takes on the …

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The Dark Lantern: Gerri Brightwell

London, 1893. The Bentleys, Mina and Robert, are recently returned from France and the old Mrs. Bentley is on her deathbed. 32 Cursitor Road is in flux; above stairs and below stairs all is not as it…

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The Lifeboat: Zacharey Jane

The Lifeboat is a beautiful fable about an old couple found at sea. They have no memory of who they are or where they have come from. It is narrated by a young interpreter from the unnamed island nat…

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The Invention of Everything Else: Samantha Hunt

Novels that reimagine history walk a difficult line – too much factual detail and they become an untrustworthy biography, too little and they disrespect the framework of their story. Samantha Hunt av…

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Northline: Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin’s style of writing is almost script-like, reminding the reader of a David Lynch film. The story centres around Alison Johnson, a 22-year-old high school drop-out with self-destructive t…

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American Journeys: Don Watson

American Journeys is a very, very fine book. In 2005, Watson spent almost six months on and off criss-crossing America, across the Amtrak tracks and its roads and highways. Watson’s America is not th…

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