A novel of two men, love, and aching loneliness.
It’s the 1950s in conservative Australia, and Christopher, a young gay man, moves to ‘the City’ to escape the repressive atmosphere of his tiny hometown. Once there, however, he finds that it is just as censorial and punitive, in its own way.
Then Christopher meets Morgan, an Aboriginal man, and the two fall in love — a love that breathes truth back into Christopher’s stifled life. But the society around them remains rigid and unchanging, and what begins as a refuge for both men inevitably buckles under the intensity of navigating a world that wants them to refuse what they are.
In reviving a time that is still so recent yet so vastly different from now, Jay Carmichael has drawn on archival material, snippets of newspaper articles, and photos to create the claustrophobic environment in which these two men lived and tried to love. Told with Carmichael’s ear for sparse, poetic beauty, Marlo takes us into the heartbreaking landscape of a relationship defined as much by what is said and shared as by what has to remain unsaid, and unlived.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I guess my biggest issue was inconsistency. Some of the writing is absolutely beautiful. But somewhere along the way it got a little lost, disjointed ( I got lost) the narrative was evocative, reads like a creative memoir – a “diary” of a time in the recent past that is largely missing from our (Australian) history books and for that point alone is worth reading.
I am busily engaged in Margaret River Open Studios as some of you will be aware, the TBR continues to grow so I thought I would do a quick shout out to the new releases that are sitting on the top of my TBR. I have started the new book from Sandie Docker “The Wattle Island Book Club” (Penguin Random House)- and am loving it.
” A Journalist Infiltrate the Police: Cop” by Valentin Gendrot (Scribe) looks intriguing,
“The Banksia House Breakout” (Ventura Press) from debut author James Roxburgh sounds like a fun and enlightening.
“Brainwaves” from Ziggy Alberts (Commonfolk Publishing) – poetry and prose that you can carry in your bag or pop in your pocket and read when you have a few minutes – inspirational prose.
is a polite request
an invitation into
a vulnerable relationship
between the writer
and the reader
it is an ode
to word of mouth
to paper pages
to hard copies
handed to strangers
shared with lovers
kept with family
to taking chances on books
the entirety of its contents first
to do and practice just that
of which we do so little of today
with books and relationships alike.
was not made for the internet
it was made for you
I hope you find something on my TBR that might interest you.
These are my favourite genres to read and review. In this category a couple of reads really stand out – can you guess which I loved so much? Ill share then next and then add a few other great ones for you to consider adding to your TBR.
THE BEST crime fiction reads of 2019 are:
Darkness for Light
A Caleb Zelic Thriller
J M Green
These reads were both outstanding – as were the series they belong to.
More great crime fiction/thriller reads that I recommend you add to your TBR:
What a fantastic year it has been for readers of all genres. I cannot believe how many 5 star reads I have have had the pleasure to review. Let me start this arduous task of reducing my list to a reasonable number by listing my pick of the best crime fiction reads of 2018. I hope some of these make it onto your shelves.
In no particular order:
The Sunday Girl – Pip Drysdale
All the Hidden Truths – Claire Askew
Second Sight – Aoife Clifford
GreenLight – Benjamin Stevenson
Scrublands – Chris Hammer
The CraftsMan – Sharon Bolton
Man at The Window – Robert Jeffreys
Retribution – Richard Anderson
I, Witness – Niki Mackay
Since We Fell – Denis Lehane
The Wanted – Robert Crais
(Definitely the Best Dogs of All Time
Illustrations by Molly Dyson
It happened in an all staff meeting in February this year. We were discussing our end of year list when Henry, our publisher, mentioned that he was looking for light-hearted gift books to publish in November for Christmas, and finished by saying ‘So if anyone has any ideas…’
He may have meant that comment to be taken rhetorically, but I took it quite literally.
Dogs are the best. There are, and have been, so many great dogs in this world. I reeled off a list of my favourite dogs from throughout history and suggested that we publish a humorous illustrated gift book about the best dogs of all time and call it (Definitely) The Best Dogs of All Time. I was happy enough just to make the rest of the office laugh, but everyone seemed to be very on board with the idea. I took a couple of nights to write up a proposal and it was jointly commissioned by our Senior Commissioning editor Marika Webb-Pullman and our Art Director Miriam Rosenbloom the following week.
The whole thing was turned around very quickly; I researched and wrote it in about three months at night or on weekends. Miriam Rosenbloom, our art director, suggested approaching Molly Dyson to illustrate it, I already knew Molly and was a huge fan of her work so I was quite thrilled by that happy coincidence and even more so when she said yes. She did such an amazing job working to a very tight schedule and the finished book looks amazing. She has such a unique style, and is fast becoming a highly in-demand designer and illustrator in the music and arts scenes in both Australia and Germany, so I felt very lucky to have her involved.
Our production manager Mick Pilkington described it as ‘shot-gun publishing’ and this seems like an apt description. It was such a fun project to work on and I’m very proud of it.
This is a fun and interesting read, the perfect gift for all dog lovers- however as the English Staffordshire Terrier is not represented on these pages – I have rectified that omission with this image of Bob the Dog – our furbaby and best friend.