Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

18 Apr 2013

BiP eNews 18/04/2013

The Memory Trap by Andrea Goldsmith $29.99 pb
What do you do when your much-loved husband of twelve years drops a bombshell? Nina Jameson, a consultant on international memorial projects, decides to leave London and return home to Melbourne. She is looking forward to spending time with her sister Zoe, while starting on a new project. Instead she finds herself caught up in the conflict between Zoe and her husband Elliot, a biographer, and two childhood friends, Ramsay and his younger brother Sean. Are memories true recollections or do we all choose to remember selectively the good or the bad things in our past? Andrea Goldsmith is a wonderful Melbourne writer who brings her characters and her city to life, with great insight into the psychological impact that passion and artistry have on those we love.  A rich and compelling story of marriage, music, the illusions of love and the deceits of memory. I have always been a big fan of Andrea’s books and The Memory Trap does not disappoint.
- Review by Leonie

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow $24.99 pb
Harry and Maddie are the perfect couple who radiate a contented magnetism to all they meet. Claire is young, pretty and ruthless. She enters their orbit and eventually seduces Harry. The revelation of their torrid affair, when it comes, is devastating for Maddie. Told in ‘Great Gatsby’ style through the eyes of Maddie’s old friend Walter, Indiscretion is a confronting tale of love, trust and the brutality of betrayal.
- Review by Christine

Night of Triumph by Peter Bradshaw $29.99 pb
We are told that on the night of VE day the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were allowed out on to the streets of London to mingle with the rejoicing public. In Night of Triumph Peter Bradshaw draws on this revelation to embroider a highly unlikely tale of public hysteria, petty crime and royalty at large. It is an engaging spoof and lots of fun.
- Review by Christine

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson $19.95 pb
Pak Jun Do knows he is special. He knows he must be the son of the master of the orphanage, not some kid dumped by his parents - it was obvious from the way his father singled him out for beatings. He knows he is special when he is picked as a spy and kidnapper for his country, the glorious Democratic Republic of North Korea. He knows he must find his true love, Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, before it's too late. He knows he's not like the other prisoners in the camp. He's going to get out soon. Definitely.
- The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction citation: Awarded to ‘The Orphan Master's Son’ by Adam Johnson, an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide $19.99 pb
Now in paperback, Ashenden was a great success when first published in 2012. It is a charming saga of our architectural heritage and of the connections we have with those who have gone before. Elizabeth Wilhide knows old houses well and with a touch of ‘Downton Abbey’ about it Ashenden comes to life beautifully.
- Review by Christine.

11 Apr 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - Extract

** BIP Staff review by Sue:
Here’s something a little different for all you Scandinavian crime nuts! No, we’re not uncovering bodies in the permafrost, although murder has been committed. Based on a true story, Hannah Kent’s novel brings to life the last days of Agnes Magnusdottir, a condemned murderess. Set in northern Iceland in 1829, the drama of this tale lay in the lead-up to Agnes’ execution.  She is incarcerated with the family of the District Officer and as time passes doubts arise as to her role in the crime.’

They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine. I imagine, then, that we are all candle flames, greasy-bright, fluttering in the darkness and the howl of the wind, and in the stillness of the room I hear footsteps, awful coming footsteps, coming to blow me out and send my life up away from me in a grey wreath of smoke. I will vanish into the air and the night. They will blow us all out, one by one, until it is only their own light by which they see themselves. Where will I be then?

Sometimes I think I see it again, the farm, burning in the dark. Sometimes I can feel the ache of winter in my lungs, and I think I see the flames mirrored in the ocean, the water so strange, so flickered with light. There was a moment during that night when i looked back. I looked back to watch the fire, and if I lick my skin I can still taste the salt. The smoke.

It wasn’t always so cold.

I hear footsteps.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - Book Trailer

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.