Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

5 Sep 2014

BiP eNews: New Non-Fiction and Fiction

BiP staff review by Christine

Anzac Girls
by Peter Rees
July 2014 | Allen & Unwin | $29.99pb

I like Peter Rees. He eschews the big historical narrative and focuses on the people who actually carry out War's bidding. His previous book, Lancaster Boys, told the story of Australians in Bomber Command from the perspectives of the terribly young, frightened boys who did the heavy lifting in the RAAF of WW2. In Anzac Girls it is the turn of the very young girls, trained nurses all, who picked up the pieces during WW1 at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in France. Liberally supplied with photos and diary entries Anzac Girls is a necessary adjunct to the ABC TV series of the same name.

BiP staff review by Christine

by Robert Sackville-West
May 2014 | Bloomsbury | $39.99hb

This is one for those who are fascinated by the English aristocracy, the English Country House and the odd bit of salacious history. I am one of these and always read anything I can find on the Sackville-West dynasty. If you are like me, then, you will be both depressed and enlightened by this tale of illegitimacy, scandal and the unfair nature of inheritance, which is the title of Sackville-West's previous book on this intriguing family.

Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles is available to order in pb at $23.99

BiP staff review by Christine

by David Nicholls
Oct 2014 | Hachette | $29.99pb

I haven't read Nicholl's hugely successful One Day but now it's definitely on my to-read list. Us is a very intricate work as it traces Douglas Petersen's journey on a European holiday with his increasingly estranged wife and disaffected teenage son: a ‘Grand Tour’ if you will. I really warmed to Douglas as he narrates his way through the minefield that families sometimes become. In the words of the author: 'If One Day was about friendship and first love, Us is about what comes next.' I can thoroughly recommend it: clever, engaging fiction.

BiP staff review by Christine

Half the World in Winter
by Maggie Joel
Oct 2014 | Allen & Unwin | $29.99pb

London 1880: in the smart terrace house at 19 Cardigan Mews the family is in mourning for nine-year-old Sofia, who died in an horrific drawing-room fire six months earlier. Sofia's father is Lucas Jarmyn, wealthy part-owner of one of the largest railways in Britain. A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice's father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting. Maggie Joel weaves an engrossing tale of grief and the changing times of Victorian Britain. I enjoyed it very much.