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Posts tagged ‘Australian writer’

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

This story has much to admire, and Hillman’s writing is beautiful – spare and striking. There is a marvellous clarity about the emotions and situations in this novel.

One cannot help but like Tom. He has a heart, albeit broken, of pure gold. Athough Hannah is rather more complicated, and our engagement with her is threaded through with an uncomfortable and aching pity, we heartily wish her well. Yes, she does seem a bit odd to Australian eyes. That is perfect evidence of Hillman’s masterly rendering of an exotic female character.

The arc of this story is perfectly composed, and the ending realised with suitable tenderness. I found myself feeling most desperately for the boy Peter.

I won’t include spoilers because there is quite a tale – actually quite a few tales – clasped inside this book, with a couple of the weightier storylines bending the main narrative a little out of shape. Some of the character and place names have also been given a cipher-like simplicity, as though they are claiming the archetypal status of an everyman, which sometimes brought me out of the storyline.

These are mere minor quibbles. Overall, this is a wonderful book.

Historical fiction

The plight of humanity is a big theme in wartime and in war writing – for individuals, families and nations alike. After researching Australian war writing for her PhD, Clare’s passion has now inspired her own creative work, The Stars in the Night, which was released in January 2019.

From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders and red dust of inland Australia, Clare’s novel The Stars in the Night is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience featuring the confident young Harry Fletcher.

Harry is sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He’s certain that he will always be there to protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide. Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way. See the Stars.

Save the date! March 20th

The Stars in the Night launch event is confirmed: Wednesday March 20th 2019 at Readings Carlton, 6.30pm. All welcome!