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Book Club

The Serpent's Skin

 

This month our book club pick is The Serpent’s Skin, a novel of overcoming male power, the strength of sibling bonds and the secrets that can haunt a family, from debut author ERINA REDDAN.

ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s a cold and wintery night in 1968 and 10-year-old JJ’s mother isn’t home.The cows are milked, the pigs fed, and her dad won’t answer any questions.

Sarah is the lifeblood of their family, and her absence throws everyone off course:Tessa takes charge,Tim gets in trouble, Philly retreats, and JJ blames herself.Their father works hard to keep up appearances, but something’s not right. It’s always been JJ’s job to cause trouble, and when she can’t leave the clues alone, her sleuthing wreaks havoc in their tight-knit community, and she swears off troublemaking for good.

Fourteen years on, JJ has a new life, a loving partner and a good job. But she puts it all in jeopardy when she stumbles across a chance
to solve the dark mystery of her childhood. While pretending to have made peace with it, she organises a final farewell for her mother so they can all put the past behind them.Will the explosive truth finally set them free? •

The Serpent’s Skin by Erica Reddan is published by Pantera Press

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Would you like Erina Reddan to join your book club catch-up in person or by zoom?

Email us at editor@goodreadingmagazine.com.au and include your contact details (email address, phone number), approximate numbers of members in your club and we’ll pass this on to the author.


 
Next Month's Book Club Pick

Love Objects by Emily maguire

 Nic is a 45-year-old trivia buff, amateur nail artist and fairy godmother to the neighbourhood's stray cats. She's also the owner of a decade's worth of daily newspapers, enough clothes and shoes to fill Big W three times over and a pen collection which, if laid end-to-end, would probably circle her house twice. She'd put her theory to the test, if only the pen buckets weren't currently blocked in by the crates of Happy Meal toys and the towers of Vegemite jars, take-away containers and cat food tins.


Nic's closest relationship is with her niece Lena. The two of them meet for lunch every Sunday to gossip about the rest of the family and bitch about work (they're both checkout chicks: Lena just for now, Nic until they prise her staff discount card from her cold, dead hands).

One Sunday, Nic fails to turn up to lunch and when Lena calls she gets a disconnection message. Arriving at the house she hasn't visited in years ('Too far for you to come, hon. Let's meet in the middle.') she finds her aunt unconscious under an avalanche of stuff.

Lena is devastated that her beloved aunt has been living in such squalor all this time. While Nic is in hospital, she gets to work cleaning things up for her. Her first impulse is to call in the bulldozers and start searching Gumtree for a roomy caravan. But with the help of her reluctantly recruited brother, Will, she gets the job done.

This heroic effort is not appreciated by the plastered up, crutch-wielding Nic. She returns to an empty, alien place unrecognisable as her home and the unbearable pity of her family who have no idea what they've destroyed. How can she live in this place without safety and peace? And how can she ever forgive the niece who has betrayed her?

 

Items 11 to 20 of 117 total

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Set Descending Direction
  1. The Swap

    Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her dreary, isolated island hometown. Whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in – and neither does newcomer Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer.

    After signing up for Freya’s pottery class, Low quickly falls under her spell. Buoyed by Low’s adoration, Freya is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, Low feels a sense of belonging ... until Jamie walks through the studio door. Freya, Jamie and their husbands become fast friends, leaving Low alone once again.

    Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, but instead, it upends their lives.

    And provides Low with the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

    More about this book
  2. The Last Migration

    A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive. How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica. As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny's life begin to unspool. A daughter's yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards - and from. The Last Migration is a wild, gripping and deeply moving novel from a brilliant young writer. From the west coast of Ireland to Australia and remote Greenland, through crashing Atlantic swells to the bottom of the world, this is an ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened, and an epic story of the possibility of hope against all odds.

    More about this book
  3. The Lying Life of Adults

    Giovanna's pretty face has changed: it's turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself? She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape. 

    More about this book
  4. A Repurposed Life

    As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive. More about this book
  5. The Diary of a Young Girl

    Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic-a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupyin... More about this book
  6. Close Your Eyes

    I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing
    Someone is coming
    They're going to find me

    A mother and her teenage daughter are found brutally murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and t... More about this book
  7. Reckoning

    Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia's most beloved performers, tells her story.

    In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of ... More about this book
  8. The Worst Woman in Sydney

    Matriarch of the criminal underworld or the Robin Hood of inner Sydney?

    The legend of Kate Leigh, Sydney's famed brothel madam, sly grog seller and drug dealer, has loomed large in TV's Underbelly and every other account of Sydney's cr... More about this book
  9. An Isolated Incident

    When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm descends.

    Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella's beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid a... More about this book
  10. Mannix

    Daniel Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne from 1917 until his death, aged ninety-nine, in 1963, was a towering figure in Melbourne's Catholic community. But his political interventions had a profound effect on the wider Australian nation too.

    ... More about this book

Items 11 to 20 of 117 total

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