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This beautifully crafted book, continually referring to the bees as a symbol of vulnerability, life and hope, creates more empathy in me for asylum seekers than any media or news bulletin. The constant memory of the bees, images of his homeland and his care for Afra, make Nuri courageous and persistent. Through Lefteri’s sensitive, vivid descriptions, I experience the contrast between broken and unbroken worlds, the coldness of bureaucracy, and the different responses of people to trauma.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. Read on >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author AMY STEWART stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • 'Books, and lovers or friends, mark and change us. And we, in turn, mark and change them.' Melbourne novelist CATH CROWLEY writes about her longtime love of secondhand bookshops, and how the histories she found and imagined there led her to write Words in Deep Blue. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. Read on >
  • JIM OBERGEFELL led a class action in the US Supreme Court that established marriage equality nationwide for Americans. Love Wins, co-written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist DEBBIE CENZIPER, is the story of the love that inspired the fight for justice. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • As a teenager, GAYLE FORMAN was so obsessed with ‘80s movie star Molly Ringwald that she started to imitate the actress’s trademark nervous lip bite – and now she has a permanent scar. After seven bestselling YA novels and a successful movie adaption of one of her books, she talks with ANGUS DALTON about her first book for adults, Leave Me. Read on >
  • gr highlights cookbooks to buy for the discerning foodies in your life. Read on >
  • If you set out to write a thriller, you’re going to have to do some research. And while your story will be fiction, you’ll probably uncover more than a few fascinating real-world facts, as Australian thriller author L A LARKIN discovered while researching for her latest novel, Devour. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This beautifully crafted book, continually referring to the bees as a symbol of vulnerability, life and hope, creates more empathy in me for asylum seekers than any media or news bulletin. The constant memory of the bees, images of his homeland and his care for Afra, make Nuri courageous and persistent. Through Lefteri’s sensitive, vivid descriptions, I experience the contrast between broken and unbroken worlds, the coldness of bureaucracy, and the different responses of people to trauma. Read on >

  • Atkinson weaves together several sets of characters who are involved in apparently separate investigations – which all turn out to be closely connected to a criminal ring exploiting the hopes and dreams of young migrant girls who believe they are coming to England for a job in hospitality, but soon find themselves sex slaves. Read on >

  • McEwan’s writing is superb and the storyline intriguing. I did find a couple of the premises he sets up for his characters a bit of a stretch, but we are talking an alternate reality here, so I was happy to let them go and just enjoy the ride. I can see this book starting many a spirited book club debate. Read on >

  • The Carer is divided into three parts. The first is annoyingly repetitive as chapters are given to Phoebe and then to Robert to describe developments. I continued turning the pages, however, and am pleased I did. Parts two and three provide revelations that surprised and rewarded me. Read on >

  • The Braid kept me engaged right through, and delivered an unexpected ending. It is a sweet, uplifting book that communicates a simple message about women’s resilience. I can see The Braid becoming a book club staple. Read on >

  • This is a novel for someone who loves a sweeping Australian drama with romance and hardship thrown in. Read on >

  • This is a novel that breaks the rules. It’s both serious and hilarious. I found it fun, enlightening and thought-provoking even though I didn’t always understand Abdullah’s contemplation of his place in the world. Read on >

  • Are children really a blessing? This novel explores that question through two women, one the mother of an autistic son and the other a career-driven lawyer who has left it almost too late to have a baby. There’s a happy, optimistic ending, despite all the loss, so maybe that’s the ultimate message in this novel. Read on >

  • Disappearing Earth had me by the throat to start but didn’t maintain enough of that momentum to keep me totally engaged. Each of the following chapters focuses on the next 12 months after the girls’ disappearance, with each chapter introducing us to new characters. This pace slows considerably, the initial mystery fading into the periphery as we are introduced to different women in the village. I found it difficult to be connected to new characters, and some confusion began to slip in. I wanted each new character to have more of a connection to the disappearance as well. Read on >

  • Like the bending of light when it passes through glass, The Happiness Glass acknowledges the distortion and elusiveness of memory and, in doing so, captures a harrowing and heartfelt emotional truth so recognisable, it stings. I wish it had been longer. Read on >

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