Reviewer: LS

By this author

Books June 22, 2018


Dysfunctional family dynamics are well-worn subjects in fiction, as are the mysterious disappearances of young girls. Novels about Australians’ relationships with the sea, also, are so popular as to be their own genre. None of that matters when the …

Books May 12, 2018

To Throw Away Unopened

Viv Albertine’s first memoir, 2014’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys was a critically acclaimed award winner. Her second is a more intimate deconstruction of the family forces that shaped her, firstly as an …

Books May 05, 2018

Bohemia Beach

It’s been a long time between drinks for Justine Ettler. Marilyn’s Almost Terminal New York Adventure, Ettler’s previous novel, was released in 1996, and her debut prior to that, The River Ophelia, saw her heralded as a star of …

Books April 07, 2018

A Scandal in Bohemia

In 1930-31, the worthy citizens of Melbourne were gripped by a brutal and depraved unsolved murder that filled the tabloids. Mollie Dean, a 25-year-old special education teacher, was sexually assaulted and killed in an Elwood laneway on her way home after …

Books March 24, 2018

Trick of the Light

Four privileged Year 12 students are preoccupied with their upcoming formal and the new ice-cream place they want to try, when their art teacher gives them life-changing advice. “No need to play nice all the time,” she tells them. It resonates, and …

Culture February 17, 2018

The Passengers

Sarah and her granddaughter Hannah are travelling from San Diego to Australia by cruise liner. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as well as the completing of a circle: Sarah was a war bride who left her family back in Sydney in 1946 to sail to the American …

Books February 03, 2018


Children in peril make for gripping stories – think The Brothers Grimm and Dickens, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Light We Cannot See. In Sign, Colin Dray’s debut thriller, the child in question is Sam, a young …

Books December 02, 2017


As Margaret Atwood wrote in The Blind Assassin, “It’s the end of the world every day, for someone.” When a great many people are dead and dying in horrific circumstances in fiction, settings and plots are usually post-apocalyptic: some …

Books November 18, 2017


Ali Smith’s 2016 novel, Autumn, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and acclaimed as the first serious post-Brexit novel. Winter, the second in her “Seasonal Quartet”, is just as stunning and continues Smith’s extreme engagement …