Reviewer: LS

By this author

book September 09, 2017

The Choke

Miles Franklin-winner Sofie Laguna has developed such a characteristic literary style that it’s easy to forget that The Choke is only her third novel for adults. Here, her child narrator is Justine Lee, who is 10 in the early ’70s when the …

book September 02, 2017

The Museum of Words

“A memoir of dying is exceptionally wrenching,” wrote the novelist Tom Rachman in 2016, “because we know the end at the beginning, and so meet with an effortful, pulsing person who will soon be neither.” In the pages of The Museum of Words, …

book August 12, 2017

The Lone Child

Anna George’s first book was the well-regarded crime thriller What Came Before. Her new novel, The Lone Child, is less criminal and more psychological in focus, but it’s just as thrilling. It’s a story about the effects of motherhood …

book July 22, 2017

My Lovely Frankie

In My Lovely Frankie, the acclaimed YA writer Judith Clarke’s latest novel, Tom Rowland is 16 years old in the 1950s when he has a religious epiphany of sorts. He’s so struck that he defies the wishes of his loving but not terribly observant …

book July 15, 2017


In the prologue of Mark Brandi’s award-winning debut novel, Wimmera, something unusual is discovered by two young boys in a fast-flowing river. It’s a green wheelie bin with the lid bolted on, “like someone wanted it closed up really tight …

book June 17, 2017

Half Wild

“Fictionalised biographies – novels based on the life of a famous person – are ten-a-penny,” wrote the novelist Jonathan Gibbs in 2014. “And why not? ... Other people – the actual biographers – have done the hard work.” Gibbs’s sentiment …

book June 10, 2017

The Gulf

Coming-of-age stories about teenagers in peril are commonplace but Anna Spargo-Ryan’s delightful second novel, The Gulf, is exceptional in many ways. It’s the story of 16-year-old Skye, who lives in Adelaide with her mother, bank teller Linda, …

book May 27, 2017

To Become a Whale

Australian coastal Gothic coming-of-age novels are perennially popular with readers and they come with a number of conventions. Ben Hobson’s debut, To Become a Whale, taps all of them neatly. It’s set in 1961, in coastal Queensland. Our sensitive, …

book April 22, 2017

For a Girl

In her memoir For a Girl, Mary-Rose MacColl quotes the American poet Louise Bogan. “No woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her art, a portion of its lost heart.” It’s apt, because throughout her harrowing …