Reviewer: LS

By this author


Books 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 …

Books 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 …

Books July 15, 2017

Wimmera

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 …

Books 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 …

Books 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, …

Books 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, …

Books 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 …

Books April 15, 2017

See What I Have Done

It’s easy to understand the appeal of a reimagined true crime to novelists. The basics of characters and a scaffolding of plot are readymade and solid – somewhere substantial for the writer to stand while branching off into imagination. Cases with …

Books April 01, 2017

Rubik

The term “experimental fiction” can be used to cover a multitude of sins: an almost petulant obsession with abstraction and a disdainful disregard for the experience of the reader, among them. When it works, though, we have novels in the tradition …