The Beautiful Words, by Vanessa McCausland
8 December 2021
Once inseparable, childhood friends Sylvie and Kase haven’t spoken to each other in decades, following a tragedy at the lighthouse one night when they were teenagers. But when out of the blue, Sylvie is invited to Kase’s fortieth birthday party, she begins to yearn for her lost friendship with Kase, and a life she perhaps may have lived differently.
Set between Sydney’s Palm Beach, and an island near Bruny Island, off the coast of Tasmania, The Beautiful Words (published by HarperCollins Publishers, December 2021), is the third novel by Sydney based Australian author Vanessa McCausland. Sylvie learns Kase has enjoyed success as an author in the intervening years, as have the people she surrounds herself with. But despite Kase’s aura of happiness, the now solitary Sylvie, who feels ill at ease among Kase’s ambitious friends, is certain she can detect a discontent simmering below the surface.
But the reunion does more than disturb the slumbering ghosts of their own pasts, and Sylvie and Kase soon discover their mothers, Franny and Eve, had secrets of their own. But in trying to understand happenings that took place before they were born, Sylvie and Kase must confront events that lead to the disintegration of their once close friendship.