Recently published Australian fiction, April 2023

11 April 2023

It’s been a while since I wrote about recent fiction releases by Australian authors, so here’s a quick round up of a few titles that have arrived on bookshop shelves in the last little while.

The Last Love Note, by Emma Grey, book cover

The Last Love Note, by Emma Grey, an author living near Canberra, is the story of a woman, Kate Whittaker, looking for love following her husband’s death. Based in part on Grey’s own experiences after her husband died, her protagonist struggles to get on with life.

Kate has a son to raise, while holding down a demanding job, and contending with a domineering mother, along with her best friend who is trying to find her a match. Then Kate learns that her boss knows a secret about her past…

The Bell of the World by Gregory Day, book cover

The Bell of the World is the sixth novel from Victorian author, poet, and musician Gregory Day, and is set during early to mid-twentieth century in a rural coastal town called Ngangahook. Sarah Hutchinson, a troubled young woman, returns to Australia after a stint at an English boarding school, to live with her uncle Ferny.

Sarah and Ferny bond over music, poetry, and reading. But their way of life is threatened when local town’s people propose building a bell tower, the chimes of which would surely disrupt the harmonies created by nature.

Resistance, by Jacinta Halloran, book cover

Resistance is the latest novel by Melbourne based author Jacinta Halloran, a former doctor and board member of Australian literary award, the Stella Prize. Nina is a family therapist with a reputation for listening to everything her clients tell her.

But her latest case may be her most challenging. A couple who stole a car and drove into the outback have been ordered to be counselled by her. But something’s not quite right about this couple who are reluctant to see her, and before long Nina begins to fear for the safety of their two children.

We Only Want What's Best, by Carolyn Swindell, book cover

We Only Want What’s Best, is the debut novel of Sydney based writer and stand-up comedian Carolyn Swindell, and is set on a flight between Australia and Los Angeles. Bridget is taking her daughter Becky to Disneyland to perform in a dance recital. Accompanying them is Simone and her daughter, Zahra.

Bridget, who isn’t completely comfortable making the long flight, becomes further unsettled when she finds potentially exploitative photos of Zahra, and other dance troupe girls, on Simone’s phone. The two women struggle to contain the rising tension between them, lest it overwhelms them before the flight lands.

Things She Would Have Said Herself, by Catherine Therese, book cover

Things She Would Have Said Herself, is new fiction from Australian author Catherine Therese, and tells the story of Leslie Bird, the quick tempered matriarch of her family. And while Leslie loves being a wife and mother, there’s a problem: she can’t stand her husband or children.

Despite the difficulty of her role, Leslie does her best to conceal the pain she feels, and the losses she has suffered. But the pressure of organising and hosting Christmas lunch for her extended family, may cause everything to unravel in spectacular fashion.


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