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Book Club

29 June 2023

Great new reads to please even the pickiest of bookworms.

Vanda Symon | Upstart Press, $28
From New Zealand’s ‘queen of crime’ comes this compelling tale set in Dunedin. The shocking murder of a heavily pregnant woman throws the southern city into a tailspin, and the devastating crime feels uncomfortably close to home for Detective Sam Shephard as she counts down the days to her own maternity leave. Confined to a desk job in the department, Sam must find the missing link between this brutal crime and a string of cases involving mothers and children in the past. For Sam, the case becomes personal, when it becomes increasingly clear that no one is safe and the clock is ticking…

Sue McCauley | Bateman, $38

From the author of Other Halves (1982), which won both the Wattie Book of the Year Award and the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction and has sold more than 20,000 copies. It’s the early 1990s in Timaru, and Brewer Howland has killed himself. His wife, Briar, is left stranded in a rapidly changing world. The future she took for granted has been obliterated and she must invent a new one. But how does a sixty-something widow go about creating a future for herself in a world she struggles to comprehend? A wry, pensive, character-driven story, Landed is Sue’s first novel in decades.

The Wind Knows My Name
Isabel Allende | Bloomsbury, $40

Vienna, 1938: Samuel is six when his father disappears during Kristallnacht. As his safety seems ever-harder to guarantee, Samuel’s mother secures a spot for him on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria. Arizona, 2019: Anita and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the US. But their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and seven-year-old Anita finds herself alone at a camp. Intertwining past and present, this powerful novel from the international bestselling author traces the ripple effects of war and immigration.

The Crossing
Sophie Matterson | Allen & Unwin, $38
With echoes of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, The Crossing is an epic true story of leaving everything behind to find purpose, adventure, friendship and even love by crossing 4750km of rugged Australian terrain with five wild camels. In mid-pandemic 2020, aged 31, Sophie set off alone on an 18-month trek from Shark Bay in Western Australia with Jude, Delilah, Charlie, Clayton and Mac, bound for Byron Bay on the east coast, meeting a cast of incredible Outback folk on the way.

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