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Five great books set in AUSTRALIA

26th July 2019

Australia is the latest country for us to visit in our Great Books series. Five great book set in Australia.

“People who say ‘There’s nothing to fear from spiders’ have clearly never been to Australia”. Cate Blanchett

Five great books set in AUSTRALIA

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world by surface area, although it only has 26m inhabitants. it is rich in culture (the Sydney Opera House), rich in natural beauty (the Great Barrier Reef) and rich in sporting legends (Don Bradman, Shane Warne, Rod Laver, Herb Elliott and Betty Cuthbert). It is also the home of the outdoor life and the ubiquitous Bar-B-Que

The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat

The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy. Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Townsend is pretty and popular at school. At home, it’s a different story. Dad belts her and Mum’s either busy or battling a migraine. So when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.

She’s not wrong.

Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, because if the school finds out, Jon will lose his job. If Lindsay’s dad finds out, there will be hell to pay. But when a dramatic accident turns her life upside down, Lindsay is separated from the man she loves. Events spiral beyond her control, emotions conflicting with doubt, loneliness and fear, and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking true-life Australian scandal. The schoolyard beauty will discover the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives. Lindsay is forced into the toughest choice of her young life. The resulting trauma will forever burden her heart.

Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.

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The Dry by Jane Harper

Set 500 miles from Melbourne.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime

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Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Perhaps “THE” novel of Australia….Perth, Australia, towards the end of WW2.The Lambs and the Pickles are forced by dint of circumstance to share a run down house on Cloudstreet. Each member has his/her story to tell in lovely rendered detail and everyday experience.

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Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

This sweeping, irrepressibly inventive novel, is a romance, but a romance of the sort that could only take place in nineteenth-century Australia. For only on that sprawling continent–a haven for misfits of both the animal and human kingdoms–could a nervous Anglican minister who gambles on the instructions of the Divine become allied with a teenaged heiress who buys a glassworks to help liberate her sex. And only the prodigious imagination of Peter Carey could implicate Oscar and Lucinda in a narrative of love and commerce, religion and colonialism, that culminates in a half-mad expedition to transport a glass church across the Outback.

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Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn

Seeking asylum from the wreckage of her life, Yvette Grimm arrives in Australia on a holiday visa. She applies for permanent residency with no hope of success. Resisting advice that she marry to stay in the country, Yvette invests her hopes in a palm-reader’s prophecy that she will meet the father of her children before she’s thirty.

She’s twenty-nine.

Set in the excoriating heat of an endless Perth summer, against the backdrop of asylum seekers locked in detention, Asylum is a gripping tale of loss and belonging that is dark, absurd and hilarious by turns.

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For a full listing of our 300+ books set in Australia, please click on this link

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  1. User: Patricia Bowley

    Posted on: 27/07/2019 at 8:32 am

    In my book club we read The Dry. Fabulous book, in fact all members of the club loved it too.


  2. User: Judith Works

    Posted on: 26/07/2019 at 5:45 pm

    Loved The Dry and will check the others out.


  3. User: Leah Tonna

    Posted on: 26/07/2019 at 5:40 pm

    I love Jane Harper’s books, The Dry was brilliantly written & she’s followed it with two more cracking stories. My favourite ‘Australia’ author.


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