Nine Naughty Questions with… Mary Jo Putney, author of Not Always A Saint

9781420127171The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Mary Jo Putney

author of Not Always A Saint and many more…

Nine Naughty Questions


1. Headless washboard abs, a torrid embrace, the sprawling homestead, an elegantly dressed décolletage, or the vaguely kinky object against a dark background – what’s your favourite type of romance cover and why?

I like having people on the cover, preferably a couple in a moment of tenderness and emotion.  Note: tenderness – crazed, stoat-like passion isn’t as interesting. But it can be difficult to get a cover with two really appropriate looking people–male models are often too young and they lack gravitas – so a single appealing person is also good.  My publisher, Kensington, has done some very fine covers of women in gorgeous gowns which may not be historically accurate, but – GORGEOUS!

2. What is the secret life of a romance writer? What goes on between you and your keyboard (or quill) behind closed doors?

I look at my computer, my computer looks at me.  I pause to pet whatever cat is lying in front of the keyboard. I sigh with frustration.  Real progress tends to kick in only when deadline panic looms!

Mary Jo Putney

3. At the heart of a romantic story is the way in which the main characters reveal their true natures to each other. How much of yourself do you put into your characters, and have their stories been affected by your personal experiences?

I think it’s necessary to have empathy with all characters in order to make them believable, so all of mine have some connection with my own experiences.  Sometimes the original experience is transmuted into an event so different that only I understand the connection – but that connection must be there.

4. I’m interested in how you differentiate between romance fiction, erotica and porn. Are romance readers getting naughtier?

The heart of a good romance is the developing relationship.  It’s how two people fall in love, develop trust, overcome challenges, and make a deep, lasting commitment.  There may or may not be graphic sexuality – some of the most wonderful romantic stories I’ve ever read were “sweet” books such as those by Eva Ibbotson and Georgette Heyer.  What matters is the relationship.

In erotica, graphic sexuality is essential.  The erotica that is written for the romance genre has the sexuality, but relationships are an essential part of the mix.   Porn is sex for sex’s sake, and there may be elements of “Sex is dirty and isn’t that great!”

I don’t know if I’d say that romance readers are getting naughtier, but there is a very large market for very hot books.  A well known writer friend of mine speculates that perhaps the genre might split in two, with one part focusing more on the relationships and the other on the sexuality.  I don’t know if it will happen, but it’s an interesting theory!

97814201271715. Please tell us about your latest novel! Did you have a secret alternative title while you were writing it?

Actually, no!  As soon as I started thinking about the characters and the story I thought of that title, and it was so right that I never considered anything else.  Luckily, my editor and publisher agreed with me.

Grab a copy of Not Always A Saint here

6. What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve received after a friend or family member read one of your books?

Mostly they want to know when the next book will be out.

7. Romance writers are sometimes denigrated and asked when they’ll write ‘real’ books – what do you tell the haters?

I’ve never actually been asked that question, but if I was, I’d say something like, “I love what I write and they sure look like real books to me!”  If I was feeling catty, I might ask, “How many romances have you actually read?”  Often the answer would be “none.” But my friends and family are too polite to actually ask such rude questions.

8. Romance readers love discovering new authors. Please tell us about five books you recently read and loved to bits.

1) The Spring Bride by my friend Anne Gracie.  A delicious Regency historical, and third in her Chance Sisters series.the-spring-bride
2) Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs.  She’s a terrific urban fantasy writer who creates wonderful relationships.
3) The Hanged Man by P. N. Elrod.  It’s a Victorian/steampunk/urban fantasy/mystery and the first in a new series.  Pat Elrod is a terrific writer, and the book was a real page turner, with a nice little bit of romance as well.
4) The Year We Fell Down, Book 1 of The Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen.  This is New Adult romance, intelligent and intensely emotional.  In the first book, the heroine was an athlete who had a life changing accident that put her in a wheelchair, and the hero is an athlete who smashed up his leg and is living in the room across the hall. It’s brilliantly done.
5) The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison is a fantasy novel, and a finalist for the Hugo for best novel of the year, which is the top award in American science fiction.  The youngest, mixed blood, and most despised son of the elven emperor, Maia is raised far from the court in virtual exile.  Then his father and older brothers die in an airship accident and Maia is suddenly emperor.  But while he is young and under-educated, he is not stupid.  It’s a great story with great worldbuilding.

9. Please tell us your favourite scene from your latest book, and why it’s particularly delicious!

I was still working on Not Always a Saint when my publisher, Kensington, asked what I’d like for a cover.  I didn’t have much time to think about it, so I said, “The heroine is in a gorgeous red gown sweeping up a staircase and peering mischievously over her shoulder.”  Artist Jon Paul Ferrara did exactly that, and the result is spectacular!   So I wrote the wedding night scene to match the cover. Daniel and Jessie had a lot of fun that night.

Mary, thank you for playing.

9781420127171Not Always A Saint

The Lost Lords Series : Book 7

by Mary Jo Putney

After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.

Most men would be thrilled to learn they’ve inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling. Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife-a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is more…

Grab a copy of Not Always A Saint here

BOOK REVIEW: Flower Addict by Saskia Havekes (Review by Caroline Baum)

Flower AddictIf you love flowers, nature, beauty or art start dropping hints now for Christmas if you want to get your hands on this magnificent book by Sydney-based A-list florist, Saskia Havekes, and her team at Grandiflora. 

Dipping flowers in wax or encasing them in blocks of ice, Havekes is always experimenting and pushing the limits, whether working on a small bouquet or on a grand scale for a special event. Her bold ideas about colour, composition and texture demonstrate why she has developed a devoted following in the world of art, fashion and design. 

Writing expressively about her vocation, she pays generous tribute to her suppliers, growers and collaborators, her clients from brides to glossy magazines. 

This book, covering a year’s projects, is a lasting way to extend the pleasure of flowers long after the blooms have faded.

Grab your copy of Flower Addict here

Flower Addict

by Saskia Havekes

SaskiaSaskia Havekes is at the forefront of artistic flower arranging in Australia. Grandiflora is an oasis of beautiful blooms, sculptural branches and lush swathes of foliage at Potts Point in inner-city Sydney.

Saskia’s large-scale installations and breathtaking arrangements are luxurious and bold, stemming from a deep love and appreciation of nature. 

In Flower Addict, Saskia shares some of her favourite floral moments, photographed by Nicholas Watt, who captures all the passion and originality of her work.

Grab your copy of Flower Addict here

Nine Naughty Questions with… Julie Anne Long, author of The Legend of Lyon Redmond

the-legend-of-lyon-redmondThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Julie Anne Long

author of The Legend of Lyon Redmond and many more…

Nine Naughty Questions


1. Headless washboard abs, a torrid embrace, the sprawling homestead, an elegantly dressed décolletage, or the vaguely kinky object against a dark background – what’s your favourite type of romance cover and why?

Some of those covers are pretty artful and striking (a certain gray necktie against a black background springs to mind), but for my genre I love covers that capture true emotion and kind of tell a story with the visual. Which is why I completely love the cover of The Legend of Lyon Redmond. Not only is there dynamic movement (which we don’t seem to see very often on covers), it’s so…poignant. The emotion, the longing, the joy, the pain, is all there. I think it captures the story PERFECTLY and I was beside myself with happiness when I first saw it.

2. What is the secret life of a romance writer? What goes on between you and your keyboard (or quill) behind closed doors?

Blood sweat and tears! I’ve typed the “e” and “t” letters clean off the keys of my laptop, that’s how impassioned it gets behind closed doors. And by night I don a black unitard and cat ears and fight crime.

3. At the heart of a romantic story is the way in which the main characters reveal their true natures to each other. How much of yourself do you put into your Author: Julie Anne Longcharacters, and have their stories been affected by your personal experiences?

I think all my characters are me and I am all my characters. Very broadly speaking, that is. I think a writer can only only tell a story through the filter of her own view of the world and her own experiences, so my own experiences colour every character I create, and the actions and feelings of those characters. None of my characters or the events in my books have been drawn specifically from real life, but they’ve been shaped by my interpretation of real life, if that makes sense.

Empathy is pretty important, I think. You have to crawl right inside your characters and BE them, feel their feelings, see what they see, in order to make them seem real to the reader.

4. I’m interested in how you differentiate between romance fiction, erotica and porn. Are romance readers getting naughtier?

Nah, readers have always had a naughty streak. I think the genre has…diversified, shall we say? Fragmented? Specialized? E.g., I just read a Faith Baldwin romance written in the 30’s (she was kind of the Nora Roberts of her day—an incredibly prolific, charming writer who wrote into the 70’s, I believe, and a number of her books were made into movies), and it featured two love interests, one of whom was a married man, and she flew a plane because her father owned an airline. And none of this was treated as any big deal in the story —every character was well-rounded and sympathetic. This was a “penny romance,” basically what we consider a typical mass market today. Now today we’d find most of these themes in another genre, maybe—women’s fiction?

I don’t write erotica or porn, so I don’t have definitions of those genres at my fingertips and I don’t consider myself an expert, and would never speak for the writers of those genres. I would imagine it relates to the emphasis in the story—romance fiction might place the emphasis on the emotions, with sex a net result of that; with erotica, the emotions might originate from or result from the physicality; porn seems to be more focused on the physical, with an emotional arc not critical to the genre.

the-legend-of-lyon-redmond5. Please tell us about your latest novel! Did you have a secret alternative title while you were writing it?

I always knew what it was called, truthfully!

Grab a copy of The Legend of Lyon Redmond here

6. What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve received after a friend or family member read one of your books?

One guy friend read my first book (The Runaway Duke) and asked why the heroine didn’t “karate chop in the larynx” a guy who made an untoward pass at her. I had to gently explain that most Regency Romance heroines don’t necessarily default to karate. At least he was indignant on her behalf and wanted her to be able to defend herself.

7. Romance writers are sometimes denigrated and asked when they’ll write ‘real’ books – what do you tell the haters?

I’ve been fortunate that most people I’ve personally encountered are more intrigued and supportive than anything else. Usually the denigrators are people who’ve never actually read a romance, or 1be45016e9bb2a2e11e845e16cc9963eread one once, say, in 1985, and decided on the basis of that they didn’t like the genre. Would you decided you hated all of, say, Asian cuisine if you tasted a pot sticker and decided you didn’t like it? I use that analogy, frequently: there are a vast number of genres and sub-genres and voices in romance, and there are a near infinite number of ways to tell a love story—and that’s what a romance novel is. Don’t we enjoy romantic films? A romance is similar, in that (if the book is doing its job) you’re immersed in the story and rooting for the hero and heroine to reach a happy ending. What could possible be objectionable about that? Writing quality varies, but quality is subjective. Romance has something for everyone.

One thing I’ve encountered puzzles me: often writers who consider themselves journalists—and are frequently very good ones—feel free to make generalisations or use romance-oriented metaphors (usually involving the words “bodice ripper” or “Fabio”) that are incredibly, jarringly dated and incorrect. I wonder: why would someone who would normally be careful with facts be careless about this kind of thing? Five or ten minutes of googling would probably provide a good quick education about today’s romances.

I think the media helps perpetuate generalisations about the genre, but I’ve found that once you get a chance to patiently explain it, readers are usually intrigued and open.

the-husband-s-secret8. Romance readers love discovering new authors. Please tell us about five books you recently read and loved to bits.

I’ve glommed Liane Moriarty (The Husband’s Secret and all her others—fantastic vibrant voice, a great balance of warmth, wit and depth, great characterisations, the perfect blend of lightness and darkness) and Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher mysteries—fabulous history, very unique heroine who unapologetically takes lovers willy nilly) recently. That’s a lot of books right there :)

9. Please tell us your favourite scene from your latest book, and why it’s particularly delicious!

Oh my goodness….I had such a wonderful time writing It Started with a Scandal that I woke up a little sad the day after I turned it in, because I was sorry I wasn’t going to be spending the day with Lavay and Elise. I had moved in with them for so long, so to speak.

I loved writing every scene, but one of my favourites is between Lavay and Elise after his assembly, where he finally learns the entirety of her secret. A little drunk, full of warring emotions, he rings for her, and manages, with a sort of controlled, tender, ferocity, reveal to her what he knows about her past…and to create a safe place (or as safe as any place that includes a dangerously appealing man can be) for her to tell him more about it…and he also grills her. And this is where they sort of…negotiate…what they’re going to do about their feelings, not to mention their overwhelming desire, for each other. There are a lot of layers of things going on in this scene and it was a bit of a crescendo.

Julie, thank you for playing.

The Legend of Lyon Redmond

the-legend-of-lyon-redmondThe Pennyroyal Green Series : Book 11

by Julie Anne Long

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An Enduring Legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the more…

Grab a copy of The Legend of Lyon Redmond here

Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti visit Booktopia to tell us about ZEROES!

Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti are all big names in the book world in their own right. But when we heard about them joining forces to write a book together, we kind of freaked out. This is a big deal, and we were lucky enough to have all of them visit Booktopia HQ to sign copies of their new book Zeroes and record a podcast with our Queen of YA Sarah.

The Podcast will be uploaded soon on iTunes and Soundcloud, but for now you can just look at the logistical balancing act of having three sensational authors all signing at the same time. It’s good, but not ZEROES good.

Grab your signed copy before we run out!

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Grab your copy of ZEROES here


by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

zeroesIntroducing ZEROES – featuring six unique superheroes, one bag of stolen drug money, one bungled bank robbery and a whole heap of trouble. All adding up to one outstanding YA series by three extraordinary writers.

Don’t call them heroes. But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart.

Ethan aka Scam has a voice inside him that’ll say whatever people want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t – like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, aka Bellwether, the group’s ‘glorious leader.’ After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. At the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening instalment of a thrilling new series.

About the Authors

Scott Westerfeld is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Uglies and Leviathan trilogies. His novel So Yesterday won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. His latest solo novel is Afterworlds.

Margo Lanagan has won four World Fantasy Awards for her short stories and for her novels Tender Morsels and Sea Hearts. Her work has also been shortlisted in the Hugo and Nebula awards and longlisted in the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and for the Carnegie Medal.

Deborah Biancotti has published two short story collections. Her Aurealis-shortlisted Bad Power explored ordinary people discovering their superpowers. All three authors live in Sydney, where they are part of the overlapping communities of writers of genre and young adult fiction. They meet weekly at a pub to keep the Zeroes series on track and squabble about characters’ motivations.

Grab your copy of ZEROES here

BOOK REVIEW: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Review by John Purcell)

Charlotte WoodCharlotte Wood’s latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, seethes with an anger the source of which doesn’t seem to be the text itself. Speaking with her, she does admit on reading an early draft to being surprised at discovering this underlying anger in her novel.

Charlotte’s last novel, Animal People, sought out the smoothed over hypocrisy of modern life. The sound of muffled laughter accompanied each page.

The Natural Way of Things is different. Different to her other work in many ways. There is Charlotte’s crisp realism, her economy of words, her precision, but she has used these tools to conjure up an alternative present, one which sits frighteningly close to reality. A plausible dystopian vision.

The books opens with two women waking in some sort of prison, they have been drugged and are groggy. Neither woman can conceive of how they might have come to be in prison. Neither woman can make sense of the way they are being treated.

A few pages in and we find that these women are not alone. There are other women, and the one thing all seem to share is that they have been involved in some sexual scandal, or were the victims of sexual abuse, or were young women having fun. Too much fun, their incarceration seemed to declare.

Born of the incessAnimal Peopleant reporting of sexual crimes against women where the victim is made out to be the perpetrator, The Natural Way of Things takes this world only one or two steps forward. Shaming women in the media might not be enough for the next government. Australia has been guilty of locking up women for less in the past, and a future government might find it expedient to punish women for being victims of sexual crimes. This makes Charlotte angry, it seems. So she wrote The Natural Way of Things from this reservoir of anger without quite realising it. And what she has written will be one of the most talked about novels of the year. Because unlike a lot of us when we’re angry, Charlotte kept her cool.

For a limited time only, pre-order The Natural Way of Things and you will receive a signed copy. Please note:
offer available while stocks last.

The Natural Way of Things
by Charlotte Wood

She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, ‘I need to know where I am.’ The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, ‘Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.’

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’.

The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world?

Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves…

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage…

About the Author

Charlotte Wood profile picCharlotte Wood is an Australian fiction writer.

Her fourth novel, Animal People, will be released by Allen & Unwin in October 2011. Her
most recent work was to edit Brothers & Sisters, a collection of short stories and non-f
iction about siblings by 12 of Australia’s finest writers.

Her last novel, The Children, was described by Australian Book Review as “a graceful and empathetic portrayal of one family seeking to understand itself,” and The Australian described her as “a captivating, questing writer whose work is well worth watching”.

The Children was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Association’s literary fiction book of the year. Charlotte’s previous novel, The Submerged Cathedral, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in its region 2005.

Her first book, Pieces of a Girl, was also shortlisted for several prizes.

Visit Charlotte Wood’s Booktopia Author Page

       The Submerged CathedralThe ChildrenLove and Hunger

BOOK REVIEW: Reckoning by Magda Szubanksi (Review by John Purcell)

MagdaPretend you have never heard the name Magda Szubanski. I know it’s difficult. You’re probably already picturing her as Sharon Strzelecki in Kath and Kim, or as Esme Hoggett in Babe, or as Pixie-Anne Wheatley or Chenille from Fast Forward.

But do try. Reckoning isn’t a celebrity memoir. Magda’s story is rich, beautifully told and moving. The daughter of Polish and Scottish migrants, it’s a thoroughly Australian story. Like Raimond Gaita’s Romulus, My Father, Madga’s memoir centres on her relationship with her father. The thing is, the man who was Magda’s father, the man who mowed the lawn, joined the local tennis club, wore shorts and long socks, wasn’t y
our regular suburbanite.

He was an assassin.

You know, the usual story.

A migrant’s daughter’s memoir, Reckoning is at once light and dark, the way we ourselves are light and dark. It is the work of a writer whose own family’s story led her further and further into a past that was complex and strange, dangerous and surprising, and of her own story which led her out into the spotlight.

For a limited time only, pre-order Reckoning and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: 
offer available while stocks last.

For a limited time only, pre-order Reckoning and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: offer available while stocks last.

by Magda Szubanksi

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.

In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.


About the Author

Magda Szubanski
Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV’s Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning is her first book.

For a limited time only, pre-order Reckoning and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: 
offer available while stocks last.

Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett is Caroline Baum’s Book of the Month

9781743535943Booktopia’s Editorial Director, Caroline Baum reviews Shirley Barrett’s Rush Oh! which features in The Buzz as Caroline’s Book of the Month.

It’s unusual to move from writing films to writing novels. Most people try to go in the other direction. Shirley Barrett made her reputation with the film Lovesong Serenade, demonstrating her comic sensibility and ability to write characters that were both ordinary and slightly absurd. Now she’s turned a screenplay she had held on to for ten years into a briny novel about a small whaling community on the south coast of NSW.

Its flavour is both salty and sweet, thanks to the marvellously embodied voice of the narrator, Mary, the eldest child of the Davidson family, a dynasty of whalers at Eden on the NSW south coast who learned to work in unique unison with the local pod of killer whales.

The story is based on real life events: between 1840 and 1930 a pod of killer whales did indeed chase humpbacks into Twofold Bay, herding them into its waters where they were only interested in consuming their tongues, leaving the rest of their valuable carcasses to the hardy men of the town to boil down the blubber and process the whalebone.

Barrett’s evocation of the hunting scenes, based on accounts of the time, is especially vivid and really conveys the peril of the men and the terrible bloody agony of the whales. But what lifts Rush Oh! to another level is Mary’s singular voice: she is a somewhat spinsterish, a pedantically earnest and literal blue stocking who actually wears blue stockings, capable of making deadpan droll observations that would be quite at home in the work of Annie Proulx. Mary’s awkward flirtation with newcomer John Beck, a slightly mysterious preacher who joins her father’s whaling crew, offers plenty of scope to Barrett when it comes to gently mocking light-hearted fun.

Like Rosalie Ham, Barrett excels at small scale tightly-knit community with her miniaturist’s appreciation of the telling detail. She brings a fresh eye to a little known episode of Australian history with spirit and warm-hearted originality.

Photos of Shirley Barrett’s recent visit to Booktopia!

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Grab a copy of Rush Oh! here

Caroline Baum has worked as founding editor of Good Reading magazine, features editor for Vogue, presenter of ABC TV’s popular bookshow, Between the Lines, and Foxtel’s Talking Books, and as an executive producer with ABC Radio National. She is currently Booktopia’s Editorial Director. For more reviews by Caroline – click here.

Rush Oh!

by Shirley Barrett

When the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.

Swinging from her own hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Mary’s tale is entirely relatable despite the hundred-odd years that separate her world from ours.

Chronicling her family’s struggle to survive the season and her own attempts to navigate an all-consuming crush on an itinerant whaleman with a more…

About the Author

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley’s first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D’Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier’s Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier’s Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier’s Prize 2010. Rush Oh! is Shirley’s first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

Grab a copy of Rush Oh! here


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