Kimberley Freeman, author of Evergreen Falls, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Kimberley Freeman

author of Evergreen Falls, Wildflower Hill and more…

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in London to Australian and New Zealand parents who brought me back to Australia when I was three. I was raised at Redcliffe, which is a city just north of Brisbane on the way towards the Sunshine Coast. I attended Humpybong state school, which is famous for having schooled the Bee Gees. It’s directly across from the beach, and during whale watching season we would often find ourselves down at the back fence watching the passing migration.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At all those ages I wanted to be a writer, because I just didn’t think I would be good at anything else.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was a bit of a rebel and I strongly rejected the suburban lifestyle, the barbecue on the patio, the ordinary life. I never wanted to have children. Now I love all those things and I love my two children.

Author: Kimberley Freeman (aka Kim Wilkins)

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Studying English literature at university brought me into contact with some of the most amazing poetry. I can’t and don’t write poetry but I have certainly been influenced by the works of writers such as Tennyson and Keats and Shakespeare, the way that they put words together, the rhythm of their sentences. I must have read Tithonus by Tennyson one hundred times and I’ve yet to make it through without sobbing. Recently I read Beowulf in the original old English with the group of colleagues at the University and it was one of the defining moments of my intellectual life. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one of my all-time favourite novels, and I love that puts a woman’s experience at the very centre of the story. Jane is a fabulous character with a strong moral compass.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I actually did muck around with music for quite a while, I studied opera, and I played in rock bands. But what I love about writing is that I can express myself in private and edit and polish my thoughts before I have to put them in front of anybody. Performance really isn’t for me, though I do still love music and I still sing a lullaby to my children every night.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Evergreen Falls is a novel set in two time periods: 1926 and the present. In the 20s, a naive young waitress at a luxury hotel in the Blue Mountains falls in love with the wrong man entirely, triggering a set of tragic circumstances that are covered up by everyone involved. In the present, a woman who is searching for meaning in her own life comes across a bundle of old love letters that seem to hint at a long buried secret.

Grab a copy of Kimberley Freeman’s novel Evergreen Falls here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

What I want most of all is for people to feel how I feel when reading a good book: the world goes away and you’re falling through the pages, wishing you could slow down but unable to stop, and afterwards feeling is that you’ve been on an adventure.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

I admire Marian Keyes, because her books make me laugh and cry, because she has suffered such a public battle with depression, an illness which afflicts so many but which so few talk about.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My goals are not ambitious. For me the practice of writing is its own reward. I get to spend a lot of time in my imagination, with my imaginary friends who are always fascinating. I just want to be able to keep writing, and maybe one day have a house with a view of the sea. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read a lot, write a lot, and enjoy the process. If you’re not passionate about it, don’t bother.

Kimberley, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Evergreen Falls here


evergreen-fallsEvergreen Falls

by Kimberley Freeman

1926: Violet Armstrong is one of the few remaining members of staff working at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel as it closes down over winter. Only a handful of guests are left, including the heir to a rich grazing family, his sister and her suave suitor. When a snowstorm moves in, the hotel is cut off and they are all trapped. No one could have predicted what would unfold. When the storm clears they must all keep the devastating secrets hidden.

2014: After years of putting her sick brother’s needs before her own, Lauren Beck leaves her home and takes a job at a Blue Mountains cafe, the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel’s renovations. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect who is overseeing the project, and an attraction begins to grow. In a wing of the old hotel, Lauren finds a series of passionate love letters dated back to 1926, alluding to an affair – and a shocking secret.If she can unravel this long-ago mystery, will it make Lauren brave enough to take a risk and change everything in her own life?

Inspired by elements of her grandmother’s life, a rich and satisfying tale of intrigue, heartbreak and love from the author of the bestselling Lighthouse Bay and Wildflower Hill.

Grab a copy of Evergreen Falls here

 

And the winner of The Ploughmen prize pack is…

During July/August we gave you the chance to win a book pack for dad valued at $199.

All you needed to do to enter was buy The Ploughmen by Kim J. Zupan

And the lucky winner is…

J.Scott, Neerim Junction, VIC

 

ThePloughmenNewsletterBanner

9781447247814The Ploughmen

by Kim J. Zupan

The story of two men – a killer awaiting trial, and a troubled young deputy – sitting across from each other in the dark, talking through the bars of a county jail cell.

John Gload, so brutally adept at his craft that only now, at the age of 71, has he faced the prospect of long-term incarceration; and Valentine Millimaki, low man in the Copper County sheriff’s department, who draws the overnight shift after Gload’s arrest, tasked with getting the killer to talk about a string of unsolved murders. With a disintegrating marriage now further collapsing under the strain of his night duty, and his safety threatened from within his own department, Millimaki finds himself seeking counsel from a remorseless criminal. The strange intimacy of their connection takes a startling turn with a brazen act of violence, a manhunt, and a stunning revelation that leave Gload’s past and Millimaki’s future forever entwined.

Grab a copy of The Ploughmen here


Congratulations to the winner!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here

The Genius of Dorothy Parker – 10 of her best quotes

Dorothy Parker was born on this day 121 years ago. She was an extraordinary mind and a wonderful writer, capable of eliciting a giggle from absolutely anyone.

To celebrate her genius we’ve put together 10 of our favourite Parkerisms. Enjoy!

“I hate writing, I love having written.”

“Four be the things I’d have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.”

“I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.”

“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.”

“If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end…I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.”

Dorothy Parker Quotes

“Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.”

“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded
wheelchair.”

“Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.”

Dorothy Parker Quotes

“To me, the most beautiful word in the English language is cellar-door. Isn’t it wonderful? The ones I like, though, are ‘cheque’ and ‘enclosed.'”

“By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying -
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.”

Booktopia’s Top 20 Father’s Day Books

Fathers DayLooking for something for Father’s Day?

We’ve made it very easy for you!*

Here are our top 20 Father’s Day titles -
books make the best gifts.


9780593073834Personal

Jack Reacher : Book 19

by Lee Child

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him. This new heart stopping, nail biting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher – because this time, it’s personal.

Click here for more details


9780751552898Life or Death

by Michael Robotham

Why would a man escape from prison the day before he’s due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by prison guards, inmates and criminal gangs, who all want to answer this same question, but more…

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9781846558337Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since 1Q84

In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki belonged to an extremely tight-knit group of friends who pledged to stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from his first year of college in Tokyo, he finds that they want nothing to do with him. Something has changed, but nobody will tell him what – and he never sees them again. Years later, Tsukuru has become a successful engineer, but is also more…

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9781921901744Hey, True Blue

by John Williamson

The long-awaited life story of John Williamson: an Australian icon, a much-loved legend of the music industry and man of the land.

Williamson takes us through his life, from growing up on the land in the Mallee and Moree in a family of five boys, to being the voice of Australia.

John got a lucky break that kickstarted his music career with ‘Old Man Emu’, which he wrote and performed on more…

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9781408704035The Silkworm

by Robert Galbraith

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a more…

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9781863956758The Voice

by Ray Warren

Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren is the legendary voice of Australian sports commentary. People tell him he must have drunk a bottle of scotch and smoked a packet of cigarettes every day to have the voice that he has. That’s not the case – at least, not anymore . . .

The son of a railway worker, Ray placed his first bet on a horse called Playboy at the age of just six, and won. A lifelong love of the track – and the punt – was born. During his remarkable broadcasting career, which has now spanned almost five decades, Ray has called three more…

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9781921383304Favourites

by Gary Mehigan

Masterchef Australia co-judge Gary Mehigan lives and breathes food. When he’s not working the stoves at his Maribyrnong Boathouse restaurant in Melbourne or talking about food on TV or social media, you’ll find him breakfasting at a newly-opened cafe, trawling the growers’ market for ingredients for dinner, or taking culinary sojourns to the countryside to seek out the finest regional produce.

This book is the result of Gary’s ongoing food obsession: a collection of his favourite recipes garnered from more…

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9780733332265Drover

by Bruce Simpson, Darren Clark (Photographer)

Based on Where the Outback Drovers Ride, the much-loved memoir of bushman and drover Bruce Simpson, Drover celebrates a way of life that has all but vanished – and records how it’s changed with time. From saddling up at dawn, through long days of heat, dust and sheer hard graft working cattle, to evenings spent joking around the campfire, photographer Darren Clark was there to record contemporary outback life. In doing so he has captured the more…

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9781743319352The Good Fight 

by Wayne Swan

A highly personal account of the Rudd and Gillard governments from the heart of the Cabinet and the real story of how Australia avoided the Great Recession from the man recognised as the best treasurer in the world

This is Wayne Swan’s very personal account of an extraordinary period in Australian politics.

Despite the divisions within the Labor Party as the Rudd government fell into disunity and as Julia Gillard was undermined by disloyalty from within, Wayne Swan steered the more…

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9780718159535Jamie’s Comfort Food

by Jamie Oliver

Jamie’s new cookbook brings together 100 ultimate comfort food recipes from around the world. It’s all about the dishes that are close to your heart, that put a smile on your face and make you feel happy, loved, safe and secure. Inspired by everything from childhood memories to the changing of the seasons, and taking into account the guilty pleasures and sweet indulgences that everyone enjoys, it’s brimming with exciting recipes you’ll fall in love with.

Jamie’s Comfort Food is all about more…

Click here for more details


9780732298937The Heist

by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue. Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is in Venice repairing an altarpiece by Veronese when he receives an urgent summons from the Italian police. The eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood has stumbled upon a chilling murder scene in Lake Como, and is being held as a suspect. To save his friend, Gabriel must more…

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9780732294755The Mandarin Code 

by Steve Lewis, Chris Uhlmann

Politics peeled bare. The second darkly satirical thriller from the authors of The Marmalade Files.

POLITICS JUST GOT DEADLY. A body pulled from the murky waters of Lake Burley Griffin links Canberra, Beijing and Washington in a titanic struggle where war is just a mouse click away. Veteran reporter Harry Dunkley is chasing the scoop of his career, hunting for his best friend’s killer. Navigating treacherous political waters where a desperate minority government edges ever closer to disaster, he delves into a cyber world where there are more…

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a-song-of-ice-and-fire-box-set-buy-this-and-get-dangerous-women-free-A Song of Ice and Fire Box Set

by George R. R. Martin

HBO’s hit series A Game Of Thrones is based on George R R Martin’s internationally bestselling series A Song Of Ice And Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years.

Three great storylines weave through the books, charting the civil war for control of the Seven Kingdoms; the defence of the towering Wall of ice in the uttermost north against the more…

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9780732297893The Fictional Woman

by Tara Moss

Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including ‘author’, ‘model’, ‘gold-digger’, ‘commentator’, ‘inspiration’, ‘dumb blonde’, ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, among many others.

Now, in her first work of non-fiction, she blends memoir and social analysis to examine the common fictions about women. She traces key moments in her life – from small-town tomboy in Canada, to international fashion model in the 90s, to bestselling author taking a polygraph test in 2002 to prove she writes her own work – and weaves her own experiences into a broader look at everyday sexism and issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women, modern motherhood, body image and the portrayal of more…

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9780007539383Waterloo

by Bernard Cornwell

Bestselling author Bernard Cornwell is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo – a momentous turning point in European history – a tale of one campaign, four days and three armies. He focuses on what it was like to be fighting in that long battle, whether officer or private, whether British, Prussian or French; he makes you feel you are present at the scene.

The combination of his vivid, gripping style and detailed historical research make this, his first non-fiction book, the number one book for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It is a magnificent story. There was heroism on both sides, tragedy too and more…

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97818647114311914: The Year the World Ended

by Paul Ham

Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.

In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history. In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War.

In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Serbian perspectives. Along the way, he debunks more…

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9780733331930Stop the Presses!

by Ben Hills

How has the Fairfax empire arrived at its current shabby, sorry state – and what does its demise mean for the future of independent journalism?

A decade ago Fairfax Media was one of the most powerful institutions in the country; staffed by gun reporters, funded by its ‘rivers of gold’, offering up high quality, fearless journalism. Since then, it has become a car wreck in slow motion. But how did it come to this? Why did one overpaid, underwhelming manager after the next fail to see the future coming – or come up with a coherent plan? Why were they fighting with each other more…

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9780007444199Fool’s Assassin

by Robin Hobb

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown. But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin.

A man who has risked much for his king and lost more… On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of more…

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9781405914376The Eye of Heaven

by Clive Cussler

Baffin Island: Sam and Remi Fargo are on a climate-control expedition in the Arctic, when they discover a Viking ship in the ice, perfectly preserved-and filled with pre-Columbian artefacts from Mexico.

How can that be? As they research, clues about a link between the Vikings and the legendary Toltec, feathered serpent-god Quetzalcoatl and a fabled object known as the Eye of Heaven – soon emerge. And the Fargos find themselves on the run from treasure hunters, crime cartels, and those with far more more…

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9781742707273James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2015

The James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2015 is the number one bestselling guide to wineries and wine in Australia. Keenly anticipated by winemakers, faithful collectors and wine lovers alike, the 2015 edition has been completely revised and updated to bring you up-to-the-minute information.

Halliday shares his extensive knowledge via detailed tasting notes, each of which includes vintage-specific ratings and advice on optimal drinking, as well as alcohol content, price and a value rating. He provides important details on wineries – including more…

Click here for more details


*Father’s Day Presents? Order In Stock products only and be sure to place your order before our 27th August cut-off for eastern states¹, and 25th August for all other states².

Hot Tip: this is another big year for online shopping – place your order for In Stock products sooner rather than later to give Australia Post the best chance to deliver before for Father’s Day*.

*Order non-stocked products for delivery after Father’s Day, September 7th.
¹Eastern states include QLD, VIC, NSW & ACT
²Other states include WA, NT, SA, TAS

Claire Zorn, author of The Protected, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Claire Zorn

author of  The Protected and The Sky So Heavy  

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born, raised and schooled in the lower Blue Mountains. I lived there until I was about 24 when I moved to Sydney’s Inner West. Now I live in Wollongong.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Twelve: Artist/writer/Olympian show-jumper/horse-breeder. Why? Why on earth not.

Eighteen: Artist/jewellery designer for Dinosaur Designs. My obsession with Dinosaur Designs started at seventeen when I went into their Sydney Strand Arcade Store. I was so inspired that I changed my university plans from equestrian science to visual arts. I continue to squander all my money on DD stuff and am in the habit of writing them occasional fan mail.

Thirty: Writer. I’ve always imagined stories and characters. While film-making would probably be more fun, all you need to write a story is some paper and a pencil. It’s simpler and more direct. If anyone wants to spot me a few thousand dollars to make a film, I’m up for it.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was convinced there was no God. Now I’m 99.9 percent sure there is one.

Author: Claire Zorn

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Only three? Cruel. Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief and King of Limbs (Can’t choose.) Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Pipilotti Rist’s video installation Sip My Ocean

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

Because I love stories most of all. It’s that simple. I find story-making to be the most satisfying pursuit aside from swimming in the ocean, and no one’s offered me money to do that. Writing seems to be the most direct way of getting stuff out of my head. I mentioned film before, but to cram all the details and tangents novels allow for into a film, you need tens of hours. You also need to collaborate with multiple people and schedule stuff and there’s probably diagrams involved. I’m not organised enough for all of that.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Hannah is just shy of sixteen and her family has recently been ripped apart by tragedy: her sister – whom she loved but didn’t like – has been killed. An unexpected ramification of this is that the bullying she has endured throughout high school has ceased, something that puts her in a strange place emotionally. While she is trying to come to grips with this she begins to form her first friendship in years – with the crossword-obsessed delinquent, Josh.

Grab a copy of Claire’s book The Protected here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

Golly, I hate that question! Perhaps some small sense of camaraderie for those who were/are miserable in high school. I also wanted to pay homage to the lovely, genuine, noble guys I have known over the years. You don’t come across them all that often in books.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

This is one that tends to change a lot. I’m going to break the rules and choose two! Vince Gilligan: the character arcs he created in Breaking Bad were nothing short of Shakespearian. And Sonya Hartnett. I don’t have words to describe how great her writing is. I also like how she doesn’t seem to give a brass razoo about genres or markets or any of that annoying stuff. She seems to just write what she wants.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

Oh dear. This is going to be embarrassing. May as well aim high: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award would be quite nice. That would mean I could stop renting! Or perhaps if we are going to be absurd I could write the first YA to win the Booker. I’m pretty sure that’s impossible, although I dare say Harper Lee could have won it. On a more achievable level: I really, really want to write and illustrate a picture book. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Choose carefully whose opinion of your work you listen to. And write. It sounds obvious but until you get the words out on the page, nothing will ever come of them.

Claire, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Protected here


The Protected

by Claire Zorn

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.

 Grab a copy of The Protected here

Read an extract from Adultery by Paulo Coelho – bestselling author of The Alchemist

adulteryAdultery

by Paulo Coelho

I live in the safest country in the world, I have no problems to speak of, and I’m a good wife and mother. I was brought up as a strict Protestant and intend to pass that education on to my children. I never take a false step because I know how easy it is to ruin everything. I do what I have to do efficiently and put as little of myself into it as possible. When I was younger, I experienced the pain of unrequited love, just like any other normal person.

Since I married, though, time has stopped.

Until, that is, I came across that horrible writer and his answer to my question. I mean, what’s wrong with routine and boredom?

To be honest, nothing at all. It’s just . . . it’s just the secret fear that everything could change from one moment to the next, catching me completely unawares.

From the moment I had that ominous thought that bright, beautiful morning, I began to feel afraid. Would I be cap able of facing the world alone if my husband died? ‘Yes,’ I told myself, because the money he left behind would be enough to support several generations. And if I died, who would look after my children? My beloved husband. But he would surely remarry, because he’s rich, charming, and intelligent. Would my children be in good hands?

The first thing I did was try to answer all my questions. And the more questions I answered, the more questions appeared. Will he take a mistress when I get old? We don’t make love as often as we used to — does he already have someone else? Does he think I’ve found someone else because I haven’t shown much interest in sex for the last three years?

We never have jealous spats, and I used to think that was great, but after that spring morning, I began to suspect that perhaps our lack of jealousy meant a complete lack of love on both sides.

I did my best not to think about the matter anymore.

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

For a whole week, whenever I left work, I would go and buy something in one of the expensive shops on Rue du Rhône. There was nothing I really wanted, but at least I felt that I was — how should I say this? — changing something, discovering something I didn’t even know I needed, like some new domestic appliance — although, it has to be said, novelties in the world of domestic appliances are few and far between. I avoided toy shops, because I didn’t want to spoil my children by giving them a present every day. I didn’t go into any men’s shops, either, just in case my husband might grow suspicious of my sudden extreme generosity.

When I got home and entered the enchanted realm of my domestic world, everything would seem marvelous for a few hours, until everyone went to bed. Then, slowly, the nightmare would begin.

I think that passion is strictly for the young. Presumably, its absence is normal at my age, but that isn’t what terrifies me.

Today I am a woman torn between the terror that every – thing might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days. Some people say that, as summer approaches, we start to have weird ideas; we feel smaller because we spend more time out in the open air, and that makes us aware of how large the world is. The horizon seems farther away, beyond the clouds and the walls of our house.

That may be true, but I just can’t sleep anymore, and it isn’t because of the heat. When night comes and no one is watching, I feel afraid of everything: life, death, love or the feeling that I’m wasting the best years of my life in a pattern that will be repeated over and over until I die; and sheer panic at facing the unknown, however exciting and adventurous that might be.

Naturally, I seek consolation in other people’s suffering.

I turn on the TV and watch the news. I see endless reports about accidents, people made homeless by natural disasters, refugees. How many people on the planet are ill right now? How many, whether in silence or not, are suffering injustices and betrayals? How many poor people are there, how many unemployed or imprisoned?

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

I change channels. I watch a soap or a movie and for a few minutes or hours I forget everything. I’m terrified my husband might wake up and ask: ‘What’s wrong, babe?’ Because then I would have to say that everything’s fine. It would be even worse if — as happened a few times last month — he put his hand on my thigh, slid it slowly upward and started caressing me. I can fake orgasms — I often have — but I can’t just decide to get wet with excitement.

the-alchemistI would have to say that I’m really tired, and he, never for one moment admitting that he was annoyed, would give me a kiss, turn over, and watch the latest news on his tablet, waiting until the next day. And then I would hope against hope that when the next day comes, he’d be tired. Very tired.

It’s not always like that, though. Sometimes I have to take the initiative. If I reject him two nights in a row, he might go looking for a mistress, and I really don’t want to lose him. If I masturbate beforehand, then I’m ready and everything’s normal again.

‘Normal’ means that nothing will ever be as it was in the days when we were still a mystery to each other.

Keeping the same fire burning after ten years of marriage seems a complete impossibility to me. And each time I fake an orgasm, I die a little inside. A little? I think I’m dying more quickly than I thought.

My friends tell me how lucky I am, because I lie to them and tell them that we often make love, just as they lie to me when they say that they don’t know how their husbands can still be so interested in sex. They say that sex in marriage is interesting only for the first five years, and after that calls for a little ‘imagination.’

Closing your eyes and imagining your neighbor lying on top of you, doing things your husband would never dare to do. Imagining having sex with him and your husband at the same time. Imagining every possible perversion, every forbidden game…

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

And the winners of the Big Little Lies Girls Night In prize packs are…

During July we gave you the chance to win 1 of 3 Girls Night In prize packs which not only included books but chocolates and a blanket. 

All you needed to do to enter was buy Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty!

And the lucky winners are…

S.Costin, Limpinwood, NSW

R.Davino, Merrylands, NSW

B.Hill, Cheltenham, NSW

BigLittleLiesNewsletterBanner

big-little-liesBig Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here


Congratulations to the winners!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here

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