THE TRAPEZE ACT
LIBBY ANGEL (TEXT PUBLISHING, $37)
If you think your family is crazy, just imagine how Loretta feels. The daughter of an eccentric Dutch trapeze artist and one of Adelaide’s most successful (and lusted after) criminal barristers, Loretta is forever haunted by her family’s flamboyant history. There’s also a brother who likes to set fire to his school, and the shadow of Loretta’s greatgrandfather, who migrated to colonial Australia in search of elephants. If it sounds fabulously convoluted, that’s because it is – but first-time author-poet Libby Angel expertly shifts between the various story arcs. Of course, it all starts to go horribly wrong, leaving Loretta to find her own way. But Angel’s feisty voice and eye for the idiosyncrasies of 1960s Australia mean this is bloody bonza, mate.