BOOKS

GAME ON A BEAU­TI­FUL YOUNG WIFE

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - READ - COM­PILED BY SHARI TAGLIABUE

BIANCA CHATFIELD & LEIGH RUS­SELL

HARDIE GRANT BOOKS, RRP $34.99 In­spir­ing role mod­els for women can be hard to come by. How handy then to have a hand­book for be­ing the best you can pos­si­bly be, put to­gether by a cou­ple of gals who are young enough to give off a cool vibe, and suc­cess­ful enough to make oth­ers want to em­u­late them. Aus­tralian Di­a­monds net­ball de­fender and ex-Vix­ens cap­tain Bianca Chatfield has teamed up with high-per­for­mance coach and lead­er­ship spe­cial­ist Leigh Rus­sell, who also ap­pears on Fox­tel’s The Re­cruit, and to­gether the pair have put to­gether an en­gag­ing and de­light­ful man­ual on get­ting the most out of your life, and achiev­ing the suc­cess you want. The de­sign is great, with a page of “Win­ning Plays” for each of the five chap­ters: Game On, Mind Games, Take the Lead, You Got This, and The Game Plan. Both au­thors share their sto­ries through­out, and the book can be delved into at any chap­ter if de­sired. It’s an en­gag­ing, in­spir­ing hand­book that should be re­quired read­ing for school leavers, any­one think­ing of start­ing a busi­ness, hatch­ing an idea, or want­ing to be bet­ter.

SHARI TAGLIABUE

Ver­dict: ev­ery gal should have one

TOMMY WIERINGA

SCRIBE, RRP $20 In the tra­di­tion of famous cou­plings such as Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, and re­cently Mick Jag­ger and 20-some­thing bal­let dancer Me­lanie Ham­rick, comes a short but in­trigu­ing novel ex­plor­ing the com­plex­i­ties of long-term re­la­tion­ships be­tween ma­ture men and their young fe­male part­ners. Es­teemed mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist Ed­ward Lan­dauer has barely bothered with re­la­tion­ship com­mit­ment un­til his heart is won over at 42 by the beauty and spark of Ruth Walta, a girl 15 years his ju­nior whom he spots as she cy­cles past a cafe. Af­ter another chance meet­ing, the pair defy their age gap — and the doubts of Ruth’s par­ents — to marry. But af­ter the birth of their son Morris, Ed­ward finds him­self dwelling on his age­ing body as his wife fo­cuses on her adored child, even sug­gest­ing Ed­ward’s pres­ence makes the baby ill. Sep­a­rate beds, an af­fair and a widen­ing dif­fer­ence of opin­ion over Ed­ward’s use of an­i­mals in his re­search only serve to in­crease his self-doubts and de­crease his self­es­teem de­spite his strong stand­ing in the sci­en­tific field. Dutch nov­el­ist Tommy Wieringa takes us on a jour­ney deep into the psy­che of an age­ing male in this po­tent work trans­lated with feel­ing by Sam Gar­rett. No words are wasted in this thought-pro­vok­ing love story.

CARINA BRUCE

Ver­dict: love in any lan­guage

MEREDITH JAFFE

MACMIL­LAN AUS­TRALIA. RRP $33 Life in the ’burbs is not all lawn­mow­ing and bar­be­cues. Like Chris­tos Tsi­olkas’s The Slap, Aus­tralian de­but au­thor Meredith Jaffe’s novel homes in on a hot-but­ton is­sue that di­vides the char­ac­ters, in this case a fence rather than a slap. Gwen and Eric Hill, now in their ’70s, moved to Green Val­ley Av­enue in Syd­ney as new­ly­weds. They built a com­mu­nity with neigh­bours Val and Babs, with no need for fences when a man­i­cured row of crab ap­ples would do. Gwen is dev­as­tated when Babs dies and the house is sold. Her grief deep­ens when dog­matic work­ing mum Frankie Des­marchel­liers turns up with house hus­band Bren­dan and four kids in tow, and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to get rid of the crab ap­ples and erect a fence. The NSW Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal tells the war­ring neigh­bours to sort it out them­selves but ten­sions turn to spite. Jaffe’s quick-wit­ted hu­mour, ap­pre­ci­a­tion of gen­er­a­tional gaps and canny ob­ser­va­tions of chil­dren make the story cred­i­ble and en­ter­tain­ing. Gwen evokes the most sym­pa­thy, grap­pling with Eric’s mem­ory lapses and pour­ing out her frus­tra­tions in her al­le­gor­i­cal gar­den­ing col­umns. Frankie, the epit­ome of the mod­ern woman learn­ing she can’t have it all, be­comes a “com­plete b----” as she stews over Bren­dan’s in­fi­delity and poor house­keep­ing skills. The cli­max is a bit con­trived, but still touch­ing. The Fence sits on the com­mer­cial fiction spec­trum some­where be­tween Liz Byrski and Liane Mo­ri­arty.

BLANCHE CLARK

Ver­dict: be­yond the pale

ANITA HEISS

SI­MON & SCHUSTER, RRP $33 Au­thor Anita Heiss takes the 1944 out­break of Ja­panese POWs in Cowra, NSW, and in­tro­duces an in­trigu­ing premise: What if one of those pris­on­ers were given refuge at the nearby Eram­bie Abo­rig­i­nal Mis­sion? Thomas Ke­neally’s Shame and the Cap­tives was a fic­tion­alised retelling of the same out­break, look­ing at it from Ja­panese and Aus­tralian per­spec­tives. Heiss in­tro­duces another layer to the story with Mary, 17, who lives on the mis­sion with her par­ents, Banjo and Joan. Com­mu­nity elders Banjo, Sid and Fred de­cide hid­ing Hiroshi in an air raid is the most hu­mane thing to do. “You mob are traitors,” Banjo’s brother Kevin says. But Banjo likes the idea of out­wit­ting the au­thor­i­ties who con­trol his life and deny him cit­i­zen­ship. He gives Mary the nightly task of tak­ing Hiroshi a share of the lit­tle food they have. At first she’s scared but 25-year-old Hiroshi, who speaks Eng­lish, is a man more interested in po­etry than war. The bunker be­comes a place where they bond over sto­ries of fam­ily and tra­di­tion. But the love that de­vel­ops is sorely tested when the war ends and the com­mu­nity grap­ples with new chal­lenges.

BLANCHE CLARK

Ver­dict: his­tory with heart

NA­TIONAL

EM­PIRE OF STONES BOOK 5 THRONE OF GLASS BY SARAH J MAAS

HARRY POT­TER & THE CURSED CHILD PARTS 1 & 2 BY J.K. ROWLING

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

TRULY MADLY GUILTY BY LIANE MO­RI­ARTY

EAT CLEAN BY LUKE HINES

LIST SUPPLIED BY DYMOCKS AUS­TRALIA

IN­DE­PEN­DENTS

SALT­WA­TER: AN EPIC FIGHT FOR JUS­TICE IN THE TROPICS BY CATHY MCLEN­NAN

THE LAST PAINT­ING OF SARA DE VOS BY DO­MINIC SMITH

EM­PIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH J. MAAS

GHOST EM­PIRE BY RICHARD FIDLER

HARRY POT­TER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS I & II BY J.K. ROWLING

LIST SUPPLIED BY MARY WHO? TOWNSVILLE

CITYLIBRARIES

113 MIN­UTES BY JAMES PATTERSON WITH MAX DILALLO

AUN­TIE POLDI AND THE SI­CIL­IAN LIONS / MARIO GIOR­DANO; TRANS­LATED BY JOHN BROWNJOHN

AL­WAYS A COW­BOY BY LINDA LAEL MILLER

THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE: A TALE OF THE LAKE DIS­TRICT BY JAMES REBANKS

CAR­NAL IN­NO­CENCE BY NORA ROBERTS

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