Benn's Book Club

Title: 
The Good People
Author: 
Hannah Kent

The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie's voice. A whisper in the dark.

"Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them."

Title: 
The Woman in White
Author: 
Wilkie Collins

The first and greatest of the bestselling Victorian thrillers known as 'sensation novels', The Woman in White opens with a chilling encounter between drawing teacher Walter Hartright and a ghostly female figure on a moonlit road. From this moment Walter is drawn into a terrifying world of intrigue, crime, disguise and insanity, as he tries to save his beautiful pupil Laura from the sinister plans of Sir Percival Glyde and the 'Napoleon of Crime', Count Fosco, in one of the most gripping plots in English fiction.

Title: 
Hope Farm
Author: 
Peggy Frew

It is the winter of 1985. Hope Farm sticks out of the ragged landscape like a decaying tooth, its weatherboard walls sagging into the undergrowth. Silver's mother, Ishtar, has fallen for the charismatic Miller, and the three of them have moved to the rural hippie commune to make a new start.

At Hope, Silver finds unexpected friendship and, at last, a place to call home. But it is also here that, at just thirteen, she is thrust into an unrelenting adult world — and the walls begin to come tumbling down, with deadly consequences.

Title: 
Before the Fall
Author: 
Noah Hawley

The stunning new literary thriller from Noah Hawley - creator of television series FARGO.

The rich are different. But fate is blind.

Down-on-his-luck artist Scott Burroughs would usually take the ferry back to New York from Martha's Vineyard, but he is unexpectedly offered a spare seat on the Bateman family's private jet. Then just minutes after take-off, the plane crashes into the ocean and of the eight passengers and three crew, only Scott and the Batemans' small son, JJ, are left alive.

Title: 
Vernon God Little
Author: 
DBC Pierre

Fifteen-year-old Vernon Gregory Little is in trouble, and it has something to do with the recent massacre of 16 students at his high school. Soon, the quirky backwater of Martirio, barbecue capital of Texas, is flooded with wannabe CNN hacks, eager for a scapegoat.

Title: 
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Author: 
Dominic Smith

A dazzling and mesmerising story that charts the collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. A literary novel of breathtaking scope, ambition and achievement.

Title: 
The Midnight Promise
Author: 
Zane Lovitt

A brilliant Melbourne crime novel, told in ten hardboiled stories.

John Dorn is a private investigator. Just like his father used to be. It says 'private inquiry agent' in John's Yellow Pages ad because that's what his old man called himself, back before his business folded, his wife left him and he drank himself to death.

But John's not going to end up like his father. He doesn't have a wife, or much business. He doesn't really drink, either. Not yet.

Title: 
The White Road
Author: 
Edmund de Waal

'Other things in the world are white but for me porcelain comes first'

A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln, and fuse into porcelain – translucent, luminous, white.

Title: 
The Poisonwood Bible
Author: 
Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of an American family in the Congo during a time of tremendous political and social upheaval. The story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

Title: 
The Natural Way of Things
Author: 
Charlotte Wood

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage - a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.

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.'

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