Benn's Book Club

Title: 
Archipelago of Souls
Author: 
Gregory Day

In the aftermath of the Second World War, an Australian soldier, Wesley Cress, a hero of the underground resistance on German-occupied Crete, seeks solace and comfort on King Island, in the mouth of Bass Strait, in the Roaring Forties latitude of the Southern Ocean.

Title: 
My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book One
Author: 
Elena Ferrante

My friendship with Lila began the day we decided to go up the dark stairs that led, step after step, flight after flight, to the door of Don Achille's apartment...

I waited to see if Lila would have second thoughts and turn back. I knew what she wanted to do; I had hoped that she would forget about it, but in vain.

My Brilliant Friend is a ravishing, wonderfully written novel about a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

Title: 
All The Light We Cannot See
Author: 
Anthony Doerr

An epic novel, set during WW2, from the prize-winner Anthony Doerr. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane.

Title: 
The Nest
Author: 
Inga Simpson

A gripping and thought-provoking novel about finding the lost child in all of us.

Once an artist and teacher, Jen now spends her time watching the birds around her house and tending her lush sub-tropical garden near the small town where she grew up. The only person she sees regularly is Henry, who comes after school for drawing lessons.

Title: 
The Lost Swimmer
Author: 
Ann Turner

An unforgettable novel about love and trust

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, makes sense of the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty are turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her family, her work.

Title: 
The Strays
Author: 
Emily Bitto

Winner of the Stella Award and shortlisted for other major 2015 awards.

In The Strays, Evan Trentham is the wild child of the Melbourne art world of the 1930s. He and his captivating wife, Helena, attempt to carve out their own small niche, to escape the stifling conservatism they see around them, by gathering together other like-minded artists. They create a utopian circle within their family home, offering these young artists a place to live and work, and the mixed benefits of being associated with the infamous Evan.

Title: 
The Light Between Oceans
Author: 
M.L. Stedman

Winner, 2013 Independent Booksellers of Australia Awards - Best Debut Fiction & BOOK OF THE YEAR

They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.

Title: 
Stoner
Author: 
John Williams

Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer – in 2013 translations of Stoner began appearing on bestseller lists across Europe. Forty-eight years after its first, quiet publication in the US, Stoner is finally finding the wide and devoted readership it deserves. Have you read it yet?

Title: 
The Eye of the Sheep
Author: 
Sofie Laguna

Told from the mesmerising point of view and in the inimitable voice of Jimmy, this is an extraordinary novel about a poor family who is struggling to cope with a different and difficult child.

Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always know.

Title: 
The Turn Of The Screw
Author: 
Henry James

A young, inexperienced governess is charged with the care of Miles and Flora, two small children abandoned by their uncle at his grand country house. She sees the figure of an unknown man on the tower and his face at the window. It is Peter Quint, the master's dissolute valet, and he has come for little Miles. But Peter Quint is dead.

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