Benn's Book Club

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.'

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.

Pages