Author: Emily Paull

Emily Paull is a former bookseller and a future librarian. Her debut book, Well-Behaved Women, was released by Margaret River Press in 2019.
She is Haunted

Book Review: Paige Clark’s debut collection She is Haunted might just be one of the best books of the year

July 29, 2021

A mother cuts her daughter’s hair because her own starts falling out. A woman leaves her boyfriend because he reminds her of a corpse; another undergoes brain surgery to try to live more comfortably in higher temperatures. A widow physically transforms into her husband so that she does not have to grieve. This is She […]

Read More
Locust Summer

Book Review: Grief and nostalgia reign in David Allan-Petale’s Locust Summer

July 22, 2021

Locust Summer, the debut novel by WA writer David Allan-Petale, has been a long time coming. Shortlisted for the 2017 Australian/Vogel Literary Award administered by Allen and Unwin, the book was released this July by Fremantle Press in the midst of Perth’s latest lockdown. The postponement of a book launch due to circumstances beyond the […]

Read More
Palace of the Drowned

Book Review: Palace of the Drowned wrestles with second novel syndrome in more ways than one

July 14, 2021

It feels strange to be writing a review of a novel in which the catalyst is a negative book review. In Palace of the Drowned, Christine Mangan (Tangerine) returns to the literary thriller genre¬†with a story of writers block and obsession. It follows Frankie Croy, a career author whose first book was one of those […]

Read More
Reading Australian Writer

Book Review: Reading Like an Australian Writer updates the syllabus for Australian literary studies

July 8, 2021

How do we define an Australian writer? What is Australian literature? New South Books‚Äô latest collection of essays, Reading Like An Australian Writer doesn‚Äôt seek to answer these questions definitively. Instead, using as its source material a line-up of well-known Australian literary figures and their books, it offers up a round table of discussions on […]

Read More
Malibu Rising

Book Review: Malibu Rising is a dreamy new addition to the Taylor Jenkins Reid universe

June 17, 2021

One of this year’s most highly anticipated releases,¬†Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid hit stores this month. Loosely linked to both of TJR’s previous smash hits,¬†The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo¬†and¬†Daisy Jones and the Six,¬†Malibu Rising continues her theme of exploring the inner lives of the rich and famous; showing us what is really going […]

Read More
Macneal

Book Review: Elizabeth Macneal dissects the Greatest Show on Earth in her spellbinding sophomore novel

May 27, 2021

Elizabeth Macneal is back with a follow up to her 2019 novel¬†The Doll Factory.¬†Though not a sequel, Circus of Wonders treads familiar ground in weaving another Victorian era tale of entertainment, exploitation and obsession. While The Doll Factory used as its setting the Great Exhibition,¬†Circus of Wonders, as its title suggests, uses the travelling circus. […]

Read More
Madam

Book Review: Phoebe Wynne’s Madam is a modern day Gothic for Hanging Rock fans

May 25, 2021

Imagine reading¬†Picnic at Hanging Rock at the same time as¬†The Handmaid’s Tale, and you’ll get somewhere close to understanding the experience of Phoebe Wynne‘s debut novel,¬†Madam. This is the story of Rose, a twenty-six year old classics teacher who is plucked from obscurity (or, from teaching at public schools) and made the head of the […]

Read More
As Beautiful As Any Other

Book Review: Kaya Wilson’s As Beautiful as Any Other deep dives into the inheritance of trauma

May 20, 2021

“This is a trans story. But it is also my story.”¬†So says this powerful quote from Kaya Wilson’s¬†memoir:¬†As Beautiful as Any Other.¬†Written as a personal record of his own experiences with both the medical profession and the world, beginning the day Kaya began to question his gender, As Beautiful as Any Other is a powerful […]

Read More
Smokehouse

Book Review: Melissa Manning’s Smokehouse is a warm debut that’s hard to pin down

May 12, 2021

Melissa Manning may be based in Melbourne now, but her connection to Tasmania resounds strongly throughout the stories in her debut collection,¬†Smokehouse. Told in the form of nine interlinked tales, the book follows the lives of a number of residents of a small Tasmanian coastal town. At the centre (and also bookending the collection) is […]

Read More
Heartsick

Book Review: Heartsick offers hope to the heartbroken but not much in the way of healing

May 11, 2021

In¬†Heartsick, journalist and assistant head of content at Mammamia,¬†Jessie Stephens goes undercover in search of the truth about heartbreak. Inspired by her own relationship breakdown and a search for a “book that [she was] fairly certain [didn’t] exist” which could “put into words how [she was] feeling”, this debut work of narrative non fiction looks […]

Read More
The French Gift

Book Review: The strength of female friendship is celebrated in Kirsty Manning’s The French Gift

May 5, 2021

Kirsty Manning‘s historical fiction always features two things: an intriguing mystery in the past that must be uncovered by characters in the present day, and sumptuous descriptions of food and drink. Her latest novel,¬†The French Gift is no exception. And no wonder, as Kirsty Manning is the co-owner of the Bellota Wine Bar and the […]

Read More

Winners of the 2021 ABIA Awards announced

April 28, 2021

The winners of this year’s ABIAs (Australian Book Industry Awards) were announced at Carriageworks in Sydney as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival this evening in a hybrid online and in-person event. Julia Baird took out the top award for Book of the Year for her non-fiction release Phosphorescence, described by guest presenter Cate Blanchett […]

Read More
Where the Line Breaks

Book Review: Where the Line Breaks is a thoughtful analysis of the ANZAC legend and those who create it

April 23, 2021

Shortlisted for the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award, Where the Line Breaks,¬†the debut novel by West Australian writer¬†Michael Burrows¬†is stylistically a little out of the ordinary for Fremantle Press. For a start, a large part of the story is told in the form of a fictional PhD thesis. Writing the thesis is Matthew Denton, a “starry-eyed […]

Read More
Chasing the McCubbin

Book Review: Rummage in search of treasure in Sandi Scaunich’s debut Chasing The McCubbin

April 20, 2021

Chasing the McCubbin, the debut novel by Melbourne academic and writer¬†Sandi Scaunich,¬†delves into what may be unfamiliar territory for most readers ‚Äď a world of second hand dealers with nicknames like Blue Merc, Fritz the German and The Builder and His Missus. Beginning in the early ’90s during a financial recession, it is the story […]

Read More
Driving Stevie Fracasso

Book Review: Barry Divola’s Driving Stevie Fracasso is a novel that you’ll want to put on repeat

April 15, 2021

The back cover of Barry Divola‘s debut novel¬†Driving Stevie Fracasso makes some lofty claims. It promises¬†High Fidelity¬†meets¬†The Big Lebowski meets¬†The Darjeeling Limited; it promises Nick Hornby, David Nicholls and Jonathan Tropper vibes. Picking it up, I thought to myself that this one novel could not possibly live up to all that. But here’s the thing, […]

Read More
Dangerous Women

Book Review: History and mystery are sewn together in Hope Adams’ Dangerous Women

April 14, 2021

Dangerous Women may be the first novel published under the name¬†Hope Adams, but it’s not in actual fact the author’s first book. Rather,¬†Hope Adams¬†is a pseudonym adopted by the well-established author¬†(and mother of bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah),¬†Adele Geras. Geras¬†has made no secret of her true identity, unlike like other well-known authors who have written […]

Read More
The Paris Affair

Book Review: Pip Drysdale’s latest thriller The Paris Affair explores the deadly side to the city of love

April 6, 2021

The protagonist of¬†Pip Drysdale’s third novel,¬†The Paris Affair, would be a difficult woman to get along with in real life. By her own admission, she only keeps one friend close, claiming that all other people are “fake and they try to make her ‘fake’ too.” Yet for someone who supposedly hates phonies as much as […]

Read More
The Paris Library

Book Review: Reading is a rebellious act in Janet Skeslien Charles’s The Paris Library

March 19, 2021

In 1939, Odile Souchet applies for a job at the American Library in Paris, having just completed her library studies degree. An avid reader, Odile is so well-suited for a job as a librarian she even thinks in Dewey Decimal subject headings sometimes. Odile is drawn to the ALP because it is the place where […]

Read More
Hold Your Fire

Book Review: Chloe Wilson pulls no punches in their debut Hold Your Fire

March 18, 2021

Hold Your Fire¬†is the highly anticipated short story collection by Australian writer, Chloe Wilson. Containing work which has been previously published in Granta, The Iowa Review, The Big Issue and the Australian Book Review online, the publication of this book marks the arrival of a new powerhouse in Australian short fiction. Each of the seventeen […]

Read More
How To Be An Author

Book Review: How To Be An Author is far from an ordinary how to write manual

March 16, 2021

Fremantle Press have been running workshops on the business of being a writer in Australia for years. Now, after coming across the same questions again and again, publisher Georgia Richter and creative writing lecturer Deborah Hunn¬†have decided that it was time to write a book that answered them. More than ‘just another how to write […]

Read More
The Last Bookshop

Book Review: Emma Young’s The Last Bookshop is a love song to bookshops and small businesses to warm your heart

March 10, 2021

Cait Copper loves books. As the owner of Hay Street independent bookshop, Book Fiend, she doesn’t have time for any other kind of love in her life; unless you count the weekly deliveries she makes to her housebound clients. She goes to work, deals with the gamut of questions about why her stock is so […]

Read More
Tour

Book Review: Andrew Mackie’s The Tour is marketed as a treat for fans of The Crown, but does it measure up?

March 2, 2021

In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II undertook a royal tour of the colonies to meet her new subjects. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, and the usual bevy of ladies in waiting and staff. The Tour, the debut novel by Transmission Films producer and film distributor Andrew Mackie fictionalises this journey […]

Read More
Everyday Madness

Book Review: Take a closer look at the everyday madness of modern life in Susan Midalia’s new novel

February 23, 2021

Detective-novel loving vacuum salesman, Bernard, barely listens to his wife anymore. They live in the same house, but that’s about the extent of things. Gloria talks a lot. Like, a lot a lot. So when she suddenly stops talking to him, the silence comes as a bit of a shock. But, after weeks of suffering […]

Read More
A Net for Small Fishes

Book Review: An infamous Jacobean murder gets a fictional treatment in Lucy Jago’s A Net for Small Fishes

February 18, 2021

‘Today is the fourteenth day of November, 1615. I have known Frankie for nearly seven years. She is twenty-five years old and eight months pregnant. I am thirty-nine years old and about to die or be pardoned.’ You’d be forgiven for not knowing about the murder known as The Overbury Scandal. I had certainly never […]

Read More
Eye Of A Rook

Book Review: Invisible illness spotlighted in Eye of a Rook, the insightful debut novel from Josephine Taylor

February 11, 2021

Josephine Taylor‘s debut novel is something a little bit different for Fremantle Press. Mixing historical fiction with contemporary,¬†Eye of a Rook takes a look at women’s health throughout recent centuries, shining a light particularly on attitudes to chronic illnesses and women’s pain. Based on the author’s own experiences with vulvodynia, Taylor hopes that this book […]

Read More
The Shape of Darkness

Book Review: The Shape of Darkness reinforces Laura Purcell as a master of building suspense

February 8, 2021

Laura Purcell’s fourth novel with¬†Raven Books¬†once again sees the ‘queen of the sophisticated and spooky page turner’ serve us up a Gothic, historical treat. Whilst none of her subsequent books have been quite so spine-chilling as 2017’s The Silent Companions, this latest offering, The Shape of Darkness is a suitably spooky novel about violence, grief […]

Read More
Outlawed

Book Review: Anna North ventures into the feminist Wild West in Outlawed

January 14, 2021

  There are few things that will turn a woman to becoming an outlaw faster than the threat of being hanged as a witch.¬†So it is for Ada, the protagonist of¬†Anna North’s latest novel,¬†Outlawed.¬† Described as a mash up of¬†The Handmaid’s Tale¬†with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Outlawed takes place in “the year of […]

Read More
My Best Friend's Murder

Book Review: Polly Phillips’ debut My Best Friend’s Murder hooks you in from the first chapter

January 7, 2021

There have been a number of big commercial thrillers which explore the dangers that hide inside ordinary homes and behind seemingly innocent faces; but none have been quite so relatable to me as the debut novel by Perth-based writer, Polly Phillips. My Best Friend‚Äôs Murder follows aspiring journalist Bec, who finds herself in her thirties, […]

Read More
When I Come Home Again

Book Review: Scattered viewpoints water down the heartbreak in Caroline Scott’s When I Come Home Again

December 23, 2020

Caroline Scott’s¬†fiction debut, 2019’s¬†The Poppy Wife was that rare kind of historical novel, which is at once comfortingly familiar and refreshingly original. She returns to writing about the aftermath of the First World War with¬†When I Come Home Again. The novel follows a returned solider with amnesia who is sent to convalesce in an English […]

Read More
Broken Rules

Book Review: It’s all in the mind with Barry Lee Thompson’s debut collection, Broken Rules and Other Stories

December 3, 2020

There’s a lot of subtlety to Barry Lee Thompson‘s short story collection,¬†Broken Rules and Other Stories. It’s clear from the first story that this collection is incredibly literary. Most of the stories have their action take place in a character’s mind and draw tension from a close examination of the social contracts that govern the […]

Read More