Hachette Australia

International Women's Day

Five Biographical Fiction Picks for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness of the discrimination still faced by many women all over the world. In celebration of IWD, we have put together a list of five recent or forthcoming novels which fictionalise the lives of real-life heroines – women who…

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The Moon Gate

Book Review: Amanda Geard’s The Moon Gate is a refreshing historical delight

You may think that the dual-timeline historical fiction novel has had its moment. But recently there have been a number of novels which have played with the braided, three-narrative structure. While difficult to pull off, these blends of historical fiction and mysteries that span across time are very popular, especially with readers who enjoy the…

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The Witching Tide by Margaret Meyer is a midnight blue cover with an illustration of a witchfinder's pricking stick hidden in a field of yellow flowers

Book Review: The Witching Tide is historical fiction that should be read by the light of day

In Margaret Meyer’s The Witching Tide, the story of a witch-hunt is seen through the eyes of Martha Hallybread, a mute midwife, who may actually be a witch. Ironically, she is the only woman in her town who seems to be safe from the paranoia and suspicions of a community riddled with bad luck – failed…

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Book Review: Heartstopper Volume 5 explores the discomfort of growing up, first times, and hard choices

The Heartstopper franchise is the perfect way to expose young people to diversity, inclusivity, and what it is like to grow up, experience first times, and all the awkwardness that comes with it. At the beginning of the book, one of the main characters, Charlie Spring, turns sixteen. After a year of Nick Nelson and…

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Southern Aurora

Book Review: Mark Brandi’s moving coming of age novel Southern Aurora explores unforgiving small-town life

Southern Aurora is Mark Brandi’s fourth novel, and follows on the heels of the bestseller Wimmera (2017), The Rip (2019) and The Others (2021). Wimmera secured Brandi the coveted British Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and was also named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian…

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The Midnight News

Book Review: The Midnight News is a rare new take on the Blitz novel

Jo Baker doesn’t just write historical fiction; she plays with it in the way only a writer at the top of their craft can. She is a writer whose work takes the reader’s expectations of the genre and twists them into something marvellously unexpected. Her latest novel, The Midnight News, is no different. To start,…

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Cover of The Anniversary

Book Review: Stephanie Bishop’s The Anniversary dives deep into the writerly mind

Award-winning Australian author Stephanie Bishop published her fourth novel The Anniversary in late March, though you may be forgiven for having missed it given the proliferation of big names with novels due out around the same time. (Pip Williams, anyone?) Centring on the relationship between a novelist J B Blackwood and her filmmaker husband, Patrick (who…

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Best Books 2022

The Best Books of the Year: 2022

2022 has been a great year for settling in with a good book and escaping the world outside. We’ve reached that part of the year where we all start agonising over our ‘lists’  –best albums, best films, and of course best books.  We in the Books team have looked back over the year’s releases and…

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Book Review: North turns her pen to weaving tales from Greek Mythology in Ithaca

It’s no secret that Greek Mythology retellings are having something of a moment. Madeline Miller‘s The Song of Achilles – published in 2011 – was one of the most talked about books on TikTok this year; and in the last couple of years, we’ve had novels which focus on the forgotten women’s perspectives within these…

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A Solitary Walk on the Moon

Book Review: A Solitary Walk on the Moon explores our failure to connect, but it won’t be for everyone

Evelyn owns a laundromat in the Melbourne CBD. She surveys her community, making internal observations about the people she sees; the elderly man in the dapper suit who seems to be getting more forgetful, the young man with the new puppy at the park every morning, the tattooed couple who argue constantly. Evelyn notices everything,…

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Love Marriage

Book Review: Home is where the heart is in Monica Ali’s first novel in a decade, Love Marriage

Love Marriage is the fourth novel from Booker Prize shortlisted author, Monica Ali; and her first novel in a decade. It is the story of Yasmin, an English doctor whose family are of Indian Muslim heritage, and her engagement to obstetrician Joe. Race, class, religion and gender all play major parts in the unfolding of…

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Dinner with the Schnabels

Book Review: Toni Jordan’s Dinner With The Schanbels is a charming novel about life post-lockdown

If you thought it was too soon for a pandemic novel, you might just be put off by the premise of Toni Jordan’s newest book, Dinner with the Schnabels…don’t be! Known for her versatility across both the contemporary and historical genres, the Melbourne-based novelist has just published her first novel with Hachette. Schnabels follows down-on-his-luck former-architect Simon…

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Most Anticipated Books

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Apr – Jun

Somehow it’s April already, with Easter coming up just next week. And in our opinion nothing pairs better with a chocolate egg and a long weekend like a good book.  To help you decide what to read next, we at the AU Books Team are here to pick out some choice cuts from the many…

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The Reindeer Hunters

Book Review: Lars Mytting blends myth and history beautifully in The Reindeer Hunters

Norwegian author Lars Mytting and his English translator Deborah Dawkin transport readers back to the modest village of Butangen in The Reindeer Hunters, the second book in Mytting’s Sister Bells Trilogy.  If you haven’t read the first book in the trilogy, The Bell in the Lake, I heartily recommend you do so before starting on…

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The School Teacher of Saint-Michel

Book Review: The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is an inspiring fictionalisation of real wartime resistance acts

Inspired by real acts of resistance in France during the Second World War, Sarah Steele’s latest novel The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is sure to keep you turning pages long past lights out thanks to its twin timelines of two women on a mission, eighty years apart. Hannah Stone is a teacher on the verge…

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The Paris Bookseller

Book Review: The Paris Bookseller is a delightful addition to a growing sub-genre in historical fiction

Kerri Maher’s latest novel, The Paris Bookseller, is bound to appeal to fans of bestselling author, Natasha Lester. Not only does it take as its setting Paris during the 1920s, but it features at its core the little known history behind the setting up of the iconic Shakespeare and Co bookshop. Readers may be interested to…

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Secrets of Bridgewater Bay

Book Review: A one hundred year old tangle of secrets is unravelled in The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay

“Two women set sail for a new life in Australia, bound by a secret that will change everything.” In Julie Brooks‘ debut work of historical fiction, The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay, amateur historian Molly is gifted an historical mystery by her late grandmother, Queenie. Amongst Queenie’s possessions, Molly finds a photograph of two young women…

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How Decent Folk Behave

Book Review: How Decent Folk Behave sees poet, Maxine Beneba Clarke holding a mirror up to recent events

The last two years have been tumultuous ones and have left people reeling. You can either dwell on the hopelessness of it all, or try and seek out the light. Poet and writer, Maxine Beneba Clarke does both of these things, but mostly the latter, in her fourth poetry collection, How Decent Folk Behave. This…

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Best Books 2021

The Best Books of The Year: 2021

2021. We had high hopes. But it’s been another year of uncertainty and upheaval – albeit perhaps not as bad as last year. It has been another strong year for books and publishing, with some big names returning with new books: Colson Whitehead, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Sally Rooney to name just three.  It’s also…

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The Fair Botanists

Book Review: Sara Sheridan’s The Fair Botanists is a contemplative take on Scottish history

The story of how Sara Sheridan’s latest book The Fair Botanists came to be is a fascinating one. Or one to envy if you are trying to get a book published yourself. In an author’s note at the back of the novel, Sara tells of how she was eating at a restaurant when she got a text…

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The Riviera House

Book Review: The Riviera House is Natasha Lester’s most sumptuous novel yet

Bestselling historical fiction author Natasha Lester is back with her sixth foray into the genre and it’s safe to say that her star is continuing to rise. Once again returning to World War Two-era France, Lester’s latest novel is The Riviera House, a multiple timeline romance and adventure story of art, espionage and war. This new offering…

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Small Joys of Real Life

Book Review: Small Joys of Real Life is a deeply moving debut about those moments when life doesn’t go to plan

In Small Joys of Real Life, the debut novel by Allee Richards, main character Eva is coming to terms with some big changes in her life. Though she’s moderately successful in her acting career, she’s never felt as passionate about it as she feels perhaps she should. When she confides this information to Pat, a friend of…

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Palace of the Drowned

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

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…

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

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…

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

Book Review: Dawnie Walton’s debut The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is headliner material

Since the release of Daisy Jones and the Six back in 2019, narratives about fictional bands, singers and songwriters have undergone something of a renaissance. Dawnie Walton’s debut The Final Revival of Opal & Nev builds on the oral history format of Daisy Jones, and takes the next step. Walton succeeds in telling a story…

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The Paris Library

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

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…

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

  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…

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Best Books of 2020

The 14 Best Books of 2020

By now it goes without saying that 2020 has been a rough year. From wildfires to a global pandemic there has disruption and upheaval on a scale rarely, if ever, seen in “peacetime”. Pretty much every sector of society has taken a hit this year. And the publishing world, as with much of the Arts…

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Rupert Everett

Book Review: Rupert Everett explores the fleeting nature of fame and filmmaking in To the End of the World

To the End of the World: Travels with Oscar Wilde is the latest memoir from actor, author, and now director Rupert Everett. In the book Everett, recounts the story of how he set out to make the film of Oscar Wilde’s last days, 2018’s The Happy Prince. The book, then, is part memoir, part travelogue,…

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Dead Man In A Ditch

Book Review: Fetch Phillips returns in Luke Arnold’s Dead Man In A Ditch

Fetch Phillips, the noirish rouge for hire from Weatherly, is back. It’s been less than year since his last case. And, it’s aftermath is still rippling through Sunder City. People have got the idea that the magic might be coming back. They’ve also got into their heads that Fetch is working to figure it all…

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