FELICITY MCLEAN BOOK LAUNCH

Thursday 4th April, 7.00pm @ Grind Espresso, Cronulla

'The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone' by Felicity McLean (*with the author herself)

          

The Virgin Suicides meets Picnic at Hanging Rock in this stunning international debut.

"We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song, and when one came back? She wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with. Spring slunk off too. Skulked away into the scrub and there, standing in its place, was the summer that scorched the air and burned our nostrils and sealed in the stink. Like the lids on our Tupperware lunchboxes.   That summer was the hottest on record. It was the year the Cold War ended. The year they stopped making Atari 2600s forever. I was eleven and one sixth, but it wasn't enough--by then we'd learned shadows disappeared in the dark."

Tikka Molloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long hot summer of 1992, growing up in an Australian suburb surrounded by encroaching bushland. The TV news in the background is filled with debate about the exoneration of Lindy ("dingo took my baby") Chamberlain. That summer was when the Van Apfel sisters - Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth - mysteriously disappeared during the school's Showstopper concert, held at the outdoor amphitheater by the river. Did they just run far away from their strange, evangelical parents or overly involved teacher? Were they taken? And, in the end, was anyone actually watching out for them?

While the search for the sisters unites the small community, the mystery of their disappearance has never been solved and Tikka and her older sister, Laura, have been haunted ever since by the loss of their best friends and playmates.

Now, years later, Tikka has returned home, to try to make sense of that strange moment in time, of the summer that left her frozen in the past, of the girls that she never forgot.

Brilliantly observed, spiky, funny, and unexpectedly endearing, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is part mystery, part coming-of-age story - with a dark shimmering unexplained absence at its heart.

Reviews

“A smart, classy thriller that blazes with the heat of Australia and slowly reveals its many layers.”—Fiona Mozley, author of Man Booker Prize finalist Elmet

'How do you escape your childhood, emotionally, actually? This compelling mystery by Felicity McLean has a rare depth of psychological and emotional truth. It will engage your heart.' Delia Ephron

'Sharp, mysteriously moving and highly entertaining' Robert Drewe

“I deeply admire the languid, lived-in prose of Felicity McLean’s lovely novel The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone. This is a story as much about forgiving ourselves our own childhoods, as it is about acknowledging and embracing the people we’ve become because of those adolescent (and sometimes life altering) choices.”
Hannah Pittard, author of Visible Empire

“Engrossing and goosebumpy from start to finish, this novel about three young sisters who vanish all together one night has the chilling feel of true events that are stranger than fiction, and the stuff of nightmares. But the magic of McLean's art is not just her gift for evoking, in almost hallucinogenic detail, her haunted narrator's childhood—a time and place linked to Australia's notorious true-life story of a baby dragged off in the night by a wild animal—but to do so in the most charming and irresistible of narrative voices. The result is a novel that is as delightful as it is terrifying, and just scary good.”
Tim Johnston, bestselling author of Descent and The Current

“A smart debut. Beautifully atmospheric with its great sense of time and place.”
Melina Marchetta, author of On the Jellicoe Road

"McLean expertly maintains an air of suspense as the tragedy unfolds. Tikka is an unforgettable, if not entirely reliable, narrator full of black humour, brutal honesty and naive curiosity. This novel is one that will haunt readers long after they have turned the last page.”
—Books+Publishing (Australia)
 

 BOOK LAUNCH / SIGNINGS (*at Sutherland Library)

Thursday 4th April, 6.30pm

Jospehine Moon - 'The Gift of Life'

You've been given the gift of life, now go live it.

Gabby McPhee is the owner of The Tin Man, a chic new cafe and coffee roasting house in Melbourne. The struggles of her recent heart transplant are behind her and life is looking up - until a mysterious customer appears in the cafe, convinced that Gabby has her deceased husband's heart beating inside her chest.

Krystal Arthur is a bereaved widow, struggling to hold herself and her two young boys together since Evan's death, and plagued by unanswered questions. Why was her husband in another city the night he died? And why won't his spirit rest? Krystal is convinced that Gabby holds the clues she needs to move towards a brighter future. Gabby needs Krystal to help her let go of her troubled past. The two women must come together to try to unlock the secrets in Evan's heart in order to set free their own.

By the internationally bestselling author of The Chocolate Promise, this is a profound and moving novel about the deeper mysteries of love and loss - and the priceless gift of life.


Tuesday 21st May, 6.30pm

Candice Fox - 'Hush Hush (Harriet Blue 4)'

The blistering new novel in James Patterson's no. 1 bestselling series set in Australia.

Harriet Blue used to be a detective. Now she?s inmate 3329.Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop - as Harriet Blue is learning on a daily basis. So, following a fight for her life and a prison-wide lockdown, the last person she wants to see is Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Woods. The man who put her inside.But Woods is not there to gloat. His daughter Tonya and her two-year-old child have gone missing. He?s ready to offer Harriet a deal- find his family to buy her freedom...


 

Thursday 6th June, 6.30pm

Margaret Rice - 'A Good Death'

The guide to facilitate much needed conversation and provide resources for grief management and palliative care.

When her own mother died, Margaret Rice realised how completely unprepared she and her family had been for the experience of companioning a loved one who is dying. So she decided to go in search of the information she couldn't find when she most needed it and write the book herself - a novice's guide to death. We live in a period of intense death denial. But what if we were to smash that taboo and ask questions we want answered, like how do we know when someone is close to dying, and how do we best care for them? What actually happens to our body when we die? How do we work with medical experts? How do we deal with the non-medical issues that will come up, such as wills, finances and even social media passwords? Is morphine used to nudge death along or is this just a myth? Where do questions about euthanasia fit in with personal, lived experience? Margaret Rice lifts the lid on the taboos that surround death, sharing practical information and compassionate advice from multiple sources to break down boundaries and offer better choices of care to suit individual needs. This is a book to help the dying and their carers feel less isolated, and help us all face death better.

 


Tuesday 11th June, 6.30pm

Minnie Darke - 'Star Crossed'

Marian Keyes meets Love Actually in this fresh, funny and gloriously romantic Australian novel that has sold all around the world.

In this sparkling romantic comedy, a young journalist tampers with her magazine's horoscopes to win her friend's heart - and sets in motion an unpredictable and often hilarious ripple effect...

Sometimes destiny needs a nudge in the right direction...

When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into her old friend Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) it could be by chance. Or perhaps it's written in the stars.
Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star - and Nick, she now learns, relies on the magazine’s astrology column to guide him in life.
Looking for a way to get Nick’s attention, Justine has the idea of making a few small alterations to ‘Aquarius’ before it goes to print.
It's only a horoscope, after all. What harm could changing it do?
Charting the many unforeseen ripple effects of Justine's astrological meddling - both for herself and others - Star-crossed is the funny, super-smart, feel-good novel of the year!

'The funny, clever, big-hearted love story of the year. Brilliant!' Heather Rose, bestselling author of The Museum of Modern Love...     'I loved this completely . . . a bright, brilliant, joyful little love story that spreads into the size of a small town, with its chorus of voices. A total triumph.' Josie Silver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December...     'You don’t need to care a thing about astrology to find Star-crossed a five-star delight. Minnie Darke has written a sharp, funny and irresistible rom com that melted my cold, skeptical (Gemini/moon in Sag) heart. I predict you’ll fall too.' Lisa Gabriele, bestselling author of The Winters