Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for September 2018. The theme is The Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life: School
Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.
The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, August 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on September 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the August selection, The Great Halifax Explosion, on August 15.
The “shocking” and “suspense-packed” bestseller about one teacher’s stand against student violence, and the basis for the Academy Award–nominated film (The New York Times Book Review).
After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher—and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he’s hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City’s regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.
His fellow educators are bitter, disillusioned, and too afraid of their pupils to risk turning their backs on them in the classroom. But Dadier refuses to give up without a fight. Over the course of the semester, he tries again and again to break through the wall of hatred and scorn and win his students’ respect. The more he learns about their difficult circumstances, the more convinced he becomes that a good teacher can make a difference in their lives. His idealism will be put to the ultimate test, however, when a long-simmering power struggle with his most intimidating student explodes into a violent schoolroom showdown.
The basis for the blockbuster film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Evan Hunter’s The Blackboard Jungle is a brutal, unflinching look at the dark side of American education and an early masterpiece from the author who went on to write the gritty 87th Precinct series as Ed McBain. Drawn from Hunter’s own experiences as a New York City schoolteacher, it is a “nightmarish but authentic” drama that packs a knockout punch (Time).
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton [drofgnal, fantasyfan, CRussel] Amazon US $4.70
Throughout his forty-three-year tenure at Brookfield, “a good public school of the second rate” in eastern England, Arthur Chipping has been Mr. Chips to his students. Beginning with his unpolished first years during the Franco-Prussian War, into the radical changes of the twentieth century and the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. Chips has shaped lives. But Chips has been inspired as well—by the unremarkable and the extraordinary, by his colleagues, by a woman who changes him forever, and not least, by his children, “thousands of them, all boys.”
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro [astrangerhere, issybird, Bookpossum] Amazon | Kobo | Google Play All $9.99
As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl [fantasyfan, Bookpossum, Dazrin]
As a boy, all sorts of unusual things happened to Roald Dahl. There was the time he and four school friends got their revenge on beastly Mrs Prachett in her sweet shop.
There are stories of holidays in fishing boats, African adventures and the days of tasting chocolate for Cadbury's.
You'll hear tales of horrible school bullies and the motor-car accident when Roald's nose was nearly sliced clean off . . .
Roald Dahl vividly shares his memories; some are funny. Some are painful. Some are unpleasant. All are true.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles [drofgnal, CRussel, Dazrin] Amazon US $10.99
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II.
Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
Tunnel In The Sky by Robert Heinlein [Ralph Sir Edward, June, Dazrin]
From the author of STARSHIP TROOPERS comes TUNNEL IN THE SKY, the story of a group of students who are dropped on a foreign planet in order to test their survival skills. When the rescue ship doesn't arrive, they must create a new society and learn to adapt to their new life in the wild… but are their greatest troubles from beasts or fellow man?
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris [Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl, CRussel]
$US7.99, $C7.99, $A12.99, £0.99 - time to travel again! All from Kobo.
Audere, agere, auferre. To dare, to strive, to conquer. For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork, and information technology are beginning to overshadow St. Oswald's tradition, and Straitley is finally, and reluctantly, contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who -- unbeknownst to Straitley and everyone else -- holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's.
As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike. Beginning as small annoyances -- a lost pen, a misplaced coffee mug -- they are initially overlooked. But as the incidents escalate in both number and consequence, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school. With St. Oswald's unraveling, only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. The veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent, however -- a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences.
A harrowing tale of cat and mouse, this riveting, hypnotically atmospheric novel showcases New York Times bestselling author Joanne Harris's astonishing storytelling talent as never before.
Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for August 2018. The theme is What is It Good for? Absolutely Nothin':War
This year is the centenary of the Armistice that ended the war to end all wars. To quote Pete Seeger, "When will they ever learn?" But the topic is wide-ranging as usual; people can make of it what they will. Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.
The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, July 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on August 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the July selection, Dandelion Wine, on July 15.
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war. The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.
One of Ours by Willa Cather [astrangerhere, bfisher, Dazrin] Gutenberg free | LibriVox free
One of Ours is Willa Cather's 1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the making of an American soldier. Claude Wheeler, the sensitive but aspiring protagonist, has ready access to his family's fortune but refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his uncaring father and pious mother, and rejected by a wife whose only love is missionary work, Claude is an idealist without ideals to cling to. Only when his country enters the Great War does he find the meaning of his life.
Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park or The Secrets of Station X by Michael Smith [Bookpossum, CRussel, Dazrin] Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon AU $8.55 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo US $10.59 | Kobo AU $12.31
A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. Bear in mind that an Enigma machine had a possible 159 million million million different settings and the magnitude of the challenge becomes apparent. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, supplying information that led to the sinking of the Bismarck, Montgomery's victory in North Africa and the D-Day landings, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War. Michael Smith constructs his absorbing narrative around the reminiscences of those who worked and played at Bletchley Park, and their stories add a very human colour to their cerebral activity. The code breakers of Station X did not win the war but they undoubtedly shortened it, and the lives saved on both sides stand as their greatest achievement.
After steaming out of New York City on December 1, 1917, laden with a staggering three thousand tons of TNT and other explosives, the munitions ship Mont-Blanc fought its way up the Atlantic coast, through waters prowled by enemy U-boats. As it approached the lively port city of Halifax, Mont-Blanc's deadly cargo erupted with the force of 2.9 kilotons of TNT—the most powerful explosion ever visited on a human population, save for HIroshima and Nagasaki. Mont-Blanc was vaporized in one fifteenth of a second; a shockwave leveled the surrounding city. Next came a thirty-five-foot tsunami. Most astounding of all, however, were the incredible tales of survival and heroism that soon emerged from the rubble.
This is the unforgettable story told in John U. Bacon's The Great Halifax Explosion: a ticktock account of fateful decisions that led to doom, the human faces of the blast's 11,000 casualties, and the equally moving individual stories of those who lived and selflessly threw themselves into urgent rescue work that saved thousands.
The shocking scale of the disaster stunned the world, dominating global headlines even amid the calamity of the First World War. Hours after the blast, Boston sent trains and ships filled with doctors, medicine, and money. The explosion would revolutionize pediatric medicine; transform U.S.-Canadian relations; and provide physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who studied the Halifax explosion closely when developing the atomic bomb, with history's only real-world case study demonstrating the lethal power of a weapon of mass destruction.
Mesmerizing and inspiring, Bacon's deeply-researched narrative brings to life the tragedy, bravery, and surprising afterlife of one of the most dramatic events of modern times.
And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding [issybird, Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl] Amazon US $9.99 | Kobo UK £5.63 | Kobo AU $9.89 | OverDrive
In the weeks after the Germans captured Paris, theaters, opera houses, and nightclubs reopened to occupiers and French citizens alike, and they remained open for the duration of the war. Alan Riding introduces a pageant of twentieth-century artists who lived and worked under the Nazis and explores the decisions each made about whether to stay or flee, collaborate or resist.We see Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf singing before French and German audiences; Picasso painting and occasionally selling his work from his Left Bank apartment; and Marcel Carne and Henri-Georges Clouzot, among others, directing movies in Paris studios (more than two hundred were produced during this time). We see that pro-Fascist writers such as Louis-Ferdinand Celine and Robert Brasillach flourished, but also that Camus's The Stranger was published and Sartre's play No Exit was first performed-ten days before the Normandy landings.Based on exhaustive research and extensive interviews, And the Show Went On sheds a clarifying light on a protean and problematic era in twentieth-century European cultural history.
Goodbye Sarajevo: A True Story of Courage, Love and Survival by Atka Reid and Hana Schofield [Bookworm_Girl, gmw, bfisher] Amazon US $8.95 | Amazon UK £6.71 | Amazon CA $9.02 | Amazon AU $8.58 | Kobo, Overdrive, Scribd
May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave.
But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal.
The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts [Catlady, Bookworm_Girl, gmw] Amazon US $13.99 | Amazon UK £8.99 | Amazon CA $13.99 | Amazon AU $9.99 | Kobo U.S. $13.99 | Kobo UK £11.03 | Kobo CA $13.99 | Kobo Au $9.99 | Overdrive, Scribd, Axis360, RB Digital
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.
With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.
A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
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Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for July 2018. The theme is Some Like ItHot:Summer.
I love summer! I'm looking forward to lots and lots of nominations this month for my summer reading list. Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.
The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, June 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on July 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the June selection, The Three Musketeers, on June 15.
Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.
I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.
More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.
Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden [Bookpossum, bfisher, Bookworm_Girl] Kobo: $US9.89, $C12.09, £6.47, $A2.99 | Amazon US $8.99
Soon after the end of the terrible Great War, Mrs. Grey brings her five young children to the French countryside for the summer in hopes of instilling in them a sense of history and humility. But when she is struck down by a sudden illness and hospitalized, the siblings are left to fend for themselves at the lovely, bullet-scarred hotel Les Oeillets, under the suspicious, watchful eyes of its owner, Mademoiselle Zizi.
The young ones find a willing guide, companion, and protector in charming Englishman Eliot, a longtime resident at Les Oeillets and Mlle. Zizi’s apparent paramour. But as these warm days of freedom, discovery, and adolescent adventure unfold, Eliot’s interest becomes more and more focused on the eldest of the Grey children, sixteen-year-old daughter Joss. The older man’s obsession with the innocent, alluring, heartbreakingly beautiful woman-child soon threatens to overstep all bounds of propriety. And as Eliot’s fascination increases, so does the jealousy of his disrespected lover, adding fuel to a dangerously smoldering fire that could erupt into unexpected violence at any moment.
Told from the point of view of Cecil, Joss’s sharp-eyed younger sister, The Greengage Summer is a beautiful, poignant, darkly tinged coming-of-age story rich in the sights, smells, and sounds of France’s breathtaking Champagne country. It remains one of the crowning literary achievements of Rumer Godden, acclaimed author of beloved classics Black Narcissus, The River, and In This House of Brede.
In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.
Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.
The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.
Writing her first novel during World War I, West examines the relationship between three women and a soldier suffering from shell-shock. This novel of an enclosed world invaded by public events also embodies in its characters the shifts in England's class structures at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The book's events take place almost exclusively during the summer months, and there are some beautiful descriptions of the weather and countryside.
When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school-friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, the beautiful young woman up at the hall. He becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of deceit and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation. The haunting story of a young boy's awakening into the secrets of the adult world, The Go-Between is also an unforgettable evocation of the boundaries of Edwardian society.
Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.
On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’ s incomplete grasp of adult motives–together with her precocious literary gifts–brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.
1902-1911 An age of innocence and hope. Before the storm clouds roll over Europe. As Paul Craddock recovers from his Boer War injuries, he starts to plan a new life. As soon as he is able he invests all he has in a remote but beautiful estate in Devon, determined to make something wonderful of the place and to be at the heart of what is most real and most important. Then he meets Grace, beautiful and passionate, and mistress of the land he has so quickly grown to love. Equals in spirit and honour, their attraction to each other is undeniable, but she too has ambitions - and they may not be compatible with his. As Paul gains knowledge, contentment and stature in Shallowford it is at the price of heartbreak and bittersweet lessons learned.
The Amazon description:
[q_index]A great read for fans of PBS’s Poldark and Downton Abbey—first in the saga of a man returning from battle to an estate in the pre-WWI English countryside.
After serving his country in the Boer War, injured Lieutenant Paul Craddock returns to England to resume civilian life. But things have changed since he joined the Imperial Yeomanry three years ago. His father has died, leaving Paul as heir to a scrap metal business he has no intention of continuing. Instead, he purchases an auctioned-off thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a secluded corner of Devon. Neglected and overgrown, Shallowford becomes the symbol of all that Paul has lost—and a reminder of the gentle place his homeland once was. And here, on this sprawling stretch of land, he will be changed by his love for two women: fiercely independent Grace Lovell, and lovely, demure Claire Derwent.
Set in the English countryside in the first part of the previous century—from the long “Edwardian afternoon” following the death of Queen Victoria, to the gathering storm of World War I—Long Summer Day is the story of a man, his family, and a people struggling to adapt to life in a new world.
As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infinite Sea.
Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.
But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.
As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever...
A tail-end baby boomer, William McInnes recalls summer holidays that seemed to go on forever, when he and his mates would walk down to fish in the bay, a time when the Aussie battler stood as the local Labor candidate and watched out for his mates, and a time when the whole family would rush into the lounge room to watch a new commercial on TV.
He writes about his father—a strong character who talks to the furniture, dances with William’s mother in the kitchen, and spends his free time fixing up the house and doing the best for his family. In William’s writing you can hear his father speaking, listen to his mother singing, and his sisters and brothers talking in the yard.
This is a book about people who aren’t famous but should be. It’s about cane toads and families, love and hope and fear, laughter, death and life. Most of all, it is a realistic, down-to-earth book by a man who had a great time growing up. His warmth and humour come through on every page.