Good Reading : November 2004
general ﬁction word of mouth The Voices Susan Elderkin The Voices is a haunting tale that begins with the main character, Billy Saint, injured and lying in a hospital bed at the age of 23. The Voices then skips back in time to when Billy was just 13, living in the raw Australian outback, and friends with a mysterious young Aboriginal girl called Maisie whom he meets while out on one of his adventures in the bush. As the book traces Billy’s life we learn that his mother, the chain-smoking Crystal, is having an affair with the local service station worker, Steve. Entrepreneur Sydney Coldiver has just moved into town with big ideas of tourism and a plan to get all the local Aboriginal folk working for him in ‘honest 9 to 5’ jobs. It is not until the end of the book that we return to the present and dis - cover how Billy came to be hospitalised. Susan Elderkin has written a deeply moving novel with many layers, exploring issues such as love, Aboriginal spirituality and assimilation. A self confessed ‘desert junkie,’ Elderkin writes about the Australian outback with such tenderness and ease it’s hard to believe that she’s a born and bred Brit and not a native bush baby. While at times The Voices is hard to follow, the characters are what really make it worth reading – they’ll be etched into your memory for a long time after the last page has been turned. ★★★ Perennial $22.95 Reviewed by Jasmine Salem The Lives of Shadows Barbara Hodgson The Lives of Shadows is an illustrated novel; it contains full colour images, symbols and textures, making it more like a loved scrapbook than a novel. It is such a beautiful book that, upon handling it, booklovers will actually feel the desire to protect it. And the writing is as elegant as the book, starting with the simple opening sentence: ‘Julian should have never have answered the door.’ The story is set in Syria in the early part of the last century, which gives an air of mystery and romance to both the written word and the images, particularly for those unfamiliar with that corner of the world. The Lives of Shadows is a story of intrigue and love that is satisfying and unpredictable. In a world of many complicated and sometimes overly clever books, The Lives of Shadows reminds us how satisfying a well- written story can be.We are also reminded that for all our modern publishing capabilities, too rarely do we have the opportunity to experience the novel in a form that embodies its full potential. ★★★ Chronicle Books $45.00 Reviewed by Cecilia Hilder The Matthew Hayden Cookbook • colour photographs throughout Cooking is the other passion of Australia’s premier batsman. This stylish cookbook is packed with Matthew’s own delicious recipes and food adventures enjoyed everywhere from Sri Lanka to Stradbroke Island. Nove Cucina Recipes from an Italian Trattoria Ed Halmagyi • colour photographs througout A celebration of Italian family cooking and the glorious produce available in Australia by the precociously talented head chef at Sydney’s famed Nove restaurant. Mumma’s Kitchen Recipes and Stories – Edited by Helen Addison-Smith and George Papaellinas • sepia photographs throughout Stefano De Pieri, Marion Halligan, Michael McGirr, William Yang, Jacques Reymond, Annette Shun Wah and many other writers and chefs share memories and recipes from their mothers’ kitchens. Available at ABC Shops, ABC Centres, all good bookstores, online at abcshop.com.au, or for home delivery phone 1300 360 111 The Bathers’ Pavilion Café Cookbook Serge Dansereau • full colour photographs throughout Legendary chef, Serge Dansereau, presents seventy Mediterranean inspired recipes in this fabulous new hardcover publication with specially commissioned photographs of both the food and the famous Balmoral beach restaurant. LARGE FORMAT PAPERBACK; SRP: $29.95 JACKETED HARDCOVER; SRP: $49.95 LARGE FORMAT PAPERBACK; RRP: $39.95 HARDCOVER;SRP: $35.00 Luscious cookbooks to tempt all tastes!
December January 2005