Contemporary Fiction

Rosie and Penn have always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time -- and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues on until the day that Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl. As far as his parents are concerned, he… Read More

The problem with reviewing a book that you love is that it is often hard to describe just why you like the book so much - the usual adages of ‘good characterisations’, ‘innovative plot line’ and ‘page-turning entertainment’ are the obvious explanations, but often that is simply not enough. This is especially the case when… Read More

Harmless Like You tells the parallel stories of Yuki, a young Japanese woman living in 1960s New York, and Jay, the son she subsequently abandons. When Yuki is 16 her family move back to Tokyo but, despite having no friends, she decides to stay on in America to pursue her true love, art. The story of… Read More

Who among us hasn’t gazed at the sky above and not wondered about the millions of others who are sharing the same view? Space has the dual effect of humbling the human existence and strengthening ideas of a common humanity. With her debut novel, Helen Sedgwick takes that common astronomic fantasy and weaves a whimsical… Read More

Australia's Liane Moriarty has done it again, with a captivating story about something that we all think will never happen to us, but so easily could. You know, the story you hear about on the news about the family who did such and such and you react with a tut-tut because how could they possibly… Read More

Sue Younger's debut novel, Days Are Like Grass, is a book that lingers. Paediatric surgeon, Claire Bowerman, has reluctantly returned to Auckland from London with her teenage daughter, Roimata, and her partner Yossi in tow. Yossi, ex-Israeli army, convinced Claire she should move home where it’s peaceful and where their part-Maori daughter (Yossi is not the… Read More

Parents look after you when you’re young, and you return the favour when they get older. That’s how it goes, isn’t it? That’s the honourable thing to do. But what do you do if you parents are your tormentors? What if they’re the ones who have damaged you so much that you’re now close to… Read More

The Quiet Spectacular is the latest novel from Dunedin writer Laurence Fearnley. It’s a quiet story, rooted in the landscape. Centering around three quite different women, it subverts the ‘man vs wild’ construct. The three female protagonists are all at points of transition in their lives. Teenage Change is dominated by her cruelly unhappy mother… Read More

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