Roaring Stories is Balmain’s independent bookstore, serving the book-loving community of the neighbourhood and surrounds. More than just a place lined with shelves, Roaring Stories aspires to be a welcoming threshold for journeys to begin: to faraway places and back in time; to personal development and enriched understandings; to fantastical worlds and matters close to heart. You may remember us under our former name Brays Books.
If you need a guide across our wide range of genres and titles, just ask our friendly team of expert booksellers: Bronwyn, Tim, Sylvia, Nell, Stella and Shanti.
Happy reading, beautiful booklovers. We hope to see you soon.
New Release Highlights
Darwin, Summer, 1963.
The humidity sat heavy and thick over the town as Senior Constable Ned Potter looked down at a body that had been dragged from the shallow marshland. He didn’t need a coroner to tell him this was a bad death. He didn’t know then that this was only the first. Or that he was about to risk everything looking for answers.
Late one night, Charlotte Clark drove the long way home, thinking about how stuck she felt, a 23-year-old housewife, married to a cowboy who wasn’t who she thought he was. The days ahead felt suffocating, living in a town where she was supposed to keep herself nice and wait for her husband to get home from the pub. Charlotte stopped the car, stepped out to breathe in the night air and looked out over the water to the tangled mangroves. She never heard a sound before the hand was around her mouth.
Both Charlotte and Ned are about to learn that the world they live in is full of secrets and that it takes courage to fight for what is right. But there are people who will do anything to protect themselves and sometimes courage is not enough to keep you safe.
STILL is an evocative, page-turning thriller from a brilliant Australian writer. If you loved THE DRY and SCRUBLANDS, you will love STILL.
In Venice, Frances Croy is working to leave the previous year behind: another novel published to little success, a scathing review she can’t quite manage to forget, and, most of all, the real reason behind her self-imposed exile from London: the incident at the Savoy.
Sequestered within an aging palazzo, Frankie finds comfort in the emptiness of Venice in winter, in the absence of others. Desperate to rediscover the success of her first novel, the one by which all her other work has been judged, she attempts to return to the page – ignoring the strained relationship with her best friend, the increasing phone calls from her editor, demanding the final book of her contract, and the growing fear that the end of her career is imminent.
And then Gilly appears.
A young woman claiming a connection from back home, one that Frankie can’t quite seem to recall, Gilly seems determined for the two women to become fast friends. Frankie finds herself equally irritated and amused by the strange young woman before her – but there’s something about her that continues to give Frankie pause, that makes her wonder just how much of what Gilly tells her is actually the truth.
Those around Frankie are quick to dismiss her concerns, citing her recent fragile state and what took place that night at the Savoy. So too do they dismiss Frankie’s claims that someone is occupying the other half of the palazzo, which has supposedly stood empty since after the war. But Frankie has caught Gilly in numerous lies, has seen the lights across the way, has heard the footsteps too-and what’s more, knows she isn’t mad.
Set in the days before and after the 1966 flood – the worst ever experienced by the city of Venice – the trajectory of the disaster that forever altered the city mirrors Frankie’s own inner turmoil as she struggles to make sense of what is and is not the truth, ultimately culminating in a tragedy that leaves her questioning her own role and responsibility – as well as her sanity.
Hard Like Water is a thrilling story about an erotic affair during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Returning to his hometown—and his wife—soldier Aijun sees a young woman, Hongmei, wandering barefoot along the railway tracks in the late-afternoon sun. From that moment on, Aijun and Hongmei spend their days and nights writing pamphlets and attending rallies: they are the engines of history. But soon their sexual and revolutionary fervour merge and a crazed new love explodes between them.
The party bosses are impressed by the ardour of the pair’s work. Emboldened, the couple build a ‘tunnel of love’—to further the revolution, of course, but also to connect their homes for their secret rendezvous. What will happen to their dreams of a life together?
Hard Like Water is an irresistible tale about sex and revolution, and a compelling drama about the nature of political power—by one of China’s greatest contemporary writers.
A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born.
1866, Cuba: María Isabel is the only woman working at a cigar factory, where each day the workers are read Victor Hugo and encouraged to recognize their value and strength. But these are dangerous political times, and as María begins to see marriage and motherhood as her only options for survival, the sounds of war are approaching.
In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbour detained by immigration officers. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma, and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.