Allen & Unwin

Infinite Splendours

$32.99

The incandescent new novel from the acclaimed Miles Franklin winner author of The Eye of the Sheep and The Choke.

Lawrence Loman is a bright, caring, curious boy with a gift for painting. He lives at home with his mother and younger brother, and the future is laid out before him, full of promise. But when he is ten, an experience of betrayal takes it all away, and Lawrence is left to deal with the devastating aftermath.

As he grows into a man, how will he make sense of what he has suffered? He cannot rewrite history, but must he be condemned to repeat it?

Lawrence finds meaning in the best way he knows. By surrendering himself to art and nature, he creates beauty – beauty made all the more astonishing and soulful for the deprivation that gives rise to it.

Infinite Splendours is an extraordinary novel, incandescent with love and compassion, rich in colour and character. The power and virtuosity of Laguna’s writing make it impossible for us to look away; by being seen, Lawrence is redeemed.

And we, as readers, have had our minds and hearts opened in ways we can’t forget.

Trust

$32.99

She breathes deeply, trying to quell the rising sense of panic. A detective came to her home, drugged her and kidnapped her. She tries to make sense of it, to imagine alternatives, but only one conclusion is possible: it’s the past, come to claim her.

Martin Scarsden’s new life seems perfect, right up until the moment it’s shattered by a voicemail: a single scream, abruptly cut off, from his partner Mandalay Blonde.

Racing home, he finds an unconscious man sprawled on the floor and Mandy gone. Someone has abducted her. But who, and why?

So starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life so deep she has never mentioned it.

And for the first time, Mandy finds denial impossible, now the body of a mystery man has been discovered, a man whose name she doesn’t know, a man she was engaged to marry when he died. It’s time to face her demons once and for all; it’s time she learned how to trust.

Set in a Sydney riven with corruption and nepotism, privilege and power, Trust is the third riveting novel from award-winning and internationally acclaimed writer Chris Hammer.

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

$22.99

A magical tale of mystery and adventure that proves that sometimes even ordinary middle children can be heroes, from the bestselling author of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone and the award-winning The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars.

Long ago, the little Prince of Cloudburst was stolen from the seashore by a Water Sprite. Now, ten years later, the prince has found his way home. The King and Queen are planning the biggest party in their Kingdom’s history to welcome him.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Kingdoms and Empires, Esther Mettlestone-Staranise is looking forward to another year at Katherine Valley Boarding School. But she arrives to find a number of strange and unsettling changes. For one, her new teacher is rumoured to be an Ogre. Two mysterious students have joined the school, and one of Esther’s classmates is an undercover Spellbinder. Most disturbingly, the mountains surrounding the school – usually a delight of glaciers, teashops, lakes and Faeries – are now crowded with wicked Shadow Mages.

As secrets and dangers escalate, Esther must find the answers to several puzzles. Why is her teacher behaving so oddly? Which of Esther’s classmates is the Spellbinder, and can they really protect the school from gathering hordes of Shadow Mages? Could the Stolen Prince of Cloudburst be connected?

How can Esther – who is not talented like her sisters, nor an adventurer like her cousin, but just Esther – save her family, her school and possibly her entire world?

The Infiltrators

$39.99

Summertime, 1935. On a lake near Berlin, a young man is out sailing when he glimpses a woman reclining in the prow of a passing boat. Their eyes meet – and one of history’s greatest conspiracies is born.

Harro Schulze-Boysen had already shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of antifascists that stretched across Berlin’s bohemian underworld. Harro himself infiltrated German intelligence and began funnelling Nazi battle plans to the Allies, including the details of Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union. But nothing could prepare Harro and Libertas for the betrayals they would suffer in this war of secrets – a struggle in which friend could be indistinguishable from foe.

Drawing on unpublished diaries, letters and Gestapo files, Norman Ohler spins an unforgettable tale of love, heroism and sacrifice.

Honeybee

$32.99

Find out who you are, and live that life.’

Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below.

At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette.

The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.

Honeybee is a heartbreaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.

At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.

Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel, brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It’s about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter — one offering hope, the other redemption. It’s about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.

Mayflies

$29.99

A heartbreaking novel of an extraordinary lifelong friendship.

Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.

In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.

Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news.

Mayflies is a memorial to youth’s euphorias and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.

REVIEWS

‘An immensely engaging writer: wry and witty, and insightful.’ – Sunday Times

‘A vivid and meticulous writer.’ – Observer

Bush School

$29.99

In 1960, newly minted teacher Peter O’Brien started work as the only teacher at a bush school in Weabonga, two days’ travel by train and mail car from Armidale.

Peter was only 20 years old and had never before lived away from his home in Sydney. He’d had some teaching experience, but nothing to prepare him for the monumental challenge of being solely responsible for the education of 18 students, ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old. With few lesson plans, scant teaching materials, a wide range of curious minds and ages to prepare for, Peter was daunted by the enormity of the task ahead.

Because of Weabonga’s remoteness, the students were already at a disadvantage, but they were keen and receptive and had been blessed with an enthusiastic and committed teacher. Indeed it was the children and their thirst for learning who kept Peter afloat during the early days of shockingly inadequate living conditions, a deficient diet and the terrible loneliness he felt being isolated so far from family, friends and his burgeoning romance.

Bush School is an engaging and fascinating memoir of how a young man rose to a challenge most would shrink from today. It tells movingly of the resilience and spirit of children, the importance of learning and the transformative power of teaching.

Friday on My Mind

$29.99

Pop star, mentor and icon, George Young was one of the most important figures in Australian pop music history. Jeff Apter reveals the little-known facts that helped create a music empire.

George Young wasn’t so much on the charts for the best part of three decades: he and his musical partner Harry Vanda were the charts.

In this long-overdue book, the first to focus exclusively on the life and work of George Young, writer Jeff Apter explores George’s long and fruitful association with Harry; his rare ability to maintain a stable married life with his wife Sandra; and his handshake deal with Ted Albert that helped create a music empire. The book also reveals such little-known events as the accident that almost killed off ‘Hey, St. Peter’ before its release, and the tragedy that bonded George and Harry for life.

Last Lions of Africa

$32.99

Stories from the frontline in the battle to save a species.

This is the riveting and illuminating story of Australian writer Anthony Ham’s extraordinary journey into the world of lions. Haunted by the idea that they might disappear from the planet in our lifetime, he ventured deep into the African wilderness, speaking to local tribespeople and activists as well as to rangers, scientists and conservationists about why lions are close to extinction and what can be done to save them.

In The Last Lions of Africa, we walk alongside Anthony as he reveals the latest extraordinary science surrounding the earth’s dwindling lion populations and their often surprising relationship to mankind. As he uncovers heartbreaking and astonishing accounts of individual lions, prides and habitats, each chapter unfolds as both gripping campfire story and deeply researched exploration of larger mysteries in the natural world.

Anthony’s vivid storytelling weaves together natural history, ancient lore and multidisciplinary science to show us a world in which human populations are growing and wild lands are shrinking; where lions and indigenous peoples fight not for sovereignty over the land but for their very existence. In this gripping and crucial book, Anthony Ham brings Africa, its people and its endangered lions to magnificent life and shows the surprising ways those last lions might be saved.

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