Here are our book club titles for May!
Discussion will commence in the Page by Page Facebook group at the beginning of June. If you’re not on Facebook, please feel free to revisit this post and share your reading thoughts in the comments section below.
Fled by Meg Keneally
Highway robber. Convict. Runaway. Mother. She will do anything for freedom, but at what cost?
Jenny Trelawney is no ordinary thief. Forced by poverty to live in the forest, she becomes a successful highwaywoman – until her luck runs out.
Transported to Britain’s furthest colony, Jenny must tackle new challenges and growing responsibilities. And when famine hits the new colony, Jenny becomes convinced that those she most cares about will not survive. She becomes the leader in a grand plot of escape, but is survival any more certain in a small open boat on an unknown ocean?
Meg Keneally’s debut solo novel is an epic historical adventure based on the extraordinary life of convict Mary Bryant.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Published by Quercus (Hachette Australia)
A captivating and magical story set in 1930s Malaysia about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy who are brought together by a series of unexplained deaths and an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.
They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk amongst us…
In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.
Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.
As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.
Four Respectable Ladies Seek the Meaning of Wife by Barbara Toner
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
Marriage isn’t always a bed of roses. And there are many ways to be a wife,’ the vicar informs the town…
It’s 1930, and as the Depression overtakes rural New South Wales, what it means to be a wife tests the four respectable ladies of Prospect to their very limit.
Louisa Worthington fled to the city ten years ago, pregnant, poor and under a cloud of scandal. Now she’s back – blonde and brazen – with her heart set on the married son of the town’s mayor.
Adelaide Nightingale, newly widowed and starved of romance, yearns for adoration, security and a version of herself defined by beauty not business.
Maggie Albright dreams of empire building, but is hamstrung by her over-cautious husband, who grows less handsome by the day.
Then there’s Pearl Fletcher, happily married to Joe, the district’s most successful sheep farmer, but protecting a secret that could tear their family apart.
And hovering in the town’s shadows is a ghost from their past. A man newly released from jail ruthlessly bent on exploiting the ladies’ hopes and fears to get what he wants. And what he wants is Louisa . . .
The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris
Published by Orion (Hachette Australia)
The compelling new novel from the author of the bestselling CHOCOLAT.
Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.
But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray. The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence – even, perhaps, a murder…