From the Stella shortlisted author of Poum and Alexandre, this is a heartwarming novel about longing, absence and the people we unexpectedly come to love.After many years spent living in Seoul, a young man called Harold drifts back to Australia and rents a room above a fish and chip shop called The Sea & Us. Who he meets and what he experiences there propels him to question his own yearnings and failings, and to fight for meaning and a sense of place that can only be reached by facing what is lost.By turns electric, tender, and hopeful, The Sea & Us is a gem of literary imagination. Catherine de Saint Phalle brilliantly captures disparate characters and their common human desire for community and connection. Long after the last page closes, 'we can hear the bell tinkle. Someone wants some fish and chips.''Mesmerising. Full of love and charm...beautifully written.' — Herald Sun
A fresh and sparkling book that strikes deep notes as it flows along.' Helen Garner. 'Like the suburb it depicts, On Brunswick Ground teems with lives at once familiar and strange, all beautifully lit by the glint and warmth of Saint Phalle's prose. Shadowed by local tragedy, we come to care for these characters as much as they care for each other; with wry humour and in unexpected ways.' Roger Averill. In the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, a female narrator, who remains unnamed is trying to come to terms with the absence of Jack, the man she loves. In a bar she meets Bernice, a radio personality, in her late thirties and flirting with IVF. Finding a job as a gardener, she discovers that her co-worker, Mitali, has an unresolved mourning that attracts other deaths into its orbit. Later on, she befriends the resolutely mysterious bar owner, Sarah, and her daughter, Mary, who has, for potent (and as yet unrevealed) reasons, converted to Islam and donned a burqa. The lives of...
This is the story of two flawed eccentrics. Everything they do subverts their firm intention of keeping up appearances. They meet just after the war in liberated Paris but they cannot quite free themselves from the many strings attached to them – the old aunts, the sisters, the cousins, the nuns and the ominous concierges who dog their footsteps.Alexandre is a banker and a Resistant and lives in a world of numbers and Roman emperors. Poum resides in the Odyssey and in her bed, hiding from the mysterious disapproval of their relatives, for they both seem to persist in some irreparable faux pas which has them wading through a lifetime pickle. Their daughter, Catherine, would like to help but she seems to be part of the problem.