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The Book Of Emmett - Deborah Forster


Published: April 2009
Ships: 5 to 9 business days
5 to 9 business days
RRP $19.99

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Published: 1st June 2010
Format: ePUB

Booktopia Comments

Shortlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin Award and the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Winner of the Dobbie Prize.

Book Description

A stunning first novel from a Melbourne author. The story of the Brown family will wrench at your heart and make you hug those you love ever tighter.

Emmett always had in mind that he was going to make a million for the family and continued to pursue his dream of 'the numbers' that would guarantee a win at the races. It only takes a few disappointments to throw Emmett back to his own abusive childhood in and out of orphanages and he is soon a broken down gambling drunk who terrorises his wife and children. When young Daniel dies - an accident borne of his terror of upsetting his father - everyone, including Emmett, blames him and he spirals further into violence and self-loathing. Bonds formed hiding in hedges at the end of the street whilst waiting for maelstroms to pass are hard to understand, and impossible to break.

Starting at Emmett's funeral and reflecting back, through the two eldest children - Louisa who becomes a journalist and Rob an arborist - the Brown family story is shared. Rob decides that none of the children should ever have children because they too will end up behaving like their father, Jessie agrees with him, but Louisa and Peter have children which bring them great joy. Each of Emmett's children has their own issues to deal with, but somehow, on his passing, each comes to discover that they loved and learnt from their father who when he was at his best, inspired them to look for beauty in life.

THE BOOK OF EMMETT is a novel about hope and love and surviving.

Reading Group Book Questions

  1. At his core, who is Emmett Brown? What array of feelings does he evoke from his family and the reader? What do his passions say about him? Discuss the different ways Forster approaches masculinity and fatherhood throughout the novel.
  2. ‘How can you love a monster?’ is a question that haunts the Brown kids all their lives. How do each of the siblings resolve this question? What is the truth of the nature of forgiveness? How elastic are its boundaries?
  3. 'The siblings are close, but intimacy can also present complications. Discuss the dynamics between the children. How do they change over time? Can the past ever really be over? Who do you feel is the strongest character and why?
  4. Women are oppressed in The Book of Emmett. How does each of the women respond to the emotional and physical abuse – and how does it affect their relationships with each other. How are Louisa’s subsequent relationships with men affected?
  5. Discuss the ways in which the landscape the Browns inhabit is quintessentially Australian. What values are embedded in such surroundings and what effects do those values have on the characters? How has this image of suburban Australia changed over time?
About the Author

Deborah Foster grew up in Footscray, Melbourne. She worked as a staff and freelance journalist for many years and was a This Life columnist on The Age and The Sunday Age. Deborah Foster is married to Alan Kohler and they have three children. THE BOOK OF EMMETT is her first novel.

"Brilliant. A story of such gently savage emotional intensity it stays with you long after you've turned the last page." --Susan Duncan, author, "Salvation Creek"

ISBN: 9781741667868
ISBN-10: 1741667860
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: April 2009
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.3  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.26