The Landing - Susan Johnson

The Landing


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Jonathan Lott, recently divorced, is about to find how much love really matters in a funny, delightful and poignant novel that lays out the human condition - looking for love in all of its many forms with secrets, polite lies, desperation, compromise and joy.

Jonathan Lott is confused. His wife has left him for a woman and he doesn't like living alone. Is it true that an about-to-be-divorced man in possession of a good fortune is in need of a new wife? Would Penny Collins do, divorced herself, school teacher and frustrated artist? What about beautiful Anna, blown in from who knows where, trailing broken marriages behind her? There's a lot happening at The Landing, where Jonathan has his beach house, and he's about to find out how much love matters.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

Susan Johnson's stunning new novel, written with her trademark wit and insight, brilliantly observes what it is to be human and to love: the betrayals, the long and the short alliances, the disappointments and the joys. The Landing celebrates all of it with verve and style.

Always perceptive and passionate, Susan Johnson has written openly about some of her life’s more confronting moments in both fiction and memoir. Now she tries her hand at something more light-hearted in a comedy of manners set in a small community on the Gold Coast. Her characters are recognisable types - the divorced man who simply did not see it coming, the European sophisticate who things she’s better than everyone else and is having trouble fitting in, the local busybody gossip - you will probably have met people like these.

Johnson’s dialogue reminded me of playwright David Williamson’s: he was the master of seemingly throwaway cocktail party small talk remarks that betrayed more of a person than they intended. An admirer of British writers like Jane Austen and Barbara Pym, Johnson attempts the kind of mild satire that is much harder than it looks. By temperament I suspect that her Francophile side is closer to her real nature, Gallic in its heated intensity.

Come to think of it, the French invented the soufflé, and that is what this book is - she’s combined the best of both worlds in this light and airy dish.

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