Last year Toni Whitmont, editor-in-chief of the Booktopia BUZZ chose Caroline Overington’s I Came to Say Goodbye for her inaugural BUZZ CLUB pick.
Choosing a book club’s first book is difficult. Choosing a book for a club made up of 25,000 picky readers must have been terrifying. But Toni knows her stuff and I don’t think she could have chosen a better book than I Came to Say Goodbye to launch her book club because I Came to Say Goodbye is the kind of book which excites passionate discussion. Such passion is what makes a good book club great. On the back of Toni’s big initial BUZZ CLUB push, independent suburban book clubs all over Australia chose to read it, too, and Booktopia sold box loads of the novel. (Thanks, Caroline!)
Caroline Overington is now justly famed for bringing to life thorny social issues via the drama of her novels. Grittier that Jodi Picoult, Overington’s novels are firmly placed in today’s Australia, an Australia we sometime wish didn’t ring so true. She’ll get you thinking about a subject you thought you knew from an angle you didn’t know existed.
October sees the release of Overington’s latest novel… (we can’t wait)
In the struggle between warring parents, who will protect the child?
Garry Hartshorn and Softie Monaghan were never love’s young dream. Not even on their wedding day.
Softie was sophisticated, a career woman, who owned a nice apartment overlooking St Kilda Beach. Garry had a few rough edges, plus one failed marriage and an assortment of jobs under his belt.
But Softie’s body clock was ticking, and Garry wanted children …
So they got married, and produced the only thing they ever had in common.
Now, two years later, their golden-haired child is at the centre of a bitter custody battle. Both parents insist that her well-being is the only thing they care about.
Yet, in truth, Matilda was always the one most likely to become lost.
About the Author: Caroline Overington (@overingtonc) is the author of two non-fiction books, ONLY IN NEW YORK and KICKBACK, which won the Blake Dawson Prize for Business Literature. She has twice won a Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism, and has also won the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalistic Excellence. She has written three novels: GHOST CHILD, I CAME TO SAY GOODBYE and MATILDA IS MISSING. She lives in Bondi with her husband and their young twins.
I Came to Say Goodbye
“Brilliant, original, heart-breaking. I couldn’t put it down.” Mia Freedman
Who is left behind when a family falls apart?
It was four o’clock in the morning.
A young woman pushed through the hospital doors.
Staff would later say they thought the woman was a new mother, returning to her child – and in a way, she was.
She walked into the nursery, where a baby girl lay sleeping. The infant didn’t wake when the woman placed her gently in the shopping bag she had brought with her. There is CCTV footage of what happened next, and most Australians would have seen it, either on the internet or the news.
The woman walked out to the car park, towards an old Corolla. For a moment, she held the child gently against her breast and, with her eyes closed, she smelled her.
She then clipped the infant into the car, got in and drove off.
That is where the footage ends.
It isn’t where the story ends, however.
It’s not even where the story starts. (order your copy here)
“A gripping début novel…Taut writing helps ratchet up the tension between the voices of each of the people involved, until all the layers are stripped away to finally reveal the truth” Australian Women’s Weekly
The past is always close behind.
In 1982 Victorian police were called to a home on a housing estate an hour west of Melbourne. There, they found a five-year-old boy lying on the carpet. There were no obvious signs of trauma, but the child, Jacob, died the next day.
The story made the headlines and hundreds attended the funeral. Few people were surprised when the boy’s mother and her boyfriend went to prison for the crime. Police declared themselves satisfied with the result, saying there was no doubt that justice had been done.
And yet, for years rumours swept the estate and clung like cobwebs to the long-vacant house: there had been a cover-up. The real perpetrator, at least according to local gossip, was the boy’s six-year-old sister, Lauren…
Twenty years on, Lauren has created a new life for herself, but details of Jacob’s death being to resurface and the story again makes the newspapers. As Lauren struggles with the ghosts of her childhood, it seems only a matter of time before the past catches up with her. (order your copy here)
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.