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Gotland - Fiona Capp


Published: 1st July 2013
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Published: 1st July 2013
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Shy and idealistic, Esther Chatwin is Australia's reluctant First Lady. She longs to return to the anonymity of her old life. But her husband's sudden political success has turned the media spotlight on her and her only escape is to Gotland, the fabled island in the Baltic Sea that she loves. A special place, it's also home to the enigmatic sculptor Sven, another idealist with a troubled past.

Even on the other side of the world, deeply private events become everyone's business, and Esther must struggle to overcome the forces--within and without--that threaten to destroy her.

Gotland is a startlingly evocative and timely portrait of the cost paid by those who are drawn into the public spotlight against their will.

Read Caroline Baum's Review:

American writer Curtis Sittenfield gained high-profile publicity for American Wife, her novel based on Laura Bush.

Now Victorian writer Fiona Capp has had the good idea of writing a novel about a wife who is about to become Australia’s ‘First lady’. Don’t let pre election fatigue put you off.

Esther Chatwin is unwillingly caught in the glare of the public spotlight as her husband’s career leads him to the Lodge. So she escapes for a break with her sister to Gotland, a remote island in the Baltic Sea. There she meets Sven, a sculptor fleeing his own troubled past. With distance, her perspective on life and the sacrifices that come with political office present a stark choice.

Capp conjures up the spare beauty of her setting and the subtle shifts in Esther’s awareness with insight and intelligence, restraint and maturity, neatly sidestepping cliches to examine the pressures that can unbalance the stablest of lives.

About the Author

Fiona Capp is the internationally published author of three works of non-fiction, including That Oceanic Feeling, a memoir about her love for the sea and surfing. She is also the author of three novels: Night Surfing, Last Of The Sane Days and Musk & Byrne. Her most recent book is part memoir, part journey through the landscapes which inspired Australian poet Judith Wright, My Blood's Country.



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Reviewed by 1 customer

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A good thoughtful read


from Sydney, Australia

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters


  • A Bit Slow

Best Uses

  • Travel Reading

Comments about Gotland:

I enjoyed this book for a number of personal reasons, one of the reasons is that I have travelled to Gotland and was interested in what the writer had to write about the island. It was a good representation of the scenery and lifestyles and I was propelled back to the place. The insight into suburban street-art and the passion behind it was good and made me look at street art in a totally different light. The workings behind the political scene set in Australia were also interesting.

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ISBN: 9780732297572
ISBN-10: 0732297575
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st July 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 13.5  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.28