3.5 stars Lovesome is the first novel by Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and author, Sally Seltmann. At twenty-one years old, artist Joni Johnson has a job that perfectly suits her lifestyle: she works five nights a week at a French restaurant, and paints during the day. Joni lives in a backyard bungalow within cycling distance of Harland in Balmain East. Her boss, Lucy Bourdillon is a beautiful, charismatic French woman with somewhat unpredictable moods; Joni mostly gets on well with the rest of the staff, but especially with Dave, the chef, with whom she has an easy rapport. Life is pretty good, although a boyfriend would improve it. When Joni finds Annabelle Reed on her doorstep one night, she knows life isn't going to be quite the same. Annabelle is her best friend since school, a popular singer/musician whose work has brought her fame and taken her to London and New York. And if her presence makes Joni feel less that satisfied with her own achievements, it's OK because she and Annabelle love each other. Everything with Annabelle is larger than life: her desirability, her career, her relationships, her problems, her heartbreaks. Having Annabelle sharing her flat is as disruptive as it is exciting. Seltmann's protagonist is less than endearing to begin with: completely self-absorbed; often highly critical of others; her opinions of others oscillating wildly between adulation or awe and disapproval or disgust; rapidly switching loyalties; and generally acting more like a sixteen-year-old than her actual age. Luckily, as she learns a few of life's lessons, develops some maturity and realises what is important, she becomes less irritating. By the close of the novel, the reader may actually be pleased for her at the direction her life is taking. There's some nice descriptive prose in this impressive debut novel. With thanks to Allen & Unwin for this copy to read and review.