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The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted - Robert Hillman

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

Paperback Published: 2nd April 2018
ISBN: 9781925603439
Number Of Pages: 320

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Tom Hope doesn’t think he’s much of a farmer, but he’s doing his best. He can’t have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It’s only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom’s heart breaks all over again.

Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic small town bookseller: the second Jew - and the most vivid person - Tom has ever met. He dares to believe they could make each other happy.

But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.

About the Author

Robert Hillman has written a number of books including his 2004 memoir The Boy in the Green Suit, which won the National Biography Award, and Joyful, published by Text in 2014. He lives in Melbourne.

Industry Reviews

'A novel of great spirit and tenderness.' -- Carrie Tiffany
`Robert Hillman entwines, with risk and skill, different and seemingly incompatible stories...He adds heft to the distinguished fiction of rural Australia.' * Australian *
`The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a stunningly beautiful work, a fully imagined world with a rare combination of compelling, vibrant, and tender characters who inhabit the story with courage...The compassion and grace that suffuse this novel are rarely captured in such beautiful language. As Tom and Hannah discover the courage to continue living, we are both torn apart and mended in the same breath. All that can be imagined of the heart comes to life in this extraordinary story.' -- Patti Callahan Henry * author of The Bookshop at Water's End *
`A beautifully woven tale of love and loss that shines a light on one of human's most remarkable gifts: our capacity for hope. Hillman is a storyteller of such spell-binding skill that readers will desire nothing more than to curl up in a quiet corner and devour this wise, warm, and transporting novel in one sitting.' -- Meg Donohue * author of Dog Crazy *
`I couldn't put this book down. An unforgiving Australian landscape backdrops characters so finely drawn you can smell their sweat, searching for many forms of redemption. With skill and grace, Hillman explores the heights and depths to which humans will go while trying to mend their own or another's broken heart. Poignant humour, sweet spots, and fear all roll into a timely period piece that draws you in. Prepare to lose a day.' * Wendy Welch, author The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap *
`The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a beautifully written, nuanced tale of three lost souls who find in one another the comfort and solace they each need. I loved this disarmingly affecting novel, which is full of insight into the human condition and the nature of tragedy and love and redemption. Read it and let it touch your soul as it has touched mine.' -- Garth Stein * The Art of Racing in the Rain *
`I can't remember the last time I read a book this full and rich and rewarding. I can't remember the last time a book held up so well, from first page to last. Try it yourself. Sit down with it and read the first few pages. Then buy it. This one's a keeper.' -- Elizabeth Berg * author of The Story of Arthur Truluv *
`I found that the novel beautifully represents Hillman's inherent understanding of Australia and its people. This is a novel of desolation, and it is ultimately a love story. Frankly for me it doesn't get better.' * Readings Monthly *
`This is a story with love and laughter, guilt and grief, cruelty and kindness. All this is wrapped in beautiful descriptive prose... A wonderful and moving read.' * BookMooch *
`While this tale contains darkness and heartache, they are accompanied by truth and love, and ultimately, hope, and the human capacity to overcome...A sensitive, enthralling story, destined to become a favourite.' * Books+Publishing *
`Hillman's ability to conjure up the rhythms and texture of rural life is a source of joy...This is a novel about the importance of freedom as well as the redemptive qualities of love - and how facing up to the past can be the key to both freedom and love.' * Saturday Paper *
`There is a tender, limpid flow to Hillman's beautifully-paced prose that makes it a joy to read as it gently privileges seasons, weather, steadfastness and love, and the farm's expansive outlook across the countryside over inevitable episodes of violence, loss and pain.' * Adelaide Advertiser *
`The writer conveys depth of character, emotion, time and place with skilfully succinct prose.' * NZ Women's Weekly *
`The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a celebration of the re-creation of families after heartbreak, and in particular the love between father and son. Highly recommended.' * New Zealand Herald *
`The writer conveys depth of character, emotion, time and place with skilfully succinct prose.' * NZ Women's Weekly *
`Hillman's vivid poetic imagery blends with the realistic descriptions of the horrors of war and its futility...Even though there is much heartache and sadness, this story was a pleasure to read with its inspiring philosophy and compelling characters.' * Good Reading *
`It is not often that a novel is both a great read and a sobering chronicle about the painful possibilities of human behaviour...Robert Hillman's The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is such a one.' * Sydney Morning Herald *
`Hillman provides a skillful portrait of the Australian landscape and those who live in it, including the psychic postie and flirty butcher. It's a simple story, well told.' * North & South *
`A beautifully written and haunting story of love, loss, and redemption. With his vividly drawn cast of characters in rural Australia in the late 1960s, Hillman explores what it truly means to love another person, and what we're capable of doing to protect the ones we love at all costs. A gorgeous, heartfelt gem of a novel.' -- Jillian Cantor * author of The Lost Letter *
`A beautifully written, tenderhearted story. This is the kind of book that remains present even while you're doing something mundane - like washing dishes. It lingered in my mind long after I'd finished the last page.' * Sharon Peterson, Readings St Kilda *



A really beautiful book. From the first page I was in; simple, no wasted words, emotive Best read this year



a wonderful, moving read


"Do you see how things can turn out? Do you see that that the world is big enough to make certain things possible? That thirty-six years ago the German Student Union could hold a rally in Opernplatz, Berlin, and burn twenty-five thousand books, many written by Jews, the students rejoicing in their festival of loathing, and now this, in Hometown. Hannah's bookshop of the broken hearted, a thing of beauty." The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a novel by award-winning Australian author, Robert Hillman. It was a new business that had opened on Ben Chifley Square in Hometown, Victoria, in the spring of 1969. The sign suspended from the awning said Hannah's Bookshop, but in her own mind, Hannah Babel thought of it as The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted, which is what was written on the small, hand-lettered Hebrew sign in the window. When Auschwitz and war's aftermath took from her two husbands and her only son, a broken heart was Hannah's lot. Leaving Budapest at least allowed her to avoid the reminders. It was something that farmer Tom saw fleetingly in her eyes when he came to help out with welding and shelving. Tom was almost an accidental farmer: he'd inherited his farm near Hometown from his bachelor Uncle Frank, having previously worked for the Tramways as a mechanic, welder and panel beater. But while farming wasn't in his blood, he did well at it, caring more for his own sheep and fruit trees than his neighbours did theirs. Tom's young wife, Trudy was a city girl who felt isolated and bored on the farm. It broke Tom's heart the first time she left him, less than two years into their marriage. It wasn't quite the same the second time she went; she'd found Jesus and left three-year-old Peter in Tom's care. When she returned to take Peter away to the Pastor's Church of Jesus Mercy, though, Tom wondered if the pain in his heart could get any worse. But now, here was Hannah. Older than him, and obviously a bit mad (a bookshop, in Hometown?), but so bright and ch



The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

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ISBN: 9781925603439
ISBN-10: 1925603431
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 2nd April 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.38