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The Conversion - Amanda Lohrey

The Conversion

By: Amanda Lohrey

eBook | 31 October 2023

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The conversion was Nick's idea.

Nick: so persuasive, ever the optimist, still boyishly handsome. Always on a quest to design the perfect environment, convinced it could heal a wounded soul.

The conversion was Nick's idea, but it's Zoe who's here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church.

What to do with all that vertical space, those oppressive stained-glass windows? Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be?

For Zoe, alone and troubled by a ghost from the recent past, the little church seems empty of the possibilities Nick enthused about. She is stuck in purgatory—until a determined young teacher pushes her way into Zoe's life, convinced of her own peculiar mission for the building.

Melanie has something of Nick's unquenchable zeal about her. And it's clear to Zoe that she won't take no for an answer.

The Conversion is a startling novel about the homes we live in: how we shape them, and how they shape us. Like Amanda Lohrey's bestselling The Labyrinth, it is distinguished by its deep intelligence, eye for human drama and effortless readability.

Amanda Lohrey lives in Tasmania and writes fiction and non-fiction. She has taught at the University of Tasmania, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Queensland. Amanda is a regular contributor to the Monthly magazine and a former senior fellow of the Australia Council's Literature Board. She received the 2012 Patrick White Award. The Labyrinth (2021), her eighth work of fiction, won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, a Prime Minister's Literary Award, a Tasmanian Literary Award and the Voss Literary Prize.

'Buy this one. [Amanda Lohrey's] brilliant.' Australian

'Written in Lohrey's familiar economical prose and exhibiting a fascination with the space we inhabit, The Conversion is an absorbing fiction of dealing with people and events from the past, and finding a way into the future.' Age

'One of the things Lohrey does is to take quite portentious, serious things and put them in ordinary contexts and see if they work, see what they mean when you put them in that setting.' James Ley, ABC RN Bookshelf

'We see [Lohrey's] interest in place, in buildings, in physical spaces, but also in therapy and psychiatry...I really enjoy what Amanda Lohrey has done by keeping us guessing in this novel.' Kate Evans, ABC RN Bookshelf

'Astonishing and beguiling.' Canberra Times

'Amanda Lohrey's ninth novel, The Conversion, is filled with intrusions, insistence, and ghosts...In this blazing, layered, bravura novel, Lohrey probes the dreamed, remembered, and hoped-for in an anatomy of freedom and aftermath.' Felicity Plunkett, Australian Book Review

'This is what Lohrey does best: she seeks to appreciate the internal ponderings of many and then to package them into a compassionate story, using characters that are finely attuned to our own meandering thoughts...This novel is perfect for long-term fans and alos for readers of Ann Patchett and Alice Munro. Their ability to record every day ordinariness is what makes these writers extraordinary. Read The Conversion to be still, and to marvel.' Readings Monthly


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