John Clanchy’s brilliant new novel ‘In Whom We Trust’

December 12, 2019 at 7:22 am | Posted in Australian novels, Finlay Lloyd, Historical novels, John Clanchy | Leave a comment
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The best historical novels vividly evoke the past while illuminating the present. Award-winning writer John Clanchy’s new novel In Whom We Trust exemplifies this. Set in a country town in Victoria just before and during World War I, the plot is narrated through the viewpoints of Father James Pearse and two orphans who came to Australia from England, Thomas Stuart, formerly a London chimneysweep, and Molly Preston, at thirteen or fourteen, a few years older than Thomas.

Father Pearse’s housekeeper Mrs Reilly (who even irons his newspaper for him) tells him one evening that a mysterious visitor came while he was out walking. He is intrigued, and so are we, as Mrs Reilly in her infuriatingly vague way continues ‘ladling out this miserable stew of half-facts’ about the visitor.

Later that night Pearce discovers that it is Thomas Stuart, who lived at St Barnabas’ orphanage where Father Pierce was chaplain for a couple of years. Father Pearce recalls Brother Stanislaus ‘and his austere band of Brothers’ there. Thomas, who is now (just) old enough to enlist for the First World War, has something to tell Pearse. Continue Reading John Clanchy’s brilliant new novel ‘In Whom We Trust’…

Tenderly caressing sentences

June 13, 2018 at 8:22 am | Posted in Common Good, david gillespie, John Clanchy, K.a. Nelson, Poetry books, psychopaths, Short stories | 1 Comment
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Three favourite books

I’m always driven by curiosity and apart from work these past few weeks I’ve been spreading my brain too thinly across a vast variety of stimulating books. In the time it takes to write a blog I could have read another book or two. With so many fascinating books piled up – and some jumping up and down, clamouring ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ because they’d be due back at the library soon – I just continued to read my way through the pile in my spare time instead of writing blog posts.

But no regrets and I’m in the Slow Blogging camp (after being one for some time, I discovered that there is actually a formal association for Slow Bloggers – see https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/fashion/23slowblog ). So I make no apologies and below I reflect on the three best of my recently read books, each of which deserves its own post: K. A. Nelson’s Inlandia (Recent Work Press, 2018); John Clanchy’s Six (Finlay Lloyd, 2014, and a La Muse Books E-book); and David Gillespie’s Taming Toxic People (Macmillan, 2017).

Inlandia by K. A. Nelson

‘Caress your sentence tenderly: it will end by smiling at you.’

Continue Reading Tenderly caressing sentences…

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