Holly Throsby has released four critically acclaimed albums and was part of the indie rock trio Seeker Lover Keeper. Her debut novel, Goodwood, is out today – read on for our review.
It has been a while since I lost a weekend to a debut novel. But thanks to talented songwriter turned fiction author Holly Throsby, I found myself shaking my head on a recent Sunday afternoon having spent the weekend being puzzled alongside the good people of Goodwood at the mysterious disappearance of two of their townsfolk.
Set in 1992, the story is told by 17-year-old Jean Brown. She shocked, together with the rest of the town, when ‘cool girl’ Rosie White disappears. Shortly after, Goodwood’s genial butcher vanishes while on a Sunday morning fishing trip.
The richness of the descriptions of small-town Australia are not limited to the landscape, as the characters are fully realised and as quirky and eccentric as one may expect, but without a stereotype in sight. I was reminded a little of the cast of Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker, but without the darker Gothic overtones.
All is not as it first appears in Goodwood. Through the naïve yet keenly observant eyes of Jean, the layers of the town are peeled back to reveal its secrets.
There is so much to enjoy about this book; my tip is that it will become a firm book club favourite.
Five stars – reviewed by Maryanne Vagg.