FW x HACHETTE AUSTRALIA

WELCOME TO BOOK CLUB

Each month we’ll be reading a compelling book, that is guaranteed to spark great conversation.

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Is there anything better than a hot cup of tea and a really good book? Yep, there sure is. Getting together with mates to discuss the book afterwards.

The FW x Hachette Book Club is curated by the Future Women team and hosted by Jamila Rizvi and Astrid Edwards.

We gather together online on the last Friday of the month at midday to discuss, dissect, debate and delight in the title we’ve been reading.

From romantic tales to political turmoil, from identity and ideals to relationships and rescues, we discuss books that are making headlines and best seller lists.

Here’s how you can get involved:

1. Get your hands on a copy of the book and read it!
2. Participate in the discussion in the private Future Women Member-Only Facebook Group.
3. Mark your diary with upcoming virtual Book Club events.

And if this many book discussions are still not enough, then Hachette and Future Women have got you covered.

Anonymous Was a Woman, our podcast about women in books, women who read books and women who write books, is currently in its third season.

Also hosted by Jamila and Astrid, new episodes drop twice weekly. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, so that you never miss an episode.

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February 2021

BRIT BENNETT

THE VANISHING HALF

From the author of the New York Times bestseller of The Mothers, a powerful new novel about the parallel lives of estranged twin sisters.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.

Buy your copy here.

March 2021

RACHEL CLARKE

BREATHTAKING

Breathtaking depicts life, death, hope, fear, medicine at its most impotent and also at its finest, the courage of patients in enormous adversity, the stress of being torn between helping those patients and endangering your spouse and children, the long fretful nights ruminating over whether the PPE you wear fits the science or the size of the government stockpile. Faltering, fumbling, tenacious, undaunted, this is medicine in the time of coronavirus.

As a palliative care doctor, Rachel Clarke found herself spending less time in the hospice and more in the hospital. Unable to convey the intensity of her days on the wards to friends and family, by night, she wrote about what she and her colleagues were going through. Breathtaking is her inside story of how the health service responded. However, what she had thought was an unrelenting stream of death and darkness was in fact illuminated by pinpricks of light.

Buy your copy here.

FW COMMUNITY

Join the conversation in the Member-Only Facebook Group

April 2021

CHERIE JONES

HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS THE HOUSE

Lala is eight months pregnant when her waters break unexpectedly during the night. Her husband is nowhere to be found, so she flees the house in search of him. Adan has been out doing a burglary that has gone horribly wrong, and now he’s killed a white man.

Mira Whalen has only recently married Peter, the husband who now lies dead in their bed. He loved her, and she loved him. But last night they had a row, and she wishes they hadn’t. Just as she wishes that she hadn’t confronted her husband’s murderer and pulled the stocking off his face. As now he knows exactly who she is.

This is the story of two marriages, and a beautiful island paradise where, beyond the white sand beaches, lies poverty, menacing violence and a desire among women to speak out and survive.

Buy your copy here.

June 2021

GINA WILKINSON

WHEN APRICOTS BLOOM

At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden, a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad, rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate. Huda, a secretary at the Australian embassy, lives in fear of the secret police, who have ordered her to befriend Ally, the deputy ambassador’s wife. Huda’s former friend Rania, an artist, enjoyed a privileged upbringing as the daughter of a sheikh. Now her family’s wealth is gone, and Rania is battling to keep her child safe and a roof over their heads.

As the women’s lives intersect, their hidden pasts spill into the present. Facing possible betrayal at every turn, all three must trust in a fragile, newfound loyalty, even as they discover how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect their families.

Buy your copy here.

“I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

― TAHEREH MAFI, best selling author

July 2021

NADIA OWUSU

AFTERSHOCKS

Nadia Owusu is a woman of many languages, homelands and identities. She grew up in Rome, Dar-es-Salaam, Addis Ababa, Kumasi, Kampala and London.

For every new place there was a new language, a new identity and a new home. At times she has felt stateless, motherless and identity-less. At others, she has had multiple identities at war within her. It’s no wonder she started to feel fault lines in her sense of self. It’s no wonder those fault lines eventually ruptured.

Aftershocks is the intimate story behind the news of immigration and division dominating contemporary politics. Nadia Owusu’s astonishingly moving and incredibly timely memoir is a nuanced portrait of globalisation from the inside in a fractured world in crisis.

Buy your copy here.

September 2021

CLAIRE THOMAS

THE PERFORMANCE

As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.

Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.

As the performance unfolds, so does each woman’s story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.

“An enigmatic, elegant and assured novel that explores the power of art in revealing us to ourselves.” – Charlotte Wood, author of The Weekend

Buy your copy here.

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October 2021

ALEXANDRA ANDREWS

WHO IS MAUD DIXON

Florence Darrow wants to be a writer. Correction: Florence Darrow IS going to be a writer.

Fired from her first job in publishing, she jumps at the chance to be an assistant to the celebrated Maud Dixon, the anonymous best-selling novelist.

The arrangement comes with conditions – high secrecy, living in an isolated house in the countryside. Before long, the two of them are on a research trip to Morocco, to inspire Maud’s much-promised second novel..

Beach walks, red sunsets and long, whisky-filled evening discussions . . . win-win, surely?

Until Florence wakes up in hospital, having narrowly survived a car crash. How did it happen – and where is Maud Dixon, who was in the car with her?

‘Stylish and sharp, with wicked hairpin turns, Who is Maud Dixon is part Patricia Highsmith, part All About Eve and pure fun.’ – Maria Semple

Buy your copy here.

“Books may well be the only true magic.”

― ALICE HOFFMAN, American novelist

December 2021

FLORENCE GIVEN

WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty will tell you to…
love sex, hate sexism,
protect your goddamn energy,
life is short, dump them,
And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.

Florence Given’s debut book explores all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women’s flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is an accessible leap into feminism. It will help you tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms.

After all, you are the love of your own life.

Buy your copy here.

PAST READS

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