The Fragments by Toni Jordan

Published: 2018 Text Publishing Historical Fiction

Caddie Walker, a bookseller in Brisbane in the 1980s, is a big fan of Inga Karlson, a successful writer from the 1930s who died in mysterious circumstances before the publication of her second novel. Not only did Inga die in a warehouse fire, all the copies of her book were destroyed, except for a few fragments that now form a travelling museum exhibit that has come to Brisbane. Following her visit to the exhibition, Caddie has a brief encounter with an older woman who seems to know a lot about the destroyed book, and Caddie is compelled to seek answers.

“To spend her days reading and growing things. Could there be any better life?”

Sydney Morning Herald: makes the point that “The trend for two alternate stories leading to a conclusion that ties it all up perhaps reflects our modern reading habit of constantly flicking between narratives. It suits this work, and Jordan does a nifty job of keeping both strands engrossing”. I think the author has kept the plot tight and the characters interesting. The weather and culture of Brisbane is evoked beautifully. As the AU Review states: “It’s possible to feel the Brisbane heat and humidity rising all around you as you read.”

Quotes:

“Deep summer. At home the corrugated iron horizon was already glinting and shimmering.”

“The fragments are here, locked behind steel and glass inside the new State Gallery. Irreplaceable, priceless. Here, in Brisbane.

Author: Toni Jordan

Awards: Longlisted, Indie Book Awards for Fiction, 2019

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