The Good Guy by Susan Beale

The title of Susan Beale’s debut novel, The Good Guy, suggests something quite particular about the main character, Ted, however he’s anything but a good guy. He’s an arsehole of the first order (that’s not a spoiler, by the way).

In brief, it’s the story of Ted and Abigail and their baby daughter. It’s 1960s suburban New England, and the couple’s life is filled with polite neighbourhood parties, good manners, and keeping up with the Jones. Ted is a tyre salesman and Abigail sits with gritted teeth through meetings of the Ladies Culture Club (where the ‘culture’ is macrame demonstrations), all the while dreaming of the college degree she didn’t complete.

“They traded decorating and gardening ideas, borrowed tools; they gathered at cocktail and dinner parties. It was real life and yet it retained an aura of play.” Continue reading

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)


Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m going to join in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of physical books (as opposed to e-books).

There’s no better time to curl up with a book than winter. Because it’s winter in Melbourne. So while Cathy et al. is enjoying the Irish sunshine along with twenty selected books, I’ll be rugging up  (I wonder if in fact my winter will be the equivalent of an Irish summer? Perhaps I’ll post the weather forecast for the day I finish each book to compare…). Continue reading