Published: April 2018
Tom Hope doesn't think he's much of a farmer, but he's doing his best. He can't have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It's only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom's heart breaks all over again.
Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew--and the most vivid person--Tom has ever met. He dares to believe they could make each other happy.
But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a batttle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.
Robert Hillmanhas written a number of books including his 2004 memoir The Boy in the Green Suit, which won the National Biography Award, and Joyful, published by Text in 2014. He lives in Melbourne.
'Hillman provides a skillful portrait of the Australian landscape and those who live in it, including the psychic postie and flirty butcher. It's a simple story, well told.' North & South
'This book is a masterclass in producing maximum emotional impact without embellishment.' Otago Daily Times
'It is not often that a novel is both a great read and a sobering chronicle about the painful possibilities of human behaviour...Robert Hillman's The Bookshop of the Broken Heartedis such a one.' Sydney Morning Herald
'I found that the novel beautifully represents Hillman's inherent understanding of Australia and its people. This is a novel of desolation, and it is ultimately a love story. Frankly for me it doesn't get better.' Readings Monthly
'This is a story with love and laughter, guilt and grief, cruelty and kindness. All this is wrapped in beautiful descriptive prose... A wonderful and moving read.' BookMooch
'A tender, emotive novel. While it contains darkness and heartache, they are accompanied by truth and love, and ultimately, hope and the human capacity to overcome. This sensitive, enthralling story is destined to become a favourite.' Books+Publishing
'Hillman's ability to conjure up the rhythms and texture of rural life is a source of joy...This is a novel about the importance of freedom as well as the redemptive qualities of love - and how facing up to the past can be the key to both freedom and love.' Saturday Paper
'Robert Hillman entwines, with risk and skill, different and seemingly incompatible stories...He adds heft to the distinguished fiction of rural Australia.' Australian
'There is a tender, limpid flow to Hillman's beautifully-paced prose that makes it a joy to read as it gently privileges seasons, weather, steadfastness and love, and the farm's expansive outlook across the countryside over inevitable episodes of violence, loss and pain.' Adelaide Advertiser
'The Bookshop of the Broken Heartedis a celebration of the re-creation of families after heartbreak, and in particular the love between father and son. Highly recommended.' New Zealand Herald
'The writer conveys depth of character, emotion, time and place with skilfully succinct prose.' NZ Women's Weekly
'A gorgeous, heartfelt gem of a novel.' Jillian Cantor, author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time
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