Five Bells

Gail Jones. Picador, $15 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-00373-7
Australian novelist Jones follows four characters over the course of a single day in Sydney after they arrive at the “democratic throng” of Sydney Harbor Bridge. Ellie, a country girl enchanted with urban life (and, like many tourists, the famous Opera House building), has come to meet James, her first lover and spiritual inverse; he’s morose and medicated where she is naïve and ebullient. They share space in the city and in the story with two others: Pei Xing, a refugee from Mao’s cultural revolution who was imprisoned while her intellectual parents suffered arrest and execution and now relishes the city’s vibrant beauty; and Catherine, an Irish woman haunted by her adored brother’s untimely death. Jones tracks them through Sydney, separate yet connected, wrapped in their remembrances of things past, their guilt and regret, as the world swirls around them. With a tight focus and poetic language that recalls Virginia Woolf, Jones (Sorry) paints the connections that bind us, the power of place, and the random encounters that can change the course of our lives. An elegant literary meditation on time and chance. Agent: The Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb. 28)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 02/28/2012
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-1-86471-060-1
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-250-02456-5
Hardcover - 217 pages - 978-1-84655-402-5
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-0-09-954898-0
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-74274-988-4
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