Holly Throsby shines with her debut novel, Goodwood.
Small towns can be a drag, particularly if you’re like Jean Brown, 17 years old and looking for adventure. While she’s comfortable in her own surroundings, feeling safe and secure among family and friends, you can’t deny that with everyone being in each other’s pockets, things can get a little tedious, monotonous even. That is, until two of the town’s residents go missing.
All at once, the town is thrown into chaos, a collective grief surrounded by a haze of mystery as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened. Some come into their own, whilst others fall by the wayside waiting to be noticed. Will this village of friends be able to come together, united in their need to overcome their latest challenge? And if they do, what does the future hold?
As a musician, Holly Throsby has dominated Australian arts, culture and entertainment industries, with the release of no less than five critically acclaimed albums to her name. Lyrically profound, her music has touched the heart of many Australians and continues to do so, both in terms of her solo work or as a member of the folk-pop supergroup, Seeker Lover Keeper, which also featured her comrades in arms Sally Seltmann and Sarah Blasko.
For a musician to try their hand at writing longer-form prose is not unique. From Jimmy Buffett and Leonard Cohen to Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff, many of the industry’s most well-known singers have put pen to paper to create something outside of music. And just as they found increased success with a newfound demographic, so too has Throsby.
Though it was only released late last year, the hype for Goodwood was intense with early literary critics praising her genius and the familiar style of storytelling which her music fans have come to know and love. It’s no wonder the book was shortlisted for the Indie Book Award’s Best Debut Fiction prize earlier this year.
Goodwood, both the book and the town which Throsby has created so well is fully immersive, much as if the characters and the story they are living were real, dragging the reader in and not letting them leave until the final resolution is achieved. The writing itself is genuine, each word well-crafted to form a novel that is highly worthy of its praise. It’s literary in nature and yet develops into an easy read as you get to know the characters and become invested in their fate.
Throsby’s heart may always lie first and foremost in music, but with her debut novel she has proven that she is just as worthy as some of Australia’s best and most loved authors. While Goodwood’s journey may be over, I can’t wait to see where Throsby’s next adventure will take us.
Published by Allen & Unwin, Goodwood is available from their website and at Australian book retailers.