It’s that time of year again, sports fans: the AFL grand final!
Eighteen teams have been whittled down, over a long, hard season, until just two remain. And although last weekend’s preliminary finals produced results that can only be described as tragic (N.B. not all Texters feel this way), nevertheless, we’ll still be glued to our screens on Saturday, to see whether Collingwood can win their sixteenth flag and draw level with Essendon and Carlton, or whether the West Coast Eagles can wrest the premiership trophy from Victorian hands for the first time in a dozen years.
Mind you, not everyone enjoys the football. Some would rather turn the television off, close the doors and settle down with a good book – as would we, most of the time. Frankly, we’re torn. Footy? Book? Footy? Book? It’s difficult, but in a desperate (and, we must confess, somewhat contrived) attempt to marry these two seemingly disparate passions, we’ve decided to mark the grand final by celebrating some bookish grand finales! (See what we did there?)
Therefore, in recognition of our refusal to accept last weekend’s results (N.B. not all Texters feel this way), we present to you our alternative preliminary finalists: four books that bring extraordinary series to a triumphant finale!
With the imminent release of an HBO television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s remarkable series of novels (HBO’s first in a language other than English), it seems only fitting that The Story of the Lost Child, the powerful fourth volume of the Neapolitan Quartet, is our first finalist.
The series traces the friendship between Elena and Lila, from their childhood in a poor neighbourhood in Naples, to their thirties. Both women are now mothers, and although each has chosen a different path, their lives are still inextricably linked – for better or worse.
Book One: My Brilliant Friend
Book Two: The Story of a New Name
Book Three: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Book Four: The Story of the Lost Child
Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. She grows up in the fine house her father is so proud of, a strong-willed young woman who’s certain where her future lies. But the past is waiting in ambush with its dark legacy...
Kate Grenville takes us back to the early Australia of The Secret River and the Thornhill family. This is Sarah’s story. It’s a story of tangled secrets, a story of loss and unlooked-for happiness, and a story about the silent spaces of the past. Sarah Thornhill is the powerful conclusion to award-winning author Kate Grenville’s acclaimed Historical Trilogy.
Book One: The Secret River
Book Two: The Lieutenant
Book Three: Sarah Thornhill
This is the final book in Peter Temple’s beloved series about Jack Irish: criminal lawyer, debt collector, football lover, turf watcher, trainee cabinetmaker and finder of people who don’t want to be found.
Jack has a new job, hunting for evidence that might save the beautiful sculptor Sarah Longmore from a murder rap. But he soon discovers there was nothing straightforward about property developer Mickey Franklin’s death, and falls headlong into a world of shady deals, sexual secrets and country rednecks.
Book One: Bad Debts
Book Two: Black Tide
Book Three: Dead Point
Book Four: White Dog
And then there were four: coming next week is The Labyrinth of the Spirits, the closing chapter in the story that began with The Shadow of the Wind and that brings the quartet to a grand finale. A tribute to the world of books, the art of storytelling and the magical link between literature and life, read it to discover why the Guardian said:
‘The 2,250-plus pages of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet represent, in every way, a colossal achievement.’
And, of course, you’re going to want the other books in the quartet!
Book One: The Shadow of the Wind
Book Two: The Angel’s Game
Book Three: The Prisoner of Heaven
Book Four: The Labyrinth of the Spirits
And speaking of grand finales, mark 5 February 2019 on your calendar, for that is the publication date of The Rosie Result – the triumphant final instalment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project and continued with The Rosie Effect.
If you’re one of the few people who haven’t read Graeme Simsion’s hilarious and moving Don Tillman novels, never fear! You still have a few months to get yourself up to speed before the conclusion.
Book One: The Rosie Project
Book Two: The Rosie Effect
Book Three: The Rosie Result
Yeah, we know: that’s more than four. It’s just that...you see...look, just don’t tell the umpires, OK?