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The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

Robert Hillman

Read a chapter sample from The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

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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.

Text has partnered with A Wine Service to give one lucky book club the opportunity to win a case of wine: six bottles from the Blackhearts & Sparrows Classics selection, and six copies of The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted Click here for details of how to enter!


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Robert Hillman
About the Author

Robert Hillman has 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.

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Text publication date:
2 April 2018
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Praise for Robert Hillman
andThe Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

‘A novel of great spirit and tenderness.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

‘While this tale contains darkness and heartache, they are accompanied by truth and love, and ultimately, hope, and the human capacity to overcome…A sensitive, enthralling story, destined to become a favourite.’

‘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.’ 

‘Robert Hillman entwines, with risk and skill, different and seemingly incompatible stories…He adds heft to the distinguished fiction of rural Australia.’

‘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.’

‘The writer conveys depth of character, emotion, time and place with skilfully succinct prose.’

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a celebration of the re-creation of families after heartbreak, and in particular the love between father and son. Highly recommended.’

‘Hillman’s prose is a pleasure to read, elegantly alert to the paradox of strong feeling [and] full of poetry.’

‘Counting against all [the] business is Hillman’s gift for compelling characters, the elegance of his prose and his genius with inventive, surprising dialogue.‘

‘While it may not be a novel’s main purpose, certainly one of its pleasures can lie in how it witnesses the history of the form itself…Robert Hillman’s Joyful is most immediately a nineteenth-century novel, a detailed work that portrays an entire, sealed world of complex and ultimately connected storylines.’

‘The writer conveys depth of character, emotion, time and place with skilfully succinct prose.’

‘Hillman’s vivid poetic imagery blends with the realistic descriptions of the horrors of war and its futility…Even though there is much heartache and sadness, this story was a pleasure to read with its inspiring philosophy and compelling characters.’

‘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.’

Other editions ofThe Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
  • The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
    ISBN: 9781925626476
    2 April 2018
    Buy ebook
  • The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
    ISBN: 9781925626988
    9 February 2018
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byRobert Hillman