The Hobart

The Tassie Book Club- Mar 2024

by Hobart Magazine
The Tassie Book Club- Mar 2024

The Woman Booker Prize Club is a local Tassie book club. Here they share their thoughts on books by Tasmanian authors, set in Tasmania, or about Tassie topics.

It’s March (we know, how?) and this month we’ve got two wonderful books for you from two wonderful Hobart women – Heather Rose and Karen Brooks. Perhaps Heather’s moving memoir or Karen’s epic piece of historical fiction is your next read?

Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here by Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, November 2022)

Review by Emily Schade

I attended the launch of Heather Rose’s latest book in 2022 and it’s been sitting on my ‘to be read’ pile ever since, waiting for the right moment. That moment turned out to be almost a year to the day later, sitting at home 39 weeks pregnant, with COVID.

Goodness, what a book. Heather is one of Tasmania’s most beloved and decorated authors, most well known for her bestselling novels The Museum of Modern Love and Bruny. Heather is an expert at telling a captivating and moving story and in Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here, she proves herself not just a master storyteller, but a wise woman and astute observer of the human experience.

This memoir is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. It is full of life’s tragedies and devastations, heartache and grief. But it is also an optimistic, wise, kind and knowing tale of choosing to live a good life. From complicated family to spirituality, travel to work, parenting to chronic pain, I am thankful for Heather’s insight and honesty in sharing her life with her readers.

I’m not usually a fan of memoirs but I couldn’t put this down. Pick up a copy, especially if you’re in need of some wisdom (and aren’t we all?).

The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson by Karen Brooks (HQ Fiction, July 2023)

Review by Kathryn Montgomery

I was drawn to the dramatic cover, and persuaded to buy this 500+ page novel by the lovely handwritten note from the author herself on the first page – “All the world’s a stage”.

And the stage is exactly where Karen Brooks takes us, specifically to the lively theatre scene of Restoration London in the 1670s. A tapestry of fiction and history, this epic tale centres around the peculiarly named Tribulation Johnson (an entirely fictional young woman) who has been cast aside by her family. Tribulation, who dreams of more than marriage and domestic life, finds herself living on the fringes of London’s debaucherous political realm after being taken in by her cousin,

Aphra Behn (a very real playwright, poet and spy). Aphra Behn is credited as being the first professional female writer in English and, in a time where women were not allowed a voice, a successful playwright and public commentator. She was truly a woman before her time and Karen Brooks has brought her to life in the most marvelous manner with drama, personality, intrigue and reverence.

Karen proves herself a master storyteller and I can’t wait to read her other 15 works (impressive!), including the acclaimed novel, The Good Wife of Bath. A Hobart local, you might spot her at Captain Bligh’s brewstillery (owned by her husband), or walking her dogs.

I loved this book and have recommended it many times. Grab yourself a copy and get lost in this remarkable tale.

Book Chatter: We’re excited for Tasmania Reads Week, 17-23 March! Tasmania Reads is an annual week-long celebration filled with fun reading-inspired events and activities for all ages across libraries and partner organisations statewide. Libraries Tasmania is encouraging readers to ‘try something new’ this month, whether it’s becoming a library member, starting a book group (we think this is an excellent idea) or joining a Tasmania Reads event. Explore the program at to find out what’s on near you!

Keen to chat books with us? Find us on Instagram @thewomanbookerprizeclub or email

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April 2024

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