The Hobart

The Tassie Book Club- May 2024

by Hobart Magazine
The Tassie Book Club- May 2024

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

We’ve gone dark(e) and light this month, as we say the annual farewell to the light Autumn days and welcome in the cosy darkness of Winter. First up is a romcom from Minnie Darke, followed by a psychological thriller – a sequel that’s grown with its audience.

With Love From Wish & Co by Minnie Darke (Penguin Books Australia, August 2023)

Review by Emily Schade

Sometimes, all I wish for is a cosy romance in a whimsical setting with loveable characters, and, frankly, a happy ending. Tasmanian author Minnie Darke (aka Danielle Wood) has indeed granted my wish with her latest novel, With Love from Wish & Co.

Marnie Fairchild is the owner of Wish & Co, a bespoke gift-buying service whose clients are largely wealthy men with complicated lives. Despite being one of “those” Fairchilds, Marnie is a perfectionist who has worked hard to get where she is and will continue to push herself to move her store to the historic shopfront once owned by her beloved grandfather. Marnie doesn’t make mistakes, especially when her most important client, his wife and his mistress are involved. So what happens when she does? Marnie finds herself in a desperate attempt to save a marriage, her business and her dream. Now is not a good time to fall in love, particularly with her client’s son, and yet…

Minnie’s writing elevates this light read beyond a simple romcom to a well crafted, heartwarming story that is a delight to read. If you’re looking for some warm escapism, this might be for you. I loved this book and look forward to reading Minnie’s other novels.

Fun fact: the historic shopfront in this novel is based on the very real building at 121 Harrington Street in Hobart.

Release by Lucy Christopher (Text Publishing, May 2022)

Review by Kathryn Montgomery

Psychological thriller isn’t a genre I usually pick up, perhaps ever, and it takes a talented author like Lucy Christopher (a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at UTAS) to pull me in with her masterful pacing and building of suspense. Gripping is an understatement – I couldn’t leave the couch until I finished!

Release can be read as a standalone novel but shares a connection to an earlier Young Adult novel, Stolen that follows Gemma – kidnapped by Ty as a teenager at Bangkok airport and taken to outback Australia.You don’t need to have read the former to follow Release, which provides enough background detail and excels at immersing the reader into the current story. Set ten years after the kidnapping, Kate Stone (formerly known as Gemma) is living in London and receives a letter in the mail advising of Ty’s imminent release from jail. Despite 10 years of distance from the trauma, copious amounts of therapy, and attempting a romantic relationship, she still has obsessive and complicated thoughts about Ty. Release is set in London and Perth and includes courtroom drama mixed with a road trip to the desert in Western Australia. It explores the twisted connection between Ty and Kate, who is trapped between wanting revenge and reconciliation.

The story keeps the reader guessing right up until the last pages and the ending of the book will stay with you. Highly recommended to those who want a thriller that digs beneath the surface, or just a really solid read by a talented local author!

Book Chatter:The Hobart City Council are creating a mini Hobart library as part of their role as an official UNESCO City of Literature. They’re on the look out for donations of books written in, about or reflective of nipaluna / Hobart – perhaps there’s something on your shelf you’d like to contribute?

The library will live in the reading room of the Hobart Town Hall. The reading room is open to members of the public from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, no bookings necessary. If you haven’t popped in before we highly recommend it – a lovely spot to read.

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

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May 2024

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