Alice Campion  Penguin Random House

Sequel to The Painted Sky, and significant in that the author is an alias for a group of Sydney journalists and literary savants, who formed a ‘committee’ of sorts to try to create a broad-strokes, contemporary family saga, ala The Thorn Birds. There is no deficit in not having read The Painted Sky first, other than that you’ve missed a ripping yarn – and this second chapter is no less compelling. Nina Larkin should be happy; as her life looks golden, with a trail-blazing fiancé, art prizes and acclaimed exhibitions, successful business… aside from an insufferable mother and a father who was dead but now may be alive, and a maze of family secrets rife with intrigue, betrayal and dastardly deeds. A highly entertaining and commendable read.