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Five Bellsby Gail Jones
Synopses & Reviews
A Picador Paperback OriginalOn a radiant day in Sydney, four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water.
But just as Circular Quay resonates with Australias past, each of the four carries a complicated history from elsewhere. Each person is haunted by past secrets and guilt. Ellie is preoccupied by her sexual experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin, and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during Chinas Cultural Revolution.
Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes four lives that come to share not only a place and a time but also mysterious patterns and ambiguous symbols, including a barely glimpsed fifth figure, a young child. By nightfall, when Sydney is drenched in a summer rainstorm, each life will have been transformed by the events of this day.
"Australian novelist Jones follows four characters over the course of a single day in Sydney after they arrive at the 'democratic throng' of Sydney Harbor Bridge. Ellie, a country girl enchanted with urban life (and, like many tourists, the famous Opera House building), has come to meet James, her first lover and spiritual inverse; he's morose and medicated where she is naÃ¯ve and ebullient. They share space in the city and in the story with two others: Pei Xing, a refugee from Mao's cultural revolution who was imprisoned while her intellectual parents suffered arrest and execution and now relishes the city's vibrant beauty; and Catherine, an Irish woman haunted by her adored brother's untimely death. Jones tracks them through Sydney, separate yet connected, wrapped in their remembrances of things past, their guilt and regret, as the world swirls around them. With a tight focus and poetic language that recalls Virginia Woolf, Jones (Sorry) paints the connections that bind us, the power of place, and the random encounters that can change the course of our lives. An elegant literary meditation on time and chance. Agent: The Melanie Jackson Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Gail Jones is the author of the novels Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams of Speaking, and Sorry. She has been nominated for numerous international awards, including the Man Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Prix Femina Étranger. She is a professor of writing at the University of Western Sydney.
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