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Goodwood by [Throsby, Holly]
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Goodwood Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Language: English

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Product Description

It wasn't just one person who went missing, it was two people. Two very different people. They were there, and then they were gone, as if through a crack in the sky. After that, in a small town like Goodwood, where we had what Nan called 'a high density of acquaintanceship', everything stopped. Or at least it felt that way. The normal feeling of things stopped.

Goodwood is a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. It's a place where it's impossible to keep a secret.

In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens. Two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood's most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home.

People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don't just disappear.

As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling.

Rich in character and complexity, its humour both droll and tender, Goodwood is a compelling ride into a small community, torn apart by dark rumours and mystery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2174 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (28 September 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01G2TS31A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
Goodwood is Australian author Holly Throsby’s first novel; but she’s also a songwriter and musician who’s released solo albums and a children’s album.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the sense of uncertainty and loss of innocence. It’s not a novel of suspense or a thriller. Sure, Jean, her family and the town are focussed around the double disappearances but they never really seem to worry there’s a baddie in their midst. There are the usual miscreants who’ve been problems all of their lives but any fear seems to mostly come from external sources.

Throsby offers up some great female role models for Jean. Her own mother and grandmother are both well-educated, considerate and contemplative women… and though Jean’s a tad disdainful when it comes to her Pop, local police officer (and her mother’s cousin) Mack, gives us a respectful and nuanced male lead.

This was a happily understated and very enjoyable read and great debut. And incidentally I note it very much reflects the author (an authenticity that’s nice to see) as I scanned through Throsby’s website.

Read the full review on my site:

3.5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
Goodwood is a small town in regional NSW where everyone knows everyone else’s business, where nothing dramatic ever happens and where gossip about the smallest details of interpersonal relationships or peculiar behaviours spread like wildfire. Jean Brown is a 17-year-old in her final year of high school. Goodwood is the only place she has known and, when something dramatic does happen in August 1992, it hits her hard and has her questioning everything and everyone.

The town does not exist and neither does Brown. Both were concocted in the mind of debut author Holly Throsby who, up until now, has been best known on stage and on record performing as a singer-songwriter under her own name and as part of the acclaimed indie pop trio Seeker Lover Keeper. With 'Goodwood', Throsby proves herself as a deft hand at literary prose, too, as the world she builds around her teenage narrator in this book is so vivid it can occasionally feel more like fact than fiction.

The drama begins with the disappearance of an 18-year-old — the coolest girl in Goodwood — who works at the local takeaway shop. One day she was gone, “and in her place were more questions than one town had ever asked about a single subject”. This unexpected development is followed by another bombshell: a week later, a popular local councillor and butcher also goes missing, leaving his fishing boat adrift on the town’s enormous lake, his beer half-finished, “snug in his favourite stubby holder that said Goodwood’s Good For Wood, with a picture of the old sawmill with a cartoon man superimposed on top, winking at a blushing lady”.

Townsfolk can’t help but wonder whether the two mysteries are interlinked, and rush to fill the twin voids with all manner of speculation.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed Goodwood. It's a slow burn and a small story, but I think that's the point. Goodwood isn't just one story, it's a dozen small stories of individual lives woven together in a small community before the internet gave us instant access to global news.

Holly Throsby is a fabulous storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the mystery unfold through Jean's eyes. There are bigger issues at play, but we never forget that Jean is only 17 years old. And when you're 17 years old your priorities are rather different to your priorities when you're an adult.

When Bart the butcher vanishes, Jean muses:

"Suffice to say, buying meat became a sombre affair and some people in town were subdued into reluctant vegetarianism, or drove the forty minutes to the big Woolworths in Clarke."

It probably helps that I was just starting high school in 1992 - the year this book is set - but I LOVED the 90s details. I spent half the book exclaiming 'Oh my goodness! I remember [insert lost 90s relic here]!!'

It was so much fun. Throsby does an incredible job of intertwining outstanding imagery with pop culture references that had me jiggling in my seat to remembered tunes:

"Dismay had spread from the town and seeped in through our open window. I chopped the onions. Tears ran down my face but I hardly noticed them. I could hear Fitzy calling out, Myrtle, Myrtle. Mum and Mack shared a moment of weighty silence. Paul Simon was singing. He said that if he could call us Betty then we could call him Al. The crickets chirped loudly. I was on my way to the pantry for the olive oil when the phone rang."

If you love a good story set in small-town Australia along with fabulous, quirky and entertaining writing, you'll love this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Goodwood is like a breath of fresh air, but if you think it's a thriller, then you'll be mistaken. Throsby deftly and crafts a coming of age story with the help of her narrator, the 17 year old Jean. The disappearance of two small town locals, merely serves as a back story and vehicle to introduce the town's supporting characters. Goodwood is quintessentially Australian, without being jingoistic or sugary. I expect this book will be seen on literary prize short lists, and would be a worthy winner
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