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Top 40 Book Club : 2012
12 fIvE BELLS GAIl JoNeS Anyone familiar with Circular Quay in Sydney will immediately feel the pull of this story. Sydney is as much a character in this novel as Ellie, James, Catherine and Pei Xing, whose lives we follow for a day. Ice-cream vans, kebab shops, posh restaurants, art galleries and ferry terminals provide the backdrop for a fleeting intersection of lives. Literary critics place this novel in the ‘modernist’ tradition. Gail Jones pays homage to James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, while borrowing her title from Australian poet, Kenneth Slessor. A novel of grief and loss, Five Bells resonates, especially for Australian readers, as both contemporary and relevant.