My first response is to say, “It’s a great Aussie yarn!” and yet it is so much more. We anticipated a story about a car accident but discovered again, so much more. With his elegant style, Steve brings a community to life on Australian soil. It has a 1970’s or 1980’s feel about it and weaves between country, town and city life with a trip to Europe in the middle. Through Marty’s eyes, our hopeless but endearing protagonist, you see people grapple with relationships and the desire for them, cope with dreams and dashed dreams. The collective chaos of life seems to collide on these pages with a car accident in the background. I realised as I read, it reminded me of the Australia of just yesterday, the one I fell in love with because today it is truly changed. Thanks Steve for an intriguing and classy book which provided our book club with excellent ongoing discussions.

Rachel B

May 2017

Stephen Newman has written a story of someone trying to navigate his feelings and emotions with no road map from the other male relatives around him. Beautifully written, Newman draws us a picture of the quintessential Australian male trying to come to terms with loss and grief unimaginable.

Andrew T

June 2017

I have been moved by your book.  Thank you.

I read a lot and enjoy all variety of literature – biographies, historical novels, thrillers you name it.  Only a few leave a lasting feeling and yours did. Your way with words is superior to most. You create real atmosphere and the reader is engrossed.

I especially like the Frank/Marty parts – so authentic in my eyes growing up on a sheep cattle property with five brothers. My father had all of Frank’s characteristics, which suggests you have experienced such people.

Tricia B

March 2018

Colin Birtles is stuck in traffic

Colin Birtles is stuck in traffic, or more to the point, stuck in his car, in a queue, at a service station, idling his engine, with other unfortunates, in traffic, victims all of a garish advertising sign offering a fuel price discount, pock marked on the side of the road, with all the other pock marks, blathering the health benefits of Gatorade, the communication benefits of a mobile phone, or the freedom offered by the latest Jeep.

Savages – all of us

Her father found him rather too overt for his finely tuned diplomatic sensibilities, but nevertheless agreeable. A talent to be honed. And so invitations to various functions were arranged, to see how he might fit in.

How has it come to this

It was a woman at the checkout buying coconut oil. She had put it in her bag, with all the other groceries she was purchasing when she noticed that the seal on the bottle underneath the screw top lid containing the coconut oil had come lose.