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Description - Beautiful Messy Love: a gorgeous, hard-hitting novel about sport, celebrity, asylum and family by Tess Woods

'Not since Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi has an Australian author presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite so beautifully. Beautiful Messy Love is my pick for 2017 book of the year' AusRom Today When football star Nick Harding hobbles into the Black Salt Cafe the morning after the night before, he is served by Anna, a waitress with haunted-looking eyes and no interest in footballers, famous or otherwise. Nick is instantly drawn to this exotic, intelligent girl. But a relationship between them risks shame for her conservative refugee family and backlash for Nick that could ruin his career.Meanwhile, Nick's sister, Lily, is struggling to finish her medical degree. When she meets Toby, it seems that for the first time she is following her heart, not the expectations of others. Yet what starts out as a passionate affair with a man still grieving after his wife's death slips quickly into dangerous dependency.Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful couples must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to prove just how much they will give for beautiful messy love.A gorgeous, hard-hitting novel that touches on celebrity, asylum, cultural integration and family tragedy, this is a book with heart and soul. PRAISE FOR BEAUTIFUL MESSY LOVE'Not since Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi has an Australianauthor presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite sobeautifully. Beautiful Messy Love ismy pick for 2017 book of the year' AusRom Today'Tess Woods writes with unusual intensity about relationships between men and women. There are few authors who can dramatise high-voltage sexual attraction in the way that she does. It is a rare and precious gift in a storyteller who is also not afraid to tackle serious issues and I love it' Rosie de Courcy, UK editor of The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough), Circle of Friends (Maeve Binchy), and It Was Only Ever You (Kate Kerrigan)'a story that does everything a publisher says not to do in such a way that has you laughing and at the same time reaching for a box of tissues to wipe those stray tears away' Lana, Goodreads

Buy Beautiful Messy Love: a gorgeous, hard-hitting novel about sport, celebrity, asylum and family by Tess Woods from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781460753835
ISBN-10: 1460753836
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 154mm x 30mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publish Date: 24-Jul-2017
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - Beautiful Messy Love: a gorgeous, hard-hitting novel about sport, celebrity, asylum and family by Tess Woods

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Book Review: Beautiful Messy Love: a gorgeous, hard-hitting novel about sport, celebrity, asylum and family by Tess Woods - Reviewed by (07 Sep 2017)

4.5 stars

Beautiful Messy Love is the second novel by Australian author, Tess Woods. When fifth-year med student, Lily Harding finds herself looking across the hospital café table into the beautiful blue eyes of a gorgeous blonde man, she’s not expecting to fall in love. After all, she still carries a flame for Ben, her ex, now doing charitable things in Kenya. And when she sees blue-eyes again, in the oncology ward, at the bedside of his terminally ill wife, well, it may be beautiful but she knows it’s all wrong.

Aussie Rules football star, Nick Harding is sick of the debauchery: he vows to turn over a new leaf. But is that even possible with his reputation? When Anna serves his coffee at the local café, he’s instantly smitten. But Anna (Anwar) is a good Muslim girl who’s way too busy (two jobs, volunteer work for asylum seekers, caring for a six-year-old orphan refugee, about to start a Law degree) to spend any time with Nick. But Nick, even new-leaf Nick, can be charming and persistent.

Four narrators relate the events of their lives and loves over a seven month period, with an epilogue two years on to tie up the loose ends. The plot is foreseeable, but only for Part One and then it twists and turns and ventures into uncharted territory. It’s gotten messy. The characters are appealing for all their flaws and emotional baggage, and even the somewhat stereo-typical minor characters are not wholly predictable. The dialogue is natural and the banter between certain characters provides plenty of humour.

This is a novel that touches on both topical and age-old themes: the plight of asylum seekers, grief, survivor guilt, being stuck in the wrong career, media scrutiny, the clash of cultures, and effect of preconceptions about those cultures on established loyalties. Because it’s a book about young lovers, yes, there’s quite a bit of sex as well as gratuitous use of expletives. But also fidelity, fiery passion, football and fun. Even a bit of Harry Potter. An entertaining read.


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