1 May 2018
Catherine Bell, a famous concert pianist, is struggling to hold on to her career in a competitive international arena that spans the classical music capitals of the world. After a disastrous show in Copenhagen, Cathy is about to attempt her first concert performance without alcohol in Prague when her marriage implodes, her terminally ill, Czech-born mother goes missing from her London hospital, and a much needed highly paid recording deal falls through. Cathy finds herself coping in the only way she knows how: grasping a glass of forbidden pre-performance champagne and flirting with Tomas, a stranger in a Prague nightclub. While her therapist Nelly advises her to abstain, Cathy's relationship with drink, and Tomas, draws her deep into a whirlpool of events as mysterious, tense and seductive as Prague itself. Justine Ettler's discipline in the writing is as controlled as Cathy is out of control – the novel brilliantly references classics such as Wuthering Heights — and as with Rachel in The Girl on a Train the reader is drawn into the protagonist's predicament with moving, palpable intensity. Bohemia Beach is an edge of your seat ride, a compelling story of addiction, passionate love and the power of art. It heralds the return of one of Australia's most distinctive authors.