Bohemia Beach

Bohemia Beach


From the author of the bestselling River Ophelia, this is Justine Ettler's first novel in two decades.

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, Czechborn 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.

Justine Ettler's The River Ophelia, (Picador, 1995) was a best-seller in Australia and New Zealand and has been taught at HSC and University level. Her novel, Marilyn's Almost Terminal New York Adventure, (Picador) was published the following year to critical acclaim. In 1997 Justine was selected as one of six Australian authors to tour the UK as part of the New Images Writer's Tour, and subsequently moved to London where she lived until 2007. She worked as a book reviewer at The Observer, The Evening Standard, and The Times Literary Supplement, lectured in Creative Writing, and worked as a reader for the London literary agency, Cornerstones, as well as for The Literary Consultancy.

Bohemia Beach
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: Justine Ettler
ISBN: 9781925760002
RRP: $29.99


Interview with Justine Ettler

 

Question: What inspired you to begin writing again, after a long break?

Justine Ettler: I've actually been writing all this time. I have another nearly completed novel which I'm just about to begin working on with an editor and I rewrote my PhD as well. It just all took much longer than usual.


Question: What inspired the story of Bohemia Beach?

Justine Ettler: It was partly inspired by my discovery of and fascination with Prague and the Czech Republic. Before moving to London, I had no idea of how interesting the non-Australian half of my family was. And while I'm a flautist, I always secretly wanted to be a concert pianist and to compose symphonies, so BB is also part wish fulfillment. I also like my books to have a message, particularly for women, so challenging the way we think about women who drink gave the writing a real sense of purpose.


Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?

Justine Ettler: While it's difficult to quantify, my writing's part real life, part research and part invention. I believe the real life material has to be there to give the writing a sense of authenticity, though my novels aren't autobiographical.


Question: There are several issues raised in this book. Was this deliberate or did the story evolve this way?

Justine Ettler: The story is a combination of deliberation and evolution. The Czech Republic was deliberate, the piano and drinking problem evolved.


Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?

Justine Ettler: Do a course, even a short one, or if you have the time and money, do a degree in writing at university.


Question: What's next, for you?

Justine Ettler: It's a bit of a juggle. I'm working on a fifth novel, editing my fourth, and hoping to start collaborating on a screen adaptation of The River Ophelia. I've never been busier and it's times like this that I think I have the best job in the world.


Interview by Brooke Hunter

Bohemia Beach
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: Justine Ettler
ISBN: 9781925760002
RRP: $29.99




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