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The Tower Mill

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A gripping family drama that plays out against a turbulent and controversial political era, this book tells the tale of Susan Kinnane. She isthe precocious daughter of conservative parents who spurns the attention of fellow university student Mike Riley in favor of a passionate romance with activist Terry Stoddard. When the South African Rugby team goes on the road, Terry, ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by University of Queensland Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Helen McKenna
I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway, but it is a book I would have read anyway, given the Queensland setting and the fact it was based around some significant historical events in Brisbane.

In 1971 the Bjelke-Peterson reign was in full swing in Queensland. So when the Springboks rugby team from Apartheid South Africa arrived, naturally enough there was huge resistance. A large anti-apartheid demonstration takes place outside the Springbok's hotel near the historic Tower Mill. However the po
Jan 19, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia, c21st, 12review
It’s probably hard for Generation X and Y to imagine just how different the 1970s felt for those who lived through that tumultuous period. After the torpor of the 1950s and 60s, grassroots activism achieved all kinds of momentous reforms in Australia and around the world. Public protest stopped the Vietnam War, put the environment on the agenda, demanded abortion law reform, equal rights for women, and nuclear non-proliferation. It was an exciting time, and a time when ordinary citizens felt tha ...more
Jul 27, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
I really wanted to like this book. I loved the premise: there are so many stories to be told out of the horrors of the Bjelke-Petersen years, but they're normally told as broad non-fiction, and I loved the idea of taking an individual's story and telling it as historical fiction. I remembered enjoying Moloney's YA as a teenager, and I had high hopes for this.

This is an incredibly uneven book. The first third was so dreadful I only kept reading because of the subject matter. It showed signs of li
Apr 12, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, as much because of the setting and era as the story. I lived in Brisbane in the 1970s and went to University there, so the setting and political background were very familiar to me. But even if you had never heard of Brisbane and Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the writing is so evocative that you would soon be transported there. I particularly liked the author's description of life in an outback town during that era and the conservatism and often narrow-minded and bigoted attit ...more
4ZZZ Book Club
JamesMoloneyis a well known children's and young adult author, with nearly forty titles to his name, including the award winning A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove. His new novel, The Tower Mill, is different in focus. His first adult work, it examines an unusual family, their relationships and their history, against the backdrop of Joh-era Queensland.

Grace interviewed James Moloney for The Book Club's episode of 18 October 2012. The Tower Mill is out through UQP.
Oct 14, 2012 Catherine rated it it was ok
This was an ok story, which I took a bit to get into.
It's the story of Tom and his Mother Susan and how one single terrible event affects the rest of their lives for years and years! The story is told in various flashbacks with alternating chapters from Susan and Tom. It has a lot of Queensland politics from the 70s and 80s, which (being a bit young back then) I hadn't known a lot about, so it was quite interesting from that perspective too.
By the end I was really involved in the characters and
Oct 28, 2014 Liz rated it liked it
I love reading a book that's set in my lifelong city of residence - it makes a nice change reading about landmarks and cultural references that only Brisbanites will get.
This book really highlighted the controversial Joh era, and its fallout, so I found that useful for my own knowledge - the ending lacked lustre though.
Sep 19, 2013 Just rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this first adult book of James Moloney. I was born the same year as Tom and grew up in 80's Joh-era Brisbane so it was really interesting to read how the 70's and 80's shaped the state. I was only a teenager not interested in politics when Joh finally unravelled so it was great to read about what was occurring around my naive teenager life!
Kim D
Feb 23, 2014 Kim D rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction, 2014
Was there actually a plot? Or a whiny character sketch of a young woman in 1970s Australia, whose life goes off track when her community-protestor baby daddy is maimed in a street riot by a cop. It gets 2 stars only by way of decent writing.
Karen Dinte
Sep 27, 2012 Karen Dinte rated it liked it
While this book didn't really grab my imagination it was interesting to read a story based around the Fitzgerald years in Queensland.
Barbs Lodge
Oct 31, 2012 Barbs Lodge rated it it was amazing
So enjoyed this snapshot of life in Queensland in this era - the 1970's. Well done James Moloney!Lots of interesting angles in this read, great characters and stuff to mull over .
Sep 23, 2012 Kate rated it liked it

It took me a while to get into this and I think it's well written and that if I'd lived in Brisbane in the 80s it would have resonated with me more
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My full name is James Francis Moloney and I was born in Sydney, Australia on 20 September, 1954. When I was seven years old, my family moved to Brisbane and except for the odd year or two, I have lived in Brisbane ever since. At school, I was into every sport going - cricket, footy, swimming - you name it. It's hard to believe now but in High School, I was a champion Long Jumper! After University ...more
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