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The Fragments

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,043 ratings  ·  305 reviews
INGA Karlson died in a fire in New York in the 1930s, leaving behind three things: a phenomenally successful first novel, the scorched fragments of a second book— and a mystery that has captivated generations of readers.

Nearly fifty years later, Brisbane bookseller Caddie Walker is waiting in line to see a Karlson exhibition featuring the famous fragments when she meets a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  1,043 ratings  ·  305 reviews

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Kylie D
A enjoyable book, The Fragments is about a manuscript that gets destroyed by fire in 1930's New York, only a few fragments of the book remain. It's revered author famously perished with it. Fast track to 1980's Brisbane where bookseller Caddie goes to an exhibition featuring the fragments of the book, where she meets mysterious stranger Rachel, who seems to know more lines in the book than the fragments reveal. This seems impossible however, as the only people who had ever read the book perished ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book is part mystery and part historical novel. Inga Karlson was the literary phenomenon of her day. Her one book was considered a masterpiece. But then, right before the publication of her second book, she dies in a warehouse arson fire and the book is almost completely lost as well. Only a few pages, fragments, remain.

Fast forward fifty years and Caddie Walker is a bookseller in 1986 Brisbane. She goes to see an exhibit on The Fragments and meets an elderly woman, Rachel, who quotes from
“Caddie has worked for Christine on and off since she was fifteen. Back then, Christine was over seventy. Now that Caddie is older, Christine is about fifty.”

And isn't that just how we think at that age? :)

Brisbane, 1986, and Caddie’s still working in Christine’s bookshop, treading water, marking time, and for what? Always a booklover, she’s particularly besotted with one with a character “Cadence”, for whom she was named. It’s as if she were named “Scout” because her parents loved To Kill a M
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
3-4 stars, so I will go with 4.

A lovely tale of Rachel and Inga, and a book that was never to be. All that remains are the fragments of Inga's next work. After a terrible fire ravages all copies all that is left are some burned pieces of a few pages. Inga Karlsson is famous world wide, her death is a tragedy with no bounds.

Caddie is a young book lover working in a book store and obsessed with Inga, she is dying to find out what happened. Told in alternating chapters from Caddie's days in Brisba
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I could not have loved this book more!! A book told from 2 points of view and in 2 different periods. Toni Jordan you have a new fan. I could not resist reading a book about a book...what book lover could. And to top it all off it s by an Aussie writer and partially set in Brisbane. Thank you Text Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to read.

It tells the story of a famous book that was never published. Destroyed in a fire in 1938 all that are left are charred fragments. In 1983 these f
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Fragments by Toni Jordan is a literary mystery that alternates between 1930s New York City and 1980s Brisbane, Australia. The back and forth succeeds in retaining the interest and attention of the reader. In the 1930s, Inga Karlson wrote a much-loved bestselling book. The public was enthralled and anxiously awaited the next novel. However, tragedy struck which led to the partial destruction of all copies of the new book, leaving only scorched fragments. In 1980s Brisbane, Caddie Walker, a bo ...more
3.5 stars (rounded down)

A Fire in New York, in the 1930’s took the life of author Inga Karlson, along with all of the copies of her soon-to-be published second novel, “The Days, The Minutes.”

What remained were the damaged remnants of just a few pages. In order, they were 46, 53, 108, 117, 187, 200 and 238. Page 108 has suffered only charring down the right hand side, and a small oblong hole. Page 200 had one whole corner burnt away, and other parts were crumbling.

”The fragments” are on display
Nat K

”Books are art that talks to us.”

At the height of her popularity, writer Inga Karlsson perishes in a warehouse fire, along with her publisher and copies of her yet to be released latest book. All that remains are “fragments” of pages, around which this novel is based.

”The fragments are here, locked behind steel and glass inside the new State Gallery. The fragments. Irreplaceable, priceless. Here in Brisbane.”

There are secrets and lies and entanglements to be unravelled. We meet both quirky and d
Inga Karlson's debut novel published in 1935, All Has an End was a major literary success loved and read by all. Four years later her much anticipated second book, The Days, the Minutes was on the verge of being released in New York, when Inga, her publisher and all copies of the book were engulfed in a fire in the warehouse where the books were stored. All that remains are a few scorched fragments, with snippets of beautiful prose hinting at the lost promise of the novel.

In 1986, Caddie Walker,
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it

Toni Jordan seems to be able to turn her hand to any genre. This time it's literary mystery, and I loved it!

In late 1930s New York, Inga Karlson is a literary sensation. Her wildly successful first novel All Has An End has become a must-read for a world on the brink of war again, heightening the anticipation of her soon-to-be-published second, The Days, The Minutes. But on the eve of publication, the reclusive Karlson is killed in a warehouse fire, where all copies of the novel are destroyed
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m in two minds about this book, although it all played out rather nicely at the end I was left a little underwhelmed by the actual storyline. Even though I accepted the mystery at face value for what it’s worth I found it a little unbelievable that Caddie would take such a small nugget of information (from a complete stranger mind you) and then go to such great lengths to uncover what essentially becomes a major coup, risking her job and all, including spending much time and energy on what is ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Fragments is the fifth novel by award-winning Australian author, Toni Jordan. For most of her life, Caddie Wilson has been enthralled by the story of her favourite author. In New York in 1935, Inga Karlson’s first novel was published and became a world-wide best-seller. Hounded by an adoring public, she withdrew into seclusion to write, but in 1939 every copy of The Days, the Minutes, her second novel, was destroyed in the warehouse fire that took her life and that of her publisher, the only ...more

Inga Karlson was a one novel wonder, her novel All Has An End being adored by generations of readers. Unfortunately, she perished in a fire in the warehouse where the copies of her sophomore novel were being kept before publishing in 1939. Only a few fragments remained. These fragments and other objects related and belonging to Inga Karlson are part of an exhibition that opened in 1986 at the Art Galery in Brisbane, Australia.

Caddie Walker is a twenty-something bookseller in Brisbane. She's o
Text Publishing
‘A mystery that spans cities, class, people and timezones, and it’s a page-turner with plot developments transpiring right to the very last pages...If you love reading Jane Harper or Holly Throsby or indeed Jordan’s other novels, this is the perfect weekend read. The Fragments is undoubtedly Jordan’s finest work to date.’

‘A captivating read.’
Who Weekly

‘An unusual literary thriller, built around complex twists and a great sense of anticipation…Exploring truth and historicity, The Fragmen
Susan's Reviews
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-arc
There is a quirkiness in Australian novels and films that I find captivating. In The Fragments, by Australian author Toni Jordan, the main character, Cadence, reminds me of so many strong but equally innocent/naive Australian heroines. I'm thinking of Jean Paget in A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute; Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin; Meggie in Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds; and the incomparable Buster in D'Arcy Niland's The Shiralee. (All strong females who suffered, ...more
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Fragments by Toni Jordan. (2018).

Beautiful reclusive author Inga died in a fire in New York in 1939 leaving behind the scorched fragments of a second book after her successful first novel. In the 80s Caddie is a fan of Inga and looking forward to seeing the scorched fragments in Brisbane. Caddie is jolted after a conversation with a stranger in line for the exhibition - it seems the stranger knows something new about the fragments.
Dale Harcombe
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
The literary world goes into mourning when news breaks that Inga Karlson has died in a fire along with her editor. At the same time her newest manuscript is lost. Only a few charred fragments remain. Inga has previously published one book to great acclaim. All fans of Inga’s were looking forward to the new book They want to know what happened that day and more about the contents of that second manuscript. In Brisbane in 1986 Caddie Walker, who works in a bookshop, is one s
What an unexpected gem this book turned out to be! It contained a bit of everything I enjoy – a compelling mystery, an atmospheric setting, interesting historical elements, two enigmatic female protagonists and just a slight smattering of romance. And what book lover doesn’t like reading about a mystery surrounding an old classic book and famous author?

Caddie, a bookseller living in a shared flat in 1980s Brisbane is drawn into an age old mystery when she encounters a mysterious old woman at an
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
I've always been intrigued by serendipity, and this book is filled with it. It starts in Brisbane in 1986, when Caddie, a bookseller, visits an exhibition of bookfragments saved from a fire. She meets a mystery woman who quotes more from the book than what's on show. Before Caddie gets the chance to ask questions, the woman is gone.
The story moves to 1938 New York City, where Rachel, a young girl new in town, meets a lady writer, who takes her under her wings.
From here we move from Brisbane back
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, arc-s
After that emotional ending, I needed to let this one sit for a couple days before I could pen a review. Now that I’ve given it some thought I have a lot of questions, the main one being “Why isn’t EVERYONE talking about this book?!” It was a beautiful, unique literary mystery that reeled me in from the first page. It was absolutely astounding and I don’t really understand why this isn’t a massive hit across all the best-seller lists or being optioned for a movie/series.

Our shy bookseller, Caden
Kasa Cotugno
Well written, stylish and intriguing, the two timelines flow and converge at the right times. I realize that I hadn't read a novel set in Brisbane before -- it is an area of Australia I am not familiar with, but it came to light in the 1986 sections, as did late Depression New York and, earlier, small town Allentown. Two very likeable heroines plot their own fate 50 years apart, drawn together by love of an iconic book, the only one written by a genius author who died in a fire along with her se ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
It’s not you it’s me.. I guess. I only cared about Rachel’s story and I found myself skimming the rest. I just really didn’t like the writing and it’s my fault for not abandoning it right at the beginning.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-loved author, Inga Karlson, died in a fire in the 1930s and all that was recovered of her not yet published second novel, The Days, The Minutes, were fragments of a handful of pages. No one lives who has read the entire book before it was destroyed. The fragments of the book are being displayed for a short time in Brisbane, Australia where Caddie Walker goes to see the exhibit. While there, she meets a mysterious old woman who quotes the end to one of the sentence fragments. This plays on ...more
Cass Moriarty
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author Toni Jordan is renowned for giving us stories that are literary and well-researched whilst still being accessible and a joy to read. Her latest novel The Fragments (Text Publishing 2018) is no exception, and it is yet another example of her ability to move fluidly between genres, with each of her five published novels different enough to keep us on our toes but with the same high standard of writing.
The Fragments is a literary mystery wrapped up in a story of identity and self-esteem, am
Bonnye Reed
I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Toni Jordan, and Text Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read The Fragments of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am thrilled to recommend this work to friends and family.

'The Fragments' is a taut, intricate tale told very well. We have Allentown, PA from 1928 through 1938 told in the first-person voice of this young student, then silk-weaver Rachel Lehrer,
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Fragments is a lovely story about a story that was tragically never finished. There are two points of view telling the story of how this manuscript was destroyed in a fire, and the writer died. It's a beautiful mystery for book lovers. If you believe books change lives, you'll enjoy this one. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from for a review.

Inga Karlson died in a fire in New York in the 1930s. Nearly fifty years later, Caddie Walker is waiting in line to see a Karlson exhibition featuring the famous fragments when she meets a charismatic older woman.

As with most of these split timeline stories, I was more interested in the older timeline.


If your favoured reading material is a novel with a good sprinkling of history and mystery, academic intrigue and a soupçon of romance, then feel at liberty to read Toni Jordan's latest offering - The Fragments.

Toni Jordan gives the reader some excellent characters, most of whom have appeal despite their flaws and of course, there are a few suitably nasty ones who are meant to be despised.

Told in alternating chapters from between New York City in the 1930's and 1980's Brisbane, Australia, the b
Kirsty Connell-Skinner
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book on NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I love books about literary mysteries, like AS Byatt's PossessionPossession and Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the WindThe Shadow of the Wind, and Toni Jordan's The Fragments is a worthy addition to the canon.

Switching between 1980s Brisbane and 1930s New York, the book explores two women - Caddie and Rachel who struggle to live their own lives, whether due to poverty and a violent father for Rachel, or grief and
Melanie Hunt
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is a certain amount of 'belief suspension' required to enjoy this book, but once you set aside those doubts it's a hugely enjoyable read. Jordon has a lovely, witty and engaging writing style. I love nothing better than a crime/thriller/mystery set in the world of books and literature and this one comes with a bonus 1980s Brisbane setting, which, being from Brisbane, I really loved. Perfect escapist/weekend reading novel. Think A.S. Byatt's Possession, with a more populist bent, and you're ...more
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Toni was born in Brisbane in 1966. She loved reading and writing at primary school (Seven Hills State School) but by high school (Lourdes Hill College) had become a science nerd. After leaving school, she enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland, which she completed part time after almost failing due to a preoccupation with chasing boys.

She has worked as a research assista

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