Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fragments” as Want to Read:
The Fragments
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fragments

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  683 ratings  ·  230 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fragments, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fragments

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  683 ratings  ·  230 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, aww, won, aussie-author, owned
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
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
Mandy White
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
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
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.
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: netgalley, kindle
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
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are books you love and then there are books you really love and this is one of them. Absolutely adored every sentence, every word of this novel. Was so totally immersed in this story, was so taken with how it was constructed with alternative chapters telling us the past and the present - this worked so well and I kept thinking how the author Toni Jordan cleverly planned it out, building up to reach its wonderful conclusion whilst keeping the reader on edge all the way through.
I was torn a
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars (rounded down)

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

All that remained were the damaged remains 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 has one whole corner burnt away, and other parts are crumbling.

The fragments are on display at
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
This is a gem of a book. Right up with my faves of the year. It is a literary mystery and I'm always up for one of those.

Inga Karlsen was a beloved author, she and her publisher and every copy of her second book were killed and destroyed in a warehouse fire in 1938. This was a tragedy, the country and the world mourned because her first novel, All Has An End has become one of the most read books of all time. The world had such high hopes for her second novel, The Days, The Minutes and now nothi
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Fragments by Toni Jordan

Publisher: Text Publishing
Pub date: September 20,2019
Genre: fiction, women’s fiction
Rating: 4/5

I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review from NetGalley and publisher.

Caddie Walker, a Brisbane bookseller, is one of many standing in line to see the exhibit on display showcasing the life and work of author Inga Karlson. It has been 50 years since her tragic untimely death in a 1930‘s New York fire. There was a lot of mystery and controver
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Suspenseful and intriguing story of remaining burnt Fragments of a long lost book on display at the museum brings out the people who are interested in finding out what really happened to the author of original book. Caddie Walker is a fan of the author and had tried to write her graduate thesis about Inga Karlson and the lost novel. Her research professor also is interested in finding out what happened to Inga all those years ago when she and her second novel were burned in a warehouse fire.

Jennifer (JC-S)
'The fragments are here. Locked behind steel and glass inside the new State Gallery.’
n the 1930s, Inga Karlson died in a tragic warehouse fire in New York. After the phenomenal success of her first novel, she had just finished her second book. Inga and her publisher are both killed in the fire. The printer’s plates and all the copies of her second book were destroyed. All that remained of that second book were seven scorched fragments.

Almost fifty years later, there’s a Karlson exhibition in Br
Melanie Hunt
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with Toni Jordan's Addition, published in 2008. The Fragments is Jordan's fifth book. I missed it when it was released in Australia last year but managed to get an electronic copy and... let's just say I was (again) smitten.

There was something beguilingly irreverent about Jordan's prose in Addition: casual commentary offered up with sass and hilarity because our lead Grace struggled with mental illness and obsessive compulsive disorder. The words and thoughts were Grace's so it wa
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The books with looks: Win a copy of The Fragments! 2 6 Sep 17, 2018 12:54PM  
Aussie Readers: Win a copy of The Fragments! Ends 1st October 8 34 Sep 15, 2018 04:10PM  
Aussie Lovers of...: Win a copy of The Fragments! 3 14 Sep 13, 2018 09:18PM  
Aussie Book Club: Win a copy of The Fragments! 1 11 Sep 09, 2018 10:25PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book Cover 3 18 Jul 02, 2018 04:08PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wintering
  • The Soldier's Curse (Monsarrat #1)
  • Springtime: A Ghost Story
  • The Light on the Water
  • Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living
  • Our Magic Hour
  • Bridget Crack
  • The Lost Child
  • Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies
  • Night Swimming
  • Gentlemen Formerly Dressed (Rowland Sinclair, #5)
  • Bloodtree River
  • Sunset Ridge
  • Ambulance Girls (Ambulance Girls #1)
  • To Name Those Lost
  • Tiddas
  • Half Wild
  • Wormwood Mire (A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, #2)
See similar books…
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“This isn't just a story. This is...a way to understand the world, passed down from person to person, and changing each one on the way. It's the smell, the touch. Books are art that talks to us.” 0 likes
“To spend her days reading and growing things. Could there be any better life?” 0 likes
More quotes…