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There Was Still Love

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  671 ratings  ·  131 reviews
The profoundly moving new novel from the critically acclaimed and Miles Franklin shortlisted author of PAST THE SHALLOWS and WHEN THE NIGHT COMES. A tender and masterfully told story of memory, family and love.

Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, a man wearing a hat. Eva runs into him, hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the
Paperback, 210 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Hachette Australia
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  671 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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“They both had big faces, strong angular faces that you could grab onto with both hands. You could hang off those faces. Stone faces that could forge through anything. Faces you would never forget.

They were not delicate, but they were useful. They could withstand a lot.”

1968. Czech grandmothers, sisters, one in Prague and one in Melbourne. Young Ludĕk lives in Prague with Babi and his grandfather while his pretty young mother, Alena, travels the world with The Magician and his Black Light
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No amount of words could do this book justice, so I’m going to keep this review short. There Was Still Love by Aussie author Faval Parrett is a beautifully written novel. A moving story that will capture the hearts of anyone who reads it. Only a few pages in and there was a little song (verse) that I just LOVED and would like to share.

Grandma caught a flee
Put it in the teapot
Made a cup of tea
The flea jumped out
Grandma gave a shout
Here comes grandpa with his shirt sticking out.

What an utterly divine, beautifully written novel There Was Still Love is by Aussie author Favel Parrett. Moving, profound, I’m blown away by this book. I loved the author’s previous novels, and this one is exceptional.

Set in Prague in 1938 and 1980, and Melbourne in 1980, it tells Eva and Mana’s stories and that of their grandchildren. Ludek lives in Prague with his Babi while his mother is a long way away working, and Mala Li ka lives in the tiny Melbourne flat with her grandma and grandpa.
A beautiful, warm reading experience. 4.5

This is a novel of twos;
* two main timelines, 1938 and 1980
* two cities, Prague and Melbourne
* two households, connected by their twin sister matriarchs, Eva (Babi) and Máňa
* two children, Ludĕk and Malá Liška, both living in the loving homes of their grandparents

In Melbourne, Malá Liška - Little Fox - lives in the 3rd floor flat of her grandparents, Máňa and Bill. She is surrounded by their love and by the food, customs and objects that keep Prague alive
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stories of family over generations and the bonds that keep them together while apart is nothing new but in the hands of a master writer can be something magical. This is very much the case with Australian author Favel Parrett's first novel in 5 years. Understated simplicity is ever-present with themes of love, exile, and life experiences the guiding force.

Told mostly through the eyes of grandchildren Ludek in Prague and Liska in Melbourne in the 80's we have the story of twin sisters who are
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really beautiful. Took me back to the warmth of my great grandmother's kitchen in Prague, where svíčková simmered on the stove while I stuffed my face with knedlíky. And to the aching separation, across continents and politics, that was a hallmark of those years for my family.
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars

‘This novel is a work of fiction, but my grandparents were very real. They taught me about kindness and gave me all the time and love I needed. They are never far from my thoughts.’

Favel Parrett, Author’s Note, There Was Still Love

There Was Still Love is the third novel penned by Favel Parrett , a strong literary voice in Australia. Parrett’s latest piece of fiction is her most passionate endeavour yet, and it represents an ambitious piece of
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
"It is easy to think somewhere else is better. But when you leave home, there are things you miss that you never imagined you would. Small things. Like the smell of the river, or the sound of rain on the cobblestones, the taste of local beer. You long to have those things again – to see them, to smell them – and when you do, you know that you are home.”

There Was Still Love is the third novel by award-winning Australian author, Favel Parrett. In Melbourne, in 1980, Malá Liška watches her
Michael Livingston
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book about families divided by geography and politics - Parrett focusses on tiny moments that capture deep feelings. Gorgeous.
Brona's Books
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I have been struggling to find a way to talk about this book for awhile. That is until, a weekend visit to see the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, gave me a quote to work with.

Fiona Lowry was this year's Sulman Prize judge. A plaque near the entrance explained her thinking as she approached the judging process.
"I was reminded of an interview I recently read with the artists Eric Fischl where he suggests that artists are looking for love, and they are expressing love in
Theresa Smith
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
There Was Still Love is a deeply moving little novel, its story less of a story and more of a snapshot of life within one family, as conveyed through the eyes of two children: Ludek, who lives in Prague, and Mala Liska, who lives in Melbourne. Both children are being brought up by their grandmothers who are twin sisters living on opposite sides of the world. The novel alternates between Melbourne and Prague, allowing the reader to not only get a feel for this family, but also a bead on what life ...more
Emily (em_isreading)
A classic Bookstagram made me do it read, and boy am I glad I did. What a joy. Parrett packs a huge amount into a relatively short read. I've come away feeling all warm and fuzzy, like I've had a warm hug.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, how do you begin to explain how a book can touch you so deeply. What a beautiful, beautiful novel from one of my most favourite and respected writers. I sat in the sun and cried when I finished, from the sheer joy of what transpired from the pages, the words and the heartfelt emotion of being truly loved and cared for by your grandparents and the love you give in return.
This novel is also about the choices that are forced to be made in troubling and horrible times and how they impact in
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘People carry little brown suitcases.’

A novel which moves between Melbourne and Prague, a novel which explores the ties between family members, the ties between past and present, the role of both love and opportunity.

It starts in Prague, in 1938, when Eva runs into a man as she is running down the street. That encounter will change many lives. And in Prague in 1980, a city blanketed by fear, Ludék is free. His Babi is waiting for him in their warm flat. His world. Half a world away, in
Angourie Rice
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simply gorgeous.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Australian author Favel Parrett's Past The Shallows and When the Night Comes are two of my favourite books. It meant I had high expectations for her latest, There Was Still Love which is always worrying... for me anyway, but it certainly did not disappoint.

It. Is. Utterly. Bewitching.

Read my review here:
Cass Moriarty
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Favel Parrett’s much anticipated third novel There Was Still Love (Hachette 2019) is a slim, literary exploration of family, memory, sacrifice and culture. Informed by her autobiographical knowledge of her own grandparents and their stories, and her recollections of their lives, the novel is nevertheless a fictional tale of a country divided and a family divided, told from the perspectives of two of the grandchildren, Ludek and Mala.
The story timeslips from 1980 to 1938, from 1968 to 1942, from
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
There Was Still Love is a beautiful and simple tale of love, family and hardship. Parrett has a skill for understated and elegant prose and storytelling. From Melbourne to Prague the reader has a window into a family split down the middle by war and circumstance. This tale looks at the strength of women across decades and countries in different situations beyond their control and how it can differ and what that strength looks like.

I loved the vivid scenes and the evocative descriptions that
Sonia Nair
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is simply gorgeous. Gentle, tender and heartbreaking in what it reveals about displacement and migration, There Was Still Love is an accomplishment and an ode to grandparents the world over.
Zuzana Nikorovičová
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly deep and enjoyable read! As I'm more of a fantasy reader I did not expect to enjoy it so much. But Favel's took me to a loving relationship between two sisters who live on the other sides of the world and even when there are problems, guilt and life itself, there's still love and it's such a beautiful invisible force that is too strong for the world to beat.
I feel quite lucky now after reading it.
Nadia King
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous! Review to come
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Meditative, moving, a bit magical. Capturing so much about family, generations, grandparent/grandchild relationships, and what it means to belong. This pulled at my heartstrings.
Carolyn Mck
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I have enjoyed all of Favel Parrett's novels without finding any of them really compelling. I still remember certain things about each one and I'm sure I will about this one too.

It is a touching story of two sisters in the 1980s, one staying in Prague under the Communist regime and the other migrating to Australia. It is also the story of their two grandchildren, Ludek in Prague and the narrator, Mala Liska ('little fox') in Melbourne. I respect what Parrett has done in this novel, drawing on
Callum Macdonald
Favel Parrett, one of Australia’s finest. In her forthcoming There Was Still Love, Parrett takes us between Prague and Melbourne as we fall into the fragments of a family separated by opportunity and history.

There Was Still Love tells an interwoven narrative. In Prague, 1980, Ludék runs in search of the stories his family tells him. At home, Babi is waiting for him, and on the city streets, Atlas holds the universe up for Ludék to explore. All Ludék wants is for his mother to return home from
Book Bazaar
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Favel Parrett's writing is beautiful. This is a beautiful homage to her grandparents and the way in which the women in the families protect the children from the weight of the world. The scenes in Prague alternate with those in Melbourne and capture the European immigrant story really well, as well as highlighting the plight of those left behind.

This is gentle and lyrical, a lovely read.
Tricia Greig
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because Favel came into the bookshop I work at and handed me a signed proof copy. We talked about our love of puppy’s, fire and tattoos and then she swept away without looking back, I felt like a friend was walking away forever. I hope we meet again one day.
This book is gorgeous. The relationship of the sisters and the children is like a parallel universe. The love from the mother is so sad and so distant that I was in tears (something thats very new for me - I never used to cry
John Purcell
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I volunteer with a palliative program as a biography writer. People tell their stories, I transcribe them. People will often say that they have 'nothing to tell'. That's never true, although I have learnt that the dates and facts about a person's life are not that important. Instead, the story is in the small details and their recollections of how they felt at particular moments - that's where the meaning is found.

Favel Parrett's third novel, There Was Still Love , demonstrates how detail tells
Lindy Shaw
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful read - fiction but based on the story of the author’s childhood, her grandparents in Melbourne and family still in Prague.
D.M. Cameron
Oh this book made me cry three times! Such an achingly beautiful portrait of love.
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