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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,496 ratings  ·  481 reviews
How far would your government go?

A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia's newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on e
Paperback, Trade, 424 pages
Published October 2019 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  3,496 ratings  ·  481 reviews

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Kylie D
It took me forever to read this book, mainly because the first three quarters of it was so freaking boring. Too much politics and not enough story. I really don't enjoy reading about politics, though I don't mind if it's relevant to the story. In this case it was the only thing we read about. The last quarter of the book did pick up and was quite good, but by then I was over it.

2.5 stars rounded up.

My thanks to Allen & Unwin for an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review. The opinions
Bri Lee
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First things first: if you're picking this up thinking it will be anything like 'The Museum of Modern Love', then know that it won't. Absolutely do not let that be the thing that stops you buying and reading it. How awful the writing world would be if we limited authors to one type/kind/style of writing!? BORING. Now, 'Bruny' is a faaaaantastic political thriller. I no longer work in a bookstore, but if I did I'd tell people this is the PERFECT summer read. Page-turner, explosions, intrigue, aff ...more
Nat K

"Maybe Hobart had become part of the modern world. Maybe. I guess if there were bombs going off, it really had."


A bridge being built for four years and about to be officially opened for use, has been partially blown up. Boom! Just like that. Just before a state election. Talk about lousy timing.

While not completely decimated, this is not to be taken lightly. The Bruny Bridge symbolises all those wonderful "politic speak" metaphors that politicians wallow in. Hope. Prosperity. Building a br
After reading this, I'm adamant Heather Rose and I should be friends. I felt that way when I was reading her excellent The Museum of Modern Love and even more so after hearing her speak a couple of times at the Perth Writers Festival.

When I picked up the brand new copy of Bruny, I was kind of put off by the Crime label on its spine but remembered it wasn't the first time I noticed books mislabelled, more importantly, it was written by Heather Rose so that was what mattered the most.

So, here ar
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bruny is the eighth novel by award-winning Australian author, Heather Rose. It is November 2021 when the north tower of the almost-completed Bruny Bridge is bombed. Already four years under construction, the two-billion-dollar bridge was due for completion in early 2022 and has been the subject of much dissent throughout the state of Tasmania. Protestors are camped at each end of the bridge but vehemently deny any involvement with the destruction.

Tasmania’s Liberal Premier, John Coleman (JC) nee
The scales of credibility are tested in this book. A UN top conflict resolution expert is asked to return to her Tasmanian home after a bridge being bit to Bruny Island is bombed. Her twin brother is the Premier. The Premier's lover works as a Prime Minister adviser. Her step-sister is the leader of the opposition.
The Chinese is financing the bridge and to get the project on track a couple hundred Chinese bridge builders are sent to the site.
The book explores Australia's foreign ownership laws,
Dale Harcombe
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bomb explodes. A bridge being built from near Hobart in Tasmania to Bruny Island is blown up but not completely destroyed. Workers need to be brought in from overseas. An election is looming. One that pits JC and Maxine, brother and sister in opposing parties against each other. And into this volatile situation come Astrid, twin to JC and younger sister to Maxine, usually known as Max. She is there not just to visit and support her siblings but to investigate the situation. Conspiracy theories ...more
There's a lot in this novel firmly set in remote Tassie. I'll be updating soon with a completed review but just saying here, that I finished it with a smile on my face after having read an excellent book. Heather Rose really did deliver!
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
‘My island home of Tasmania – and the brilliant community I live amongst – I wrote this for you.’

Heather Rose, Acknowledgements, Bruny

Bruny, by Heather Rose, is a tribute to the Tasmania – the land, its issues of contention and its people. Penned by the 2017 Winner of the Stella Prize, this hybrid political thriller, satire and family saga is volatile and meteoric meditation on our not too distant future.

A bridge is the centre of the action and it propels He
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auslit
An explosive read, with one of my favorite female characters I’ve read all year!

Set in a near future Tasmania amidst a raft of economic and infrastructure developments, including the construction of a bridge between Bruny Island and mainland Tasmania. A bomb goes off and Astrid, an expat conflict resolution expert, is summoned home - her brother is Premier of Tasmania and her sister is leader of the opposition! This was so well researched it felt real, the depth of that so well threaded into the
Trish L
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I found myself quite engrossed in this book, primarily - I think - because of my soft spot for Tasmania. Heather Rose's descriptions of the Hobart region and Bruny certainly brought them alive. An overly large and intrusive bridge is being built to connect the main island south of Hobart and Bruny. This has caused much division in the community and polarisation both for and against the development. Why is it needed at all for such a sleepy destination as Bruny Island? Our heroine, Ace, is brough ...more
Indrani Ganguly
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
An interesting theme marred by a very Eurocentric approach. There are frequent rants against human rights abuses by the Chinese and occasional mention of other abuses such as the treatment of western soldiers in the Middle East and convicts and refugees in Australia. Yet the brutal treatment of the Aboriginal people of Tasmania, now recognised as genocide, is completely missing. The only mention of the First Nations is in relation to tapestry! I didn’t find the resolution very convincing, though ...more
Sharah McConville
Bruny is a political thriller set in Tasmania in the near future. There is a lot going on in this story...Terrorism, politics, family conflict and relationships plus a little bit of romance. Heather Rose's book is an interesting read. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for my ARC. ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, let me just say that I adored The Museum of Modern Love and was so excited about this one but also a little apprehensive as I loved it that much. These two books are very different from each other but each were mind-blowingly good. On the back of Greta Thunberg and climate change and ScoMo's "needless anxiety" Bruny is very timely and relevant. Set in the future so immediate it is practically present we have a novel that has a little bit of everything: a thriller full of politics and cl ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part political mystery and family drama, with love stories intertwined and a mystery that lies beneath of all this.

Astrid Coleman is a UN diplomat, a peacekeeper and conflict resolution specialist. Her family are involved in politics in Tasmania and when the Bruny bridge is bombed, mid-construction, she is asked to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But given her brother and sister are on opposing sides of politics, the tension is high. To make matters worse, community
Shirley Bateman
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
A bit like a literary airport novel. Really great to have a strong, older female lead character and the natural beauty of Bruny is well depicted. However, there is lots of tell not show, especially about Tasmanian history/geography and Australian/international politics. These descriptions really got in the way of the narrative drive. There were also lots of comparisons to American places that made think it was written with the international publishing market in mind.

What I found particularly irr
Julie Garner
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book.
Wow! I have not read Museum of Modern Love but now I think I have no choice. Heather Rose is a superb wordsmith. I found whilst reading Bruny that time just melted away. She has beautiful descriptive language that help you find a sense of place for her story.
This is a story about home and our strong connection with the land. It is about a woman who has travelled far from that home, to escape but upon returning questions why she ever left the land she loved. It is
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the end this was a very enjoyable read. I say in the end, because for the first few chapters I found it hard to believe how the three main characters were interlinked/related, however this was soon forgotten as the storyline was revealed.

The last third of the novel, where all the various tentacles of the story were bought together, was a really good read, with a satisfying ending.

Makes me want to go and visit Tasmania again, once all the madness is over.

Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I don't know what this book was trying to be. The library has it labelled as a thriller, but it's really not. I thought I'd be all for it, political conspiracy thriller set in Tasmania? Sounds great.
But it's all put together in a really messy way. The middle section of the book is just a few hundred pages of nothing happening. The protagonist, Ace, just goes around having conversations with various characters in ways that don't advance the plot, but are bad contrivances for the author to use Ace
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
Set in a too-near future, Bruny is part political thriller, part family drama, part love story. Rose isn’t following the formula of a hard-boiled detective chasing up clues and red herrings, but it’s not a highbrow literary offering either (very different to her previous Stella Prize-winning novel, The Museum of Modern Love). It sits where the political and the personal intersect, and meditates mostly on the wheeling and dealing of politics, the complexity of modern life. Rose leaves no stone un ...more
Karen Brooks
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know where to begin with this book. It was so wonderfully unexpected. A thrilling, outrageous and clever tale about family, politics, betrayal, deceit at the highest levels and the people who really pay for that - and all set in Tasmania. What’s not to love?

The book opens when a bomb explodes, almost destroying a new and ridiculously expensive bridge that has been built by the Tasmanian government using federal and international funds and which connects the beautiful island of Bruny to t
Apr 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Banal, cloying, ultimately nauseating. A shark-jumping marathon.

What a disappointing follow-up to Museum of Modern Love! Rose loads racist stereotypes and saccharine sermons over static characters and a ridiculous storyline.

There's a clumsy attempt to make the book accessible to a US audience, with tedious asides on the CFMEU, the Greens, Freycinet, MONA, the Port Arthur massacre, and so on. Meanwhile, we're all expected to be familiar with MoMA, McKinsey, and so on.

The only reference to Tasmani
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Hard to rate this one. A pacy read for sure, and as a satire of development in Australia it's akin to Utopia, quite funny, definitely entertaining. Basically Tomorrow When the War Began for grown-ups. However Heather Rose seems to take her ideas about place, community and home quite seriously and this sits awkwardly alongside such an outlandish central conceit, and it feels quite unbalanced as a result. Also, seemingly despite herself, she deploys lazily racist tropes by the dozen.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Well crafted and accurate in its depiction of Tasmania and it’s inhabitants...... however it’s slow pace and rather trite ending stopped this read earning more than 3 stars from me
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Australia had been teetering on the brink of right-wing extremism for years... What were our shared values? Nobody seemed to know, other than to look to the past. But you can’t wind back time. There was trouble coming. We could all feel it.”

I admit that Bruny isn’t the usual type of book that I would think to pick up, but being written by Stella Award winning Heather Rose was enough to pique my interest, and I’m so glad that it did and that I was fortunate enough to be sent an advanced copy fro
Lesley Moseley
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6-stars
What a scary possible blue-print. I wish everybody would read this.
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, australian
3.5 stars. It took me a long time to finally begin reading this book, as I *really* disliked The Museum of Modern Love. However, having spent time on Bruny Island I was intrigued. Fortunately this is completely different to TMML, and I found it an enjoyable read. The build up of suspense throughout the book was good, and only the last few chapters were a bit lacklustre I thought
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bruny is about family, love and loyalty. After the bombing of the Bruny Bridge conflict resolution specialist Astrid Coleman was asked to come back to help her brother resolve the situation with the Bruny Bridge. On arrival on Bruny, Astrid Coleman realise that she is going to have work cut out to ensure the community of Bruny corporation in building the Bridge. For Astrid, another complication that she did not expect was falling in love again with Tasmania. The readers of Bruny will continue to ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I loved Museum of Modern Love and broke my “don’t finish boring books” rule to fact check whether this was as racist as people said it was. It was perhaps too boring / obvious to be racist? Maybe casually / lazily racist but most of all it was boring, predictable and bad.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring book. Weak story line, little character development all padded out interminably with extracts from tourist brochures and potted political opinions garnered from twitter or the letters pages of second rate newspapers
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Heather Rose is the bestselling Australian author of eight novels. Heather writes for both adults and children. Her adult novels include Bruny, The Museum of Modern Love, The River Wife & The Butterfly Man.

The Museum of Modern Love won the 2017 Stella Prize, the Christina Stead Prize and the Margaret Scott Prize. It was shortlisted for the Australian Literary Society Medal and longlisted for the I

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