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Cherry Beach

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  17 reviews
We arrived on a Tuesday, I can remember that. I can remember Hetty’s hand in mine as we moved slowly down the steps of the escalator, as if standing completely still would have been harder than moving.

Hetty and Ness, best friends since childhood, have left suburban Melbourne for the first time to live abroad. Hetty is charming and captivating, the life of the party. Ness
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  52 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Michael Livingston
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story about friendship and love and death. McPhee-Browne captures the excitement and uncertainty of youth perfectly. The complexity of female friendships is piercingly written - the way that Hetty's horrible ex-boyfriend sees right through Ness' adoration felt dreadfully real. As the story unfolds, the writing gets more and more vivid, especially in the way that bodies and embodied feelings are described - it's almost physical writing that still manages to maintain Ness' ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, aching, impressionistic novel; awash in sensory detail and small but weighted moments of emotional significance.
Text Publishing
The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of Cherry Beach

'Cherry Beach is a tender and bruising coming-of-age novel. McPhee-Browne’s writing is both poetic and economical, finely attuned to the exhilaration and doom of youth, unfamiliar cities and new relationships.’
Jennifer Down

‘Laura McPhee-Browne’s Cherry Beach is an acute and gripping novel about being made and unmade by first love. In prose reminiscent of Elizabeth Jolley’s, McPhee-Browne portrays the
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auslit

CHERRY BEACH is an upcoming debut novel by Melbourne writer Laura McPhee-Browne, out 4 February in Australia. Told from the perspective of Ness, this is a story about her move from Melbourne to Toronto with her friend since childhood, Hetty. Growing up, Ness lived a little in Hetty’s shadow, and details of this slowly unfurl in flashbacks we return to throughout the narrative. What complicates this is that Ness is completely enamored by Hetty, unbeknownst to her. When they move to Toronto, Ness
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
In her debut novel Cherry Beach, McPhee-Browne has drawn an intimate portrait of a close friendship between young women, which will leave you aching. In a short number of pages, she has spun a rich emotional landscape anchored in moments of intense physicality. Readers should note triggers for suicide, psychotic episodes, and allusions to domestic violence and emotional and sexual abuse, as well as drug use.

Melburnians Ness and Hetty fulfil a teenage promise to move to the other side of the
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian-lit
A beautiful, lyrical book about the messiness and complexity of female friendship, mental illness and grief. I loved the Canadian setting (one of the characters even shares my Margaret Atwood obsession). The story really captures that strange, isolated, free feeling you have when you're in another country.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
This book was one of my most anticipated of 2020 and it didn't disappoint. A well written story about friendship, love and mental health. This was a quick read that kept me interested from start to finish. I didn't connect with the main characters but this didn't detract from my enjoyment as the story was strong. Would recommend.
Stephen Kilpatrick
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m not very good at reviews. But I read a lot of books and this was very very good and I finished it in two sittings. Well done Laura! ...more
Eloise Grills
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Giselle A Nguyen
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel is beautifully tender and sexy, sketching a portrait of queer love and loss between two childhood friends. We follow Ness and Hetty as they move from Melbourne to Toronto. Ness
grapples with her feelings for Hetty, as Hetty loses herself in this strange new place. There is a lot of difficult subject matter here, but it's told with such gentle grace that the reader
always feels safe. Although the emotional climax felt in hindsight obvious, it still caught me by surprise and
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lush, dreamy, aching; I suspect any woman who has had and lost a beautiful best friend will feel this to their core. I enjoyed exploring Toronto - a city I’ve never seen - while also revisiting my old adolescent stomping grounds of Warrandyte and Kangaroo Ground; this contrast of the unknown and the familiar is also reflected in the push/pull relationship between Ness and Hetty. I found Cherry Beach very reminiscent of Jennifer Down’s writing, which I also love.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Was truly gripped by this novel - took a lot of effort not to read it all in one sitting! It was tender, heart-wrenching, thoughtful and written in an effortlessly beautiful manner as complex relationships and experiences were explored in a very real yet poetic way. Highly recommend :)
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking and so beautiful. The unique voice of Ness carries so much depth below a simple surface. Laura McPhee-Browne's powers of description are striking and gorgeous and leave me wanting more more more. Such a wonderful debut. I'll read it again.
Millie Baylis
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aus-novels, favorites
absolutely adored this deeply feminine, sensual + tender novel about friendship, longing, desire, mental illness, grief, love. i felt butterflies reading it and already miss hetty + ness. it’s a quiet novel that doesn’t show off, full of gorgeous prose that made my heart sing. i’m going to be thinking about this book + these women for a long time.
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quietly devastated by this one. What a gorgeous debut.
Alex Talbot
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intense, vivid, and so queer. Loved every moment with this book, will likely pick up everything McPhee-Browne writes after this
Isabel Gason
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I can say this is now one of my favourite books.
‘Cherry beach’ is an exciting read which evokes a sense of reading the unabashed musings of a diary. A story of Ness’ and Hetty’s youth and adolescence, of innocence, but equally of guilt and desires.

A must read for the LGB Community, as the author has captured the homosexual experience perfectly, from childhood to adulthood.

I can hardly wait for the endearing characters, rich visuals, humour and intriguing plots of this writer’s next books. All
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