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Best Fiction Books For 2020

Give the perfect Christmas pressie or just get stuck into these brilliant books yourself


Whether you’re buying for someone else or yourself, we’ve rounded up 12 brilliant fiction books you’ll love.

All Our Shimmering Skies, Trent Dalton 

How do you follow a debut like record-breaker Boy Swallows Universe? With the big-hearted, fantastical tale of Molly Hook, a gravedigger girl, set in WWII Darwin. This is a book that blends magic and mystery in a uniquely Australian setting.

Honeybee, Craig Silvey

This is the first novel from the Australian author of Jasper Jones in more than a decade and it follows Sam Watson, a young adolescent overcoming trauma and finding self-acceptance. Not to be missed.

Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid 

On the surface this is a story about a young black woman wrongly accused of kidnapping a child she is babysitting, and the ensuing events. But this much-hyped (and excellent) debut also offers a searing commentary on today’s ‘woke culture’.


PHOTO: Georgina Egan STYLING: Jack Milenkovic

Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld (Penguin)

How would Hillary Clinton’s life have unfolded if she hadn’t married Bill? That’s the question at the heart of this clever novel, which blends fact and fiction and will appeal to anyone missing their politics fix after this year’s US election.

The Vanishing Half, Britt Bennet (Bloomsbury)

This timely novel follows two identical twins, whose lives take two very different paths, as each deals with the issues of identity and race in wildly different ways. This beautifully written story is both compulsive and ultra-relevant for our times.

The Girl With The Louding Voice, Abi Dare

A powerful story about a 14-year-old Nigerian girl’s journey in finding her louding voice to use it to do better, do more.

The Survivors, Jane Harper

The award-winning author of The Dry returns with a gripping mystery set on the Tasmanian coast. When a body turns up on a beach, a small town is forced to confront its secrets.

Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell

A fictionalised, fascinating and  – it must be said – exquisitely tragic tale of Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, who died at a young age. Maggie O’Farrell has always written beautifully about motherhood, and this is the British writer at her very best.

The Perfect World Of Miwako Sumida, Clarissa Goenawan

A bewitching novel set in contemporary Japan about the mysterious suicide of a young woman.

Room For A Stranger, Melanie Cheng 

The winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction (2018), Melanie Cheng offers up a tender tale of an elderly Australian woman who takes in a boarder.

Here Is The Beehive, Sarah Crossan 

It may be written entirely in verse but this literary tale of infidelity and tragedy is so gripping you probably won’t notice. Here Is The Beehive follows Ana, a solicitor and a married mother of two, as she learns about the death of her client Connor – who was also her lover.

The Book Of Two Ways, Jodie Picoult

The blockbuster author is back, this time with the story of a woman who finds herself reassessing her life after a near-death experience. Classic Jodie Picoult and a great beach read.

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