The Book of Ordinary People

The Book of Ordinary People

3.82 (101 ratings by Goodreads)
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"The Book of Ordinary People is a heart-warming and thought-provoking novel that reminds us to value what matters most - our families, our friends and humanity as a whole. " Readings

A grieving daughter navigates the morning commute, her mind bursting with memories pleading to be shared.

A man made entirely of well-cut suits and strictly enforced rules swims his regular morning laps and fantasises about his self-assured promotion.

A young lawyer sits in a fluorescent-lit office, typing indecipherable jargon and dreaming of everything she didn't become.

A failed news hack hides under the covers from another looming deadline, and from a past that will not relent its pursuit.

And a young woman seeking asylum sits tensely on an unmoving train, praying that good news waits at the other end of the line...

In this charming, moving and affectionate novel, Claire Varley paints a magical portrait of five ordinary people, and the sometimes heartbreaking power of the stories we make of ourselves.


"Tragic, mysterious, insightful, sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking." Daily Telegraph

"Varley writes with confidence and brio, and her main characters are believable and loveable." The Age

"Full of heart and humour." West Australian
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 155 x 232 x 32mm | 519g
  • Macmillan Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • 1743536267
  • 9781743536261
  • 2,401,884

About Claire Varley

Claire Varley lives in Victoria, Australia on Wathaurong country. Her debut novel The Bit in Between was published in 2015. Her fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in many places, and she has coordinated community development projects in Australia and overseas, including remote Solomon Islands and with refugee and asylum seeker communities in Melbourne's outer north.
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Rating details

101 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 23% (23)
4 46% (46)
3 25% (25)
2 5% (5)
1 2% (2)
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