The third book of Carolyn van Langenberg’s Fish Lips trilogy completes the saga of a troubled farming family based in North Eastern New South Wales and their connections over two generations with families in the Malaysian island of Penang. Blue Moon, though the third title in the trilogy, is not a sequel to the prior novels.
Jacqueline Dark is a social worker specialising in emergency housing for the poor in Sydney during the 1990s. Jacq and her brother Kel hit a bad mid-life patch when memories of their rural childhood with their crazy mother Lydia destabilise them. Jacq takes stress leave to Penang in Malaysia. While there, she tries to solve the mystery of her mother’s belief that there is a family connection with Penang.
Lydia’s life is paralleled by Ng Chu Yee in Penang, Malaysia, who is also frustrated, in her case by her husband’s gambling.
Crisply written and tightly structured, Blue Moon is one of those novels that is hard to put down.
December 2004, 336 pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 1 92078710 0
Literary fiction; First Edition
RRP $aud 27-95
Carolyn van Langenberg grew up in the rural hinterland of the Far North Coast of New South Wales. She has travelled in Southeast Asia and Europe.
Carolyn’s books reflect her background in Australian and English literature, Asian history and creative writing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Mountains.
The fish lips trilogy, set in Malaysia and Australia from the 1940s to the 21st century, looks at three angles on love: heterosexual, homosexual and tortured.
In fish lips, Rose, Li-tsieng’s paramour, becomes a ghost when the Japanese bombed Penang in 1941. Was she ever real?
Fiona Hindmarsh in The Teetotaller’s Wake longs to be back with her new girlfriend during the family ceremonies that follow her mother’s death.
In Blue Moon, urban conservationist Badul Mukhapadai tries to save Penang, Malaysia, from developers and falls in love with the clean air of Byron Bay, Australia, where he consummates his passion for the prickly historian, Gillian Hindmarsh.
The Fish Lips Trilogy… by Carolyn van Langenberg
Fish Lips, 2001
ISBN: 0 95858059 6
The Teetotaller’s Wake, 2003
ISBN: 0 95787358 1
Blue Moon, 2004
ISBN: 1 92078710 0