Reviews of Staying:
‘A wounded, lovely, luminous book about grief, trauma and the strange healing potential of words.’ Tim Winton
‘A work of shining brilliance.’ Romy Ash
‘Staying aches and pulses with life … Cole is a writer of immense talent.’ Anna Krien
‘This touching memoir from Australian author Jessie Cole, whose childhood was irrevocably changed when her sister committed suicide, offers a rare personal take on unthinkable tragedy.’ Elle
‘With a painfully fractured familial narrative, Cole charts her story through the landscape and its memories. Her attunement to its minute fluctuations compares with the most observant nature writers, such as Annie Dillard or Henry David Thoreau: “The smallest of shifts and the land was new … The whole world had to be relearned from scratch.” The forest regenerates after yearly floods, but Cole refuses herself easy clichés about growth after loss …
When Australia’s cultural narratives insist an artist must leave home to succeed, Cole shows one forged by staying put. She still inhabits her fallen Eden today. It’s surprising that, in the midst of such sorrow, what resounds is a sensation of fecundity. But perhaps it’s not, from a writer of such talent and grace.’ The Saturday Paper
‘Staying is a well-written, extremely moving memoir that steers resolutely clear of stereotypes and self-pity … For all the darkness, there is light too. Cole is a gifted writer with a sensual turn of phrase, and her exploration of the reverberating effects of suicide is both illuminating and absorbing. It will appeal to readers who loved her previous novels.’ Books+Publishing
‘This is a tender book about family, loss and trauma, and it deserves a wide readership.’ Readings Magazine
Reviews of Deeper Water:
“Deeper Water is a fine and elegantly written novel from an impressive writer.”
The Weekend Australian
“Deeper Water delivers on its title’s promise of immersion, sensuality, and the liminal … a compelling examination of our relationship with nature.”
Australian Book Review
“Cole’s characters are, each one, perfectly drawn examples of flawed and fragile humans, and she evokes the landscape in which she herself grew up and still lives with the tender familiarity of a child for its mother. This is a softly spoken coming-of-age tale that deserves the label tour de force.”
North & South Magazine
“Mema’s narrative voice is quiet and measured, never giving very much away but at the same time revealing the immense depth and intensity of her feelings that sit just below the surface. Her longing is mysterious, and Cole’s descriptive prose imbues it with the gloriously sensual anticipation of a bud about to burst into bloom. A compelling and satisfying read; its sensuality and earthiness give a mythical quality to the regional Australian landscape.”
“A fierce momentum tugs the reader by the belt buckle, causing her to flip pages to see when the tension will be finally released. Cole’s talent lies in the depiction of the intangible feelings of a sexual awakening.”
Newtown Review of Books
“In literature, and in film, there are some classic plots almost guaranteed to grab the audience’s attention. The Stranger Comes to Town is one, Coming of Age is another and what in England we might call Something Nasty in the Woodshed (a reference to the wonderful novel Cold Comfort Farm) is another.
Like a practiced chess master, local Burringbar author Cole, who grew up in relative isolation on a country property, has used all these themes to create a novel that is as deep, chilling and sensuous as the title itself. Her first book, Darkness on the Edge of Town, (which also used the stranger in town device) was good, this one is not just better, it’s extraordinary.”
“With its simple yet elegant prose, and quiet yet deeply felt emotion, Deeper Water is a mesmerising story about a young woman’s awakening to the possibilities of love and life.”
Shelleyrae, Book’d Out
“Jessie Cole is an exciting talent, who with Deeper Water proves that she is an Australian writer to watch.”
“Now and then it’s hard to write a review about a certain book – not because there is nothing to say but rather because I struggle with what to say that will be enough to truly capture the essence of the book and then adequately relay that to readers of my review. Deeper Water is one such book … This story seduces you from the start, drawing you in powerfully by a critical event in the first few pages of the book and then slowly sings itself to you until the song is done. I love Jessie Cole’s writing style – it is calm, quiet, experientially descriptive, truly beautiful. Rich and real … deeply sensual … This is a tantalising book. It is raw, real and emotive.”
Jennie, Daystarz Books, Goodreads
“In the last four years, I’ve reviewed a lot of books. Sometimes the words come easy, sometimes I have to coax them. The reasons for the writers block can be varied but I honestly think this is probably the first time I haven’t really known what to write because the book is so beautifully written and I’m not sure how to convey that accurately … I read Jessie Cole’s first novel, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and was impressed by it but this novel showcases her evolution and advancement as a writer. It’s the sort of book that you wish went a bit longer, just so you could keep reading it and experiencing it.”
Bree, All The Books I Can Read … 1 Girl 2 Many Books!
To order go to Booktopia, Readings, Bookworld, or for an ebook Amazon, Kobo. To find another retailer.
Reviews of Darkness on the Edge of Town:
“One of the stand-out debuts of 2012.”
Katharine England, The Adelaide Advertiser
“Jessie Cole’s spellbinding first novel is the kind of book that you can describe with words such as ‘beautiful’, ‘touching’ and ‘tender’ as easily as you can with words like ‘uncomfortable’, ‘painful’ and ‘disturbing’ … I can’t wait to see where this talented new voice takes us next.” 4 and 1/2 stars.
Meredith Lewin, Good Reading Magazine.
“Jessie Cole’s debut novel Darkness on the Edge of Town is on another level of storytelling altogether … It’s exquisite writing. Graceful, revealing, pitch perfect. Cole is an author who pays sharp attention to the world around her. And she deserves to have the world pay her some attention in return.”
Ed Wright, The Australian
“A sad and tender tale of the extraordinary events which make up the everyday lives of ordinary people, Darkness on the Edge of Town elegantly expresses the simplicity of emotions that we often find so hard to handle. Unflinching in her capacity to scrape at the raw nerves of our desperation for love, Jessie Cole has written a distinctly Australian story about hope, desire, sexuality, violence and our failure to communicate.”
Rob Minshull, ABC Radio Brisbane
“Jessie Cole writes with the most deceptively simple language. She pulls you into the story and along its threads until bam! She hits you right between the eyes. This is great storytelling. It’s tense, mean, compassionate and very real … The characters are so real it’s as if Cole sat in the pub and copied down everything everyone said. Every minute of reading this book was a joy.”
Meredith Jaffe, The Hoopla
“Cole is one of a number of younger female writers drawing our attention to lives lived on the margins … She focuses the writer’s eye on an Australia both familiar and hidden, creating stories that make some readers feel uncomfortable. But these are stories essential to our understanding of the Australian landscape and those who inhabit it, where tenderness and violence accompany each other in an eerie pact of necessity. While there is a necessary debate occurring in Australia around the value of literary prizes and who they go to, Jessie Cole has rewarded us instead with a novel that leaves us with much to think about.”
Tony Birch, Overland Blog
“Cole’s writing is evocative in its simplicity, the characters’ dialogue – sometimes grimy – as honest and real as Australia can be … A gripping and heartbreaking read.”
Fiona Hardy, Readings
“An engaging and thoughtful novel.”
Eloise Keating, Bookseller & Publisher
“A gripping debut novel by NSW writer Cole about the reverberating effects of domestic violence, love, loss and the kindness of strangers, Darkness on the Edge of Town proves difficult to put down as it hurtles towards it confronting conclusion.” 4 stars.
To purchase Darkness on the Edge of Town: Readings, Fishpond, Booktopia, QBD, Bookworld,
To buy in ebook format: Amazon, Kobo, Sony Reader Store, Booktopia, itunes, Google Play
For International Shipping: Fishpond, Booktopia.