The Landing

The Landing❮Read❯ ➹ The Landing ➼ Author Susan Johnson – Jonathan Lott is confused His wife has left him for a woman and he doesn't like living alone Is it true that an about to be divorced man in possession of a good fortune is in need of a new wife Would Jonathan Lott is confused His wife has left him for a woman and he doesn't like living alone Is it true that an about to be divorced man in possession of a good fortune is in need of a new wife Would Penny Collins do divorced herself school teacher and frustrated artist What about beautiful Anna blown in from who knows where trailing broken marriages behind her There's a lot happening at The Landing where Jonathan has his beach house and he's about to find out how much love mattersSusan Johnson's stunning new novel written with her trademark wit and insight brilliantly observes what it is to be human and to love the betrayals the long and the short alliances the disappointments and the joys The Landing celebrates all of it with verve and style. I received this book from the publisher some time ago I looked at the cover the title and neither really did much for me so I put it aside What a mistake that was I loved this bookJohnson’s writing is poetic witty and perceptive The reader gets a look at human nature on a personal level as Johnson delves into the characters’ innermost thoughts and fears with underlying themes of love life family relationships regrets self doubts ageing and new beginningsI felt a part of the story a oneness I understood the people the places what they were saying and whyI recently read a book that was very American and I found that I became lost at times not by the story itself but by the location and the language The landing may be similar for non AustraliansThis is a slow paced book but there is nothing boring about it Every sentence seeps into your beingI can see “The Landing” securing a place in my top 10 reads for 2016 With my thanks to the publisher for my proof copy to read and review While I am guessing that the marketing department at Allen Unwin have chosen this cliché cover design to appeal to a wider audience than Susan Johnson’s readership who like her literary fiction the problem is that by focussing our attention on a headless woman on a pier #GettyImagesSearch landingpier n woman the image deflects from the wider meaning of the word ‘landing’ The landings that Susan Johnson explores in this witty and intelligent novel are those that people make when they find themselves landed in places where they didn’t expect to be Metaphorically speaking that is I don’t think marketing departments like metaphorical muchAfter a long period of being married Jonathon Lott has landed on the perilous rocky shore of marital separation He’s wealthy good looking only 55 still able to attract the attention of hopefuls within and outside his age bracket But it’s not what he wants He doesn’t want to start again he wants the ease of a comfortable old marriage Perhaps this contributed to Sarah’s departure readers will make up their own minds about thatThat very ambiguity is what lifts the novel out of the predictable romance genre It goes nowhere near Relationships #101 because the author brings original insights to bear on the story It’s narrated from several points of view besides Jonathan’s ranging across the generations with Penny Collins in the middle sandwiched between the demands of her difficult old mother Marie and her impulsive daughter ScarletTo read the rest of my review please visit I finished this book weeks ago And yet I’m still struggling with the review I really should have loved this book And yetFirstly it had a local setting South East ueensland and Brisbane I’m from ueensland and I lived in Brisbane for several years and the descriptions of it are spot on I even got a little sentimental about the city at times The Landing itself is a fictional seaside or lakeside actually town supposedly a couple of hours north of Brisbane It could be any number of real life places though Small communities where affluent city folk search for their treesea change Even without the setting the age of the main characters should have popped this book on my favourites list immediately I love older characters and this book is chock full of them mostly in crisis And yetMost of the focus is on Penny and Jonathan Both are in middle aged with marital issues and children issues and aging parent issues and career issues I did like Penny a lot I got a little weepy several times when reading about her and her life And yet in the end I was severely underwhelmed by Penny's outcome I came away thinking I had all this lovely background and some conflict with Penny's plot but no resolution Jonathan however I thought for a while I was close to liking him but his ending again felt wrong I need to mention the cover too in this review The cover is just shockingly unsuitable for the book This is definitely feminine literature The cover to me screams romantic fluff I love romantic fluff so I’m not bashing that at all In fact I reuested this book because of the pretty cover and that might be why I’ve struggled since finishing There is no romantic fluff So After several weeks I’m still undecided as to whether or not I even liked the book I think I’ll give it 3 ½ stars “If a separated man — about to be divorced — is in possession of a good fortune must he be in want of a new wife?”So begins Susan Johnson's The Landing which tells the story of a well to do good looking 55 year old man trying to recalibrate his life after his wife leaves him for a womanJonathan Lott is scared of being alone but he can’t uite believe that his marriage is over Seeking solitude — and a place to lick his wounds — he spends as much time as he can at the couple’s holiday home at The Landing 150km north of BrisbaneBut in this uiet lakeside community — with just a few streetlights a couple of bitumen roads no reticulated water or sewage and patchy mobile phone coverage — Jonathan’s comings and goings are witnessed and commented upon by the locals who live thereWhat results is a relatively lighthearted story that is essentially a comedy of manners — when is it socially acceptable to start dating again after you’ve separated for instance — that focuses not just on Jonathan’s lacklustre love life but the lives and loves of pretty much everyone living in this rural backwater including Penny Collins her demanding and elderly French mother Marie and her shallow and narcissistic daughter Scarlet; Sylv who runs the only shop in town; Paul Raymond who leaves his wife to shack up with the much younger Scarlet; Gordie the Glaswegian doctor and his pretty daughter Anna; and Giselle a seven year old girl from an impoverished background who roams The Landing in search of companyTo read my review in full please visit my blog 35★ Loved the setting of this somewhere up on the Sunshine Coast perhaps around North Shore? Not too far from Noosaville my favourite getaway at the moment and Tewantin anyway I found the characters a bit hard to keep track of not helped by the fact that I was reading an ebook so couldn’t flip back and forth easily A list of characters might have been helpful I didn’t really like the main character I felt he was a bit pathetic and in fact as I think about it most of the characters weren’t ones I could empathise with because they all irritated me to some extent It wasn’t the easiest of books to read perhaps partly because I didn’t like the characters but I’m glad I read it and will be interested to try of the author’s works A very Brisbane book one of the main families is called the MacAlisters and appear to be based on the McWhirters of department store fame Expo 88 gets a mention the Greek families that settled Brisbane the floods and the very Brisbane occupation of spending weekends in holiday homes in the hinterlands of Noosa and GC The Landing is a small community set around a lake somewhere west of Noosa The story follows the ins and outs of their relationships and in the case of the MacAlisters their past It is a story of their hearts how love grows and dies enmeshing the characters in a web that stretches around The Landing With such a cast of characters it was a challenge at times to remember who's who especially when there is a Penny Pete Paul Phil and a mention of another Phillip once and someone is referred to as PP which one are they? This is a book of a very particular point in time and I found many of the characters' worldviews jarring There is a railing against political correctness throughout which made it difficult for me to empathise with any of the characters maybe 3 12 as I was a bit disappointed that it was finished Seuel coming? Very real characters and an almost hasty chronicling of their next moves Lovely nature images I've just finished Susan Johnson's new novel The Landing Wow this woman can write I felt so completely engrossed in this story I felt like I was sitting in somebody's lounge room listening to small town gossip and family suabbles I felt completely inside the heads of the characters their dreams their desires their fears and uncertainties The Landing is a small coastal town somewhere on the Sunshine Coast made up of aging hippies retirees and wealthy weekend beach house owners As with Susan's other novels the characters feel like people I know relatives or acuaintances There is French Marie aging gracefully intolerant of everyone and everything around her Her daughter Penny divorced her only child having ruined her chances at life by running off with a much older man her grandchildren wild and untamed There is Johnathon Lott whose wife has left him for another woman Oh the shame How is he now to be happy? There is unconventional Anna with a string of broken marriages and husbands behind her There is the retired physician the gossiping shop owners the neglected child The whole microcosm of life is contained in The Landing and Susan exploits the foibles and failings of its residents with humour wit and sensitive observation Penny recalls her ex husband thus Somehow Penny had intuited her way to the bleakest man in Australia; some suffering in her led straight to the suffering in himher ex husband was a zealot stripped of a cause Marie's view on life in distress a miserable cracked family becomes only miserable; in an earthuake china is broken than when the earth is still Even now all these years later Marie could list her mother's cruelties large and small her floundering jealousies her limited emotional repertoire There was no benefit to suffering no purpose no meaning Suffering did not ennoble; grief did not bind people together but only cast them out into separate spheres of sorrow Penny's angst How do you measure value or success? She walked on hoping that if she walked far enough or long enough or hard enough she might walk out of the anger that even she knew was a substitute for something else; as if she might walk her way out of the painful riddle of being alive Susan's descriptions of landscape are particularly familiar and evocative On the far eastern bank opposite the settlement known as The Landing the world's oldest sand dunes separate the immense lake from the ocean Laced and tethered to the earth by fleshy leaved purple flowered pigface goat's foot vine and spinifex held safe from the wind the dunes rise up from the clean sweep of beach facing ocean Behind them runs a heath scrubby with low lying pandanus and other hardy plants which in turn becomes a scribbled forest of melaleuca trees wrinkled grey ghostly Sprinkled throughout are spiny needle like grass trees and sweet nectared yellow banksias bursting and round as pompoms and native fungi brilliant red curled like sea anemone or bright orange leaping like frozen licks of flame Susan's writing makes you wonder how she came to know your own family or when she inhabited your house and your life without you realising it She has an enviable talent for depicting the banal minutiae of life combined with the broad brushstrokes of the great existential uestions of life why are we here? what do we matter? how do we make a difference? how do we be happy? Susan's writing is assured intelligent considered and entertaining The Landing very much reminded me of a cross between two books I read last year which I compared at the time Indian Summer and There Must Be Some Mistake in which nothing really happenedInterestingly I enjoyed the former and disliked the latter Both were well written but with a limited plot arc it very much came down to the characters Those in Indian Summer interested me and those in There Must Be Some Mistake managed to simultaneously annoy the crap out of me and bore me to tearsThe Landing falls somewhere in between Much of the pace was a tad slow for me although I didn't necessarily mind the meandering style of storytellingBut I felt we head hopped a little too much and I struggled to find any of the characters other than Giselle whose purpose I never understood particularly endearing Johnson did a good job of communicating her characters' introspection so I probably would have liked to have seen of this from fewer people The Landing’s well written however and Johnson’s wry tone and occasionally sarcastic observations were the most enjoyable part of the novel for meRead the full review on my blog I won an advanced reading copy of this novel from the publisher Allen Unwin and I am very glad I didInitially I was worried I wouldn't like this book There are a few impossibly long sentences in the first chapter or so There are also a few very obvious statements These will doubtless be absent in the final edition because the rest of the book didn't share those problemsI loved several of the characters and cared slightly less for several Marie Penny and Scarlett interested me most of all Although the final chapter resolved many characters' immediate situations it is feasible that other novels could revisit some of them and I would like to see of Penny and Scarlett in the future And indeed Jonathan what of him in the future?This book is not a riveting can't put down life changing read It is like an extended novella sharing a short glimpse of The Landing and some of the inhabitants Possibly the synopsis oversold it to me but not so much that I was disappointed with it It is not a seething saga of sex love and life Yet it is an enjoyable sojourn