Praise for Suburbia
'Chambers’ writing feels fresh and his descriptive language renders Glenella in sombre beauty.' 4 1/2 stars. Books + Publishing
Chambers has written a coming-of-age story that is bleak, but beautifully, slowly, meditatively well observed and written, painted and polished, and remembered...It's adolescence in all its glory... Sydney Morning Herald
‘I think what Darren’s really good at, is that he sort of
understands other people. Sometimes, even if I don’t say
anything, he seems to know what I’m feeling anyway.’
Cassie’s face lit up. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘That’s what I think
too. That’s exactly what I think…’
ROLAND lives with his parents, Graham and Joyce, and his younger sister, Lily, in the golden light of an outer suburb—Glenella. He dreams of escaping, of finding an intoxicating
life somewhere else.
He is in love with Cassie Noble, the daughter of his parents’ friends Reg and Colleen. But when Darren Wilson moves into the neighbourhood and attracts the interest of
both teens, a conflict emerges that threatens the friendship between the two families.
Following his acclaimed debut, The Vintage and the Gleaning, Jeremy Chambers’ new novel is a revelation: a coming-of-age drama about the end of innocence set
in a hidden world of paling fences and fragrant lawns, amid the flickering light of memory and desire.
'These pages reflect a dark vision of Australian life but not a fallen one...From Chambers’s sentences a picture emerges of the nation as an imperfect Eden: the sky’s endlessly replenishing light falling on the heroes and villains of the narrative alike with pure indifference...It’s an effect that recalls novels such as James Agee’s A Death in the Family, in which the blind processes of the physical world ennoble human ordinariness; in which evocation is so free-floating, lyrical attentions are dealt out in a manner so generously indiscriminate to all creation, that the result is a kind of agonised, universal tenderness. Bruised and wounded, absolutely, but all the more real for that.'
‘Anyone who has read Puberty Blues or seen the excellent TV series of the same name will find echoes of it here in Chambers’s evocation of his teenage years in Australia. His gritty description of underage sex, drug taking, petty crime and mindless violence is interspersed with lyrical writing in stark contrast to the backdrop of an aimless existence in a dull suburb…Cleverly crafted and highly recommended.’
New Zealand Herald
'Suburbia, Chambers’s second novel after the much-praised The Vintage and the Gleaning, adds another voice to a welcome wave of Australian fiction that re-evaluates family life at the end of the 20th century, a time just close enough to make readers feel rather uncomfortable without quite causing us to look away.' Saturday Paper
'Jeremy Chambers effectively portrays the oppressive boredom of teenage life in the suburbs while maintaining a crackle of tension, and he finds moments of intense emotion and malevolence within the mundanity. Reading Suburbia is like finding out the backstory to a Henson photo; small events that unfold in darkness are revealed to the light.' Good Reading Magazine
'Chambers has an uncanny ability for writing evocatively of a sun drenched time and place- Small town. Big consequences. Recommended.' North & South NZ