Publisher's synopsis

On a radiant day in Sydney, four people converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Each of the four is haunted by memories of the past: Ellie is preoccupied by her experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China’s Cultural Revolution. Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes vividly four lives which chime and resonate. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.


  • Winner 2012 Nita Kibble Literary Award
  • Shortlisted 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for Fiction
  • Shortlisted 2012 ALS Gold Medal
  • Longlisted 2012 Miles Franklin Award