Project Description

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Reading Group Questions
29 March 2022
RRP: $32.99
ISBN: 9781922626950
Hardback, 252 pages
210 x 135 mm
Contemporary Fiction

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Other Houses

by Paddy O’Reilly

Lily works as a cleaner. She moves through houses in inner-city Melbourne, unseen, scrubbing away the daily residue of other people’s privilege. Her partner Janks works the line in a local food factory. With every pay cheque they inch further away from their former world of poverty and addiction.

Lily and Janks are determined that their daughter Jewelee will have a different life. She’ll have a career, not a dead-end job. She’ll have savings, not debt. But precarious lives are easily upended. One wrong move throws the family into a situation in which the lines between right and wrong, hope and disappointment, are blurred.

Other Houses is a masterful and tender story about people who live from payday to payday. Acutely observed and lyrical, Paddy O’Reilly’s novel paints a haunting picture of class, aspiration and the boundaries we will cross for love.

PRAISE for Other Houses

‘Nuanced and powerful.’
Cate Kennedy

‘The tension of a thriller but the freshness and acuity of art.’
Charlotte Wood

‘Compelling, gritty and shot through with empathy.’
Toni Jordan

‘A wonder of a novel – subtle, funny and wise.’
Lucy Treloar

‘Wise, funny and truthful – a gem of a novel.’
Carrie Tiffany

‘A bracing story of a woman tending to the households of strangers while her own runs towards catastrophe.’
Josephine Rowe

‘Paddy O’Reilly is a gem of a writer. Her work manages to be both funny and sad and it’ll stay with you long after you turn the last page.’ Michael Williams, Qantas Magazine

‘An intricately observed, often dryly funny, deeply affecting novel with a cracking forward momentum.’ InDaily

‘A book with lots of heart and soul – a powerful reminder of how precarious financial security can be for many people.’ Readings Monthly

Other Houses zips along at a pace: this is a book to read in one sitting, if you can.’ Guardian Australia

‘What O’Reilly has done here, with real tenderness and heart, is show how truly hard it is to break cycles of poverty and addiction.’ Jaclyn Crupi

About the Author

Paddy O’Reilly is the author of three novels, two collections of award-winning short stories, and a novella. Her novels have been shortlisted for major awards, and her stories have been widely published, anthologised and broadcast in Australia and overseas.