Professional Reader

Shell by Kristina Olsson

What’s Shell by Kristina Olsson all about?

Everywhere he looked he saw what Utzon saw. The drama of harbour and horizon, and at night, the star-clotted sky. It held the shape of the possible, of a promise made and waiting to be kept …

In 1965 as Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s striking vision for the Sydney Opera House transforms the skyline and unleashes a storm of controversy, the shadow of the Vietnam War and a deadly lottery threaten to tear the country apart.

Journalist Pearl Keogh, exiled to the women’s pages after being photographed at an anti-war protest, is desperate to find her two missing brothers and save them from the draft. Axel Lindquist, a visionary young glass artist from Sweden, is obsessed with creating a unique work that will do justice to Utzon’s towering masterpiece.

In this big, bold and hauntingly beautiful portrait of art and life, Shell captures a world on the brink of seismic change through the eyes of two unforgettable characters caught in the eye of the storm.

Duffy’s Thoughts on Shell by Kristina Olsson

Shell reminds us why taking a side matters.

Shell is a special book. As soon as I opened the pages I was taken back in time to ’60’s Sydney.  I followed journalist Pearl Keogh and Swedish glass artist Axel Lindquist as their lives weave themselves into the fabric of Sydney harbour and witness the construction of the modern wonder of the world. The Sydney Opera House.

The prose ebbs and flows, just like the waves which lap against the Sydney Opera House as ferries busily take commuters across the harbour and out to the lower north shore today.  The detail is incredible and I loved reading about places in Sydney where I live, work and walk past every day. Names such as Menzies, Fairfax and Chifley piqued my interest and had my mind wandering what Sydney was like at such a fascinating time in Australian History. The controversial Vietnam war, the journalists of the time, the infrastructure and social codes, all with this strange, unusual and beautiful building in the background being constructed for all the world to see.

A gentle, carefully written novel and a must read for any Sydney-sider.

Grab your limited edition author-signed copy of this haunting hardback novel at all good bookshops.

RRP $35.00 published by Simon & Schuster

shell by Kristen Olsson