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Publisher's Summary

Whenever I say I was at university with Eve, people ask me what she was like, sceptical perhaps that she could have always been as whole and self-assured as she now appears. To which I say something like: ‘people are infinitely complex.’ But I say it in such a way - so pregnant with misanthropy - that it’s obvious I hate her.

Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different: one, assured and popular - the other, uncertain and eager to please. But something happens one night in O-week - a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.

Initially bonded by their wit and sharp eye for the college's mix of material wealth and moral poverty, Michaela and Eve soon discover how fragile friendship is, and how capable of betrayal they both are.

Written with a strikingly contemporary voice that is both wickedly clever and incisive, issues of consent, class and institutional privilege and feminism become provocations for enduring philosophical questions we face today.

©2021 Diana Reid (P)2021 W F Howes Ltd and Ultimo Press

Critic Reviews

"Set to be one of the year's most talked about books." (Vogue Australia)

"Love & Virtue’s strength is that it is principled but not preachy, eloquent but accessible. This exceptional debut novel is an absolute must-read companion to Helen Garner’s The First Stone." (Books + Publishing)

"Diana Reid will be called the new Sally Rooney - you’re certain of it by the end of page one. By the end of this real, raw and startling novel, you know Reid is the talent to whom every smart young novelist who follows her will be compared - or hope to be." (Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss)

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What listeners say about Love & Virtue

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Self-indulgent posturing, and a story that goes nowhere

Boring and a waste of time, I was constantly irritated by the obvious intellectual flexing of the author

2 people found this helpful

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Struggled to finish - I really didn't enjoy this

The performance was fine although at times a little sickly sweet given some of the subject matter. The story itself I found clunky in composition and while the point of a lot of the prose was to emulate that of philosophy students and their musings, it just didn't translate to likeable characters or a cadence that made me want to find out what happened next. The best part for me was the last line of the book as it truly does sum up the story and provide the main character and the reader some closure. There was unrealised potential in the book in exploring the concept of non-sexual consent in addition to sexual consent, which is a shame. Overall, this was really disappointing anyway - but especially given all the hype.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant and confronting

The voice performance is exceptional and the story is incredibly thought-provoking. You will want to talk about this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 05-10-2021

Compelling, clever and heartwarming

Diana Reid has created such a compelling story I could hardly help consuming it at every opportunity. Beautifully drawn characters that feel universally recognisable. Such an incredible portrait of friendship. It truly delves into the world of academic enmity and jealousy whilst providing humour and pathos. Witty and engaging from beginning to end.

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Excellent!

This is so brilliantly written that it was captivating from start to finish such an interesting topic to highly recommended

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So we’ll written

Loved this book - on many levels. The use of clever ideas and the intellect of the characters was particularly clever.

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Drawn out

I didn’t enjoy the book. It was well written and there were very good observations. It just seemed to go on and on. The ending didn’t justify the time spent waiting for something to happen. The person reading the book did a great job.

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Beautiful Prose

Enjoyed the fast pace and eloquent descriptions. I found it difficult to reconcile the events with the level of concern regarding them expressed in the book - I also struggled to equate the maturity of the conversations with the age of the characters. Overall, beautiful prose sets this book apart from others.

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