Will Nicole and Reese be calling soon?
Former Canberra author Petronella McGovern has produced another page turner to rival her friend Liane Moriarty, whose books are made into TV series and films by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
McGovern is not far behind. Her books are already piquing interest from the entertainment world.
"There have been approaches for both of [the books]. So fingers crossed," she said.
Following the runaway success of her debut novel, Six Minutes, which was set in Canberra, McGovern has retreated to another place she knows well, the northern beaches of Sydney, for her next book, The Good Teacher; the settingnot far from where she now lives.
Variously described as fitting into the genre of "suburban suspense" or "domestic noir", McGovern's books, like Moriarty's, take us to people and places we know, the characters ringing so true.
And the books are addictive, leaving you guessing to the very end and wanting more. There is a third book in the works, McGovern confirmed.
"I've started," she said, with a laugh.
But first, to The Good Teacher, which follows kindergarten teacher Allison through a time of personal and professional crisis.
Her marriage has collapsed and she becomes obsessed with offering a lifeline to her seriously ill new student Gracie. Is her judgement impaired or is she only doing what any good teacher would do? What's motivating her kindness? And who can you trust in a small suburban community?
McGovern, who used to work for IDP Education in Deakin, was editing the book during last summer's bushfires and doing the final revision as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world (there is an excellent reference in the book to planes not going anywhere).
She believes while people can be complicated, good does win out.
"These terrible times reinforce what a few characters say in The Good Teacher: we need kindness and a strong sense of community to take us into the future," she said.
- The Good Teacher is published on Tuesday by Allen and Unwin.