Lucky’s (Andrew Pippos, Picador)
2002: Emily steps off the plane in Sydney, still reeling from an unexpected marriage breakdown. She’s here to write an article for the New Yorker about Lucky’s, a once-beloved mid-century restaurant franchise that fell apart after a terrible tragedy in the mid-90s, and the franchise owner, Greek–American Lucky Mallios, a reformed gambling addict now trying to start again. 1945: Lucky, as a young man, is in Sydney pretending to be someone else. His lie—and the people he meets as a result of it—sets the course for the rest of his life. Former journalist Andrew Pippos’ debut novel is a rich family saga. Melancholic and nostalgic but also warm and evocative, it spans the rise and fall of the franchise, from Lucky’s early life working in his father-in-law’s Greek–Australian cafe to his highs as owner of his own chain and his later years, trying to pick up the pieces of a broken life after the horrific events known as the Third of April. Lucky’s is layered and romantic in every sense of the word, spanning generations and telling a moving story of an immigrant family trying to find a footing in post-war, multicultural Australia.
Georgia Brough is a writer based in Melbourne.