Love. Longing. Atonement.
  • Ordinary Human Love
  • Download Cover Download Bookclub Notes

Ordinary Human Love

Melissa Goode

The end of the affair is just the beginning

Mardi McKee, prodigal daughter, arrives at her father’s home in Lithgow, Australia, after drifting overseas for eighteen months. Her previous life is a memory. Her mother has died, she is divorced and is estranged from her former lover, Ian. Mardi had left Ian, at dawn before he awoke, with no explanation, only months after ending her marriage.

Ian’s teenage sister, Claudia, has also arrived, escaping her childhood home for Ian’s. Spiky, lovable, lost, Claudia forges an intense friendship with Mardi. But Mardi finds that repairing her relationship with Ian is not so easily done. Mardi is hiding something and Ian is having none of her quest for forgiveness, not until she explains why she vanished without a trace.

Set between country New South Wales, inner city Sydney, and Europe, Ordinary Human Love follows Mardi as she discovers that the greatest love she will ever feel is for the man she left. In this powerful and complex debut, Melissa Goode interrogates what makes a life worthwhile, and has created a vivid, intricate portrait of the relationships that shape and connect us, and the all-consuming nature of desire.

About the Author

Melissa Goode lives in the Blue Mountains. Her work has appeared in Best Australian Short Stories, Kill Your Darlings and Griffith Review. Ordinary Human Love is her first novel.


‘Sensual, melancholy, hypnotic. Ordinary Human Love is a richly textured, exquisitely observed portrait of memory, longing, love and forgiveness.’ – Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident
‘I read this incredible debut several months ago – and I can tell you that since then, I have read a lot of books – yet Ordinary Human Love still hasn’t entirely left me.’ –The Australian




Pub Date
May 2024




Marriage. Love. Grief. Betrayal. Healing.