Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts.
The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing.
Seamus Joseph O’Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conducting an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts.
Grace’s problem is that Seamus doesn’t count.
Her other problem is… He does.
Addition is a fabulous debut novel. Grace is witty, flirtatious and headstrong. She’s not a bit sentimental but even so, she may be about to lose track of the number of ways she can fall in love.
Addition is published by TEXT PUBLISHING: buy it here.
Praise for Addition – A WOMEN’S WEEKLY GREAT READ:
‘This tremendously enjoyable novel is a romantic comedy with a light touch and a quirky andunforgettable central character.’
— Adelaide Advertiser
‘Toni Jordan has created such a real character in Grace that you are cheering her on, willing her to get to the top of the staircase, intact and unharmed. Jordan’s voice is distinctive, refreshing and…her debut novel is juicy and funny… this is a gem.’
— Sydney Morning Herald
‘Jordan’s book is snappy, sassy, superior … It’s a nice twist to the tired chick-lit formula of girl-meets-boy-and-mutual-transformation-ensues, and a deftly handled debut novel.’
— Canberra Times
‘An excellent debut novel… A light and lovely story that champions being different in a world where being different is treated with suspicion…
Grace is as nutty as a fruitcake but funny, and runs an internal commentary on life that is sassy and astute… With Addition, Toni Jordan strikes a fabulous blow for resolute individuality—and without spoiling the ending, redemptive love dies play a supporting role.’
— Sunday Mail
‘Manages to mix OCD with a little sexy.’
— Townsville Bulletin
‘This is a delightful first novel, serious and sometimes sad, but full of charm and humour… Perhaps it is worth saying that this irresistible novel is not a problem novel about obsessive compulsive disorder; it is a real novel about a loveable and vulnerable young woman who happens to have that disorder. With Seamus’s help she tries a cure but eventually reaches a workable and convincing compromise. Addition is an excellent debut novel, and Toni Jordan is a novelist to look out for.’
— The Press
‘Addition is full of humour and charm. It takes a tender look at the way people suffer from OCDs but does not descend into whimsy. Grace is an intelligent former teacher with a sharp tongue. Her observations are witty, although the tragedy of her obsession at its height is also thought-provoking … A lovely read.’
Prizes and awards:
Longlisted, 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award
Shortlisted, 2009 Barbara Jefferis Award
A Women’s Weekly Great Read
Best Debut Fiction, The 2008 Indie Awards
Shortlisted, Best General Fiction Book, 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards
Shortlisted, Best Newcomer, 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards
Best Themed Fiction, UK Medical Journalists Association 2008
Interviews and articles about Addition:
Reading group guide: Questions for discussion
1. How would you describe the character of our protagonist, Grace Lisa Vandenburg? Did your impressions of Grace change throughout the course of the novel?
2. Grace can be considered an unreliable narrator, though perhaps not willfully so. How do Grace’s views on Jill, her mother and Seamus differ from the views you formed as an objective reader?
3. What parallels and differences did you discover between Grace’s life and the life of her idol, Nikola Tesla?
4. Do you think the novel is successful in presenting the perspective of someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Has it changed your perception of the condition?
5. How is humor used in the novel?
6. How and why does the tone of the novel change when Grace is undergoing ‘treatment’?
7. On one level, Addition is a romantic comedy. How does it deviate from the typical romantic comedy?
8. Did the novel end the way you expected? Why or why not?
9. Is there a difference between eccentricity and insanity? Why or why not?
10. Addition is a celebration of small things. What does this mean? What small things might you celebrate in your own life?