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Fri, 02 Aug


Better Read Than Dead

Anna Johnston in-conversation with Laurel Henning

Join us with Anna Johnston to celebrate the release of The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife! Anna will be joined by Laurel Henning.

Anna Johnston in-conversation with Laurel Henning
Anna Johnston in-conversation with Laurel Henning

Time & Location

02 Aug 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife is a warm, life-affirming debut about a bizarre case of mistaken identity that allows a lonely old man one last chance to be part of a family.

Frederick Fife was born with an extra helping of kindness in his heart. If he borrowed your car he’d return it washed and polished, with a full tank of petrol. The problem is, he has no one left to borrow from. At 82 he’s desperately lonely, broke and on the brink of homelessness. But Fred's luck changes when, in a bizarre case of mistaken identity, he takes the place of cranky Bernard Greer at Wattle River Nursing Home. Suddenly he has a roof over his head, warm meals in his belly and, most importantly, the chance to be part of a family again. Fingers crossed his poker face is in better nick than his prostate or the jig is up. As Fred walks in Bernard’s shoes (and underpants), he discovers more about the man’s past - and what it would take to return a broken life to mint condition.

Bittersweet and remarkably perceptive, The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife is a feel-good novel about forgiveness, redemption and finding family.

Anna Johnston is a former baby, aspiring octogenarian and emerging Australian author with a love for the heartfelt and hilarious. She grew up in country Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she lives joyously with her husband and daughters by the beach. Anna left an imminent career in medicine to follow her heart into her grandfather’s nursing home where she became the social support coordinator, taking great delight in shaking up the usual program. When injury left her unable to continue working in aged care, she began to write about it, channelling her love for older people onto the page. Anna has enjoyed a life-long passion for screenplay, theatre and creative ageing.

Laurel Henning has been working as a journalist reporting on regulatory affairs for the past decade, previously at MLex and now as a correspondent at Australia’s newest media startup Capital Brief. When she’s not buried in legalese, Laurel is a voracious reader, and a dedicated member of the Dolly Alderton fan club. She also professes to have made all her closest friends since moving to Australia at Better Read Than Dead Bookclubs.


  • Event Ticket

  • Event + Book

    Includes a ticket and copy of The Borrowed Life of Frederick Fife




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