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Before You Knew My Name

An extraordinary, unputdownable debut novel exploring trauma, connection, and our cultural obsession with dead girls.

'Beautiful, brilliant and strangely joyous … will have you in its thrall from its powerful first page to its superb conclusion.' Rose Carlyle, author of Girl in the Mirror

'Addictive and utterly captivating. I couldn't put it down.' Sarah Bailey, author of Where the Dead Go

'This astonishing debut turns the traditional crime story on its head … Darkly funny, deeply insightful and completely heartbreaking.' Petronella McGovern, author of Six Minutes

'The most wonderful book. Unusual, beautiful, feminist, gripping, deserves to win prizes. I loved it so much'. Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups

This is not just another novel about a dead girl.

When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city's latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim.

Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice's body by the Hudson River.

From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life - and death. And Ruby - struggling to forget what she saw that morning - finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves.

Before You Knew My Name doesn't ask whodunnit. Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she? And what did she leave behind? The answers might surprise you.


'A wake-up call, beautifully written and unique feminist exploration of the crime fiction genre.' R.W.R. McDonald, author of The Nancys

'Unpredictable, devastating and original … marks the arrival of a compelling new voice … Thought-provoking and challenging.' Karen Viggers, author of The Lightkeeper's Wife

'Beguiling, heartbreaking and tender. Jacqueline Bublitz is a beautiful writer and in Alice Lee, she has created a vivid and sparkling narrator who mesmerised me from the very first page and still won't let me go.' Suzanne Leal, author of The Teacher's Secret

'An unputdownable debut - striking, moving, gripping throughout and so sharp on the things that unite us' Elizabeth Kay, author of Seven Lies

"This is a very different spin on the usual crime novel; a beautiful, sad and powerful story of what happens when a woman dies and nobody knows who she is, told from the perspective of the victim. I absolutely adored reading this in Alice's voice. It's a story that will stay with the reader long after they've finished." Karina, Dymocks Canberra
RRP $29.99
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: Before You Knew My Name
  • Author: Jacqueline Bublitz
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • ISBN: 9781760878856
  • Length: 234.0 millimetre
  • Width: 153.0 millimetre
  • Languages: English

RATINGS & REVIEW

29/05/2021 6:13:57 PM - Marianne
an accomplished debut novel.
“It’s like learning to see a while different way. When you adjust the aperture, narrow the opening of the lens, background objects come into focus. Kind of like you’re pulling the world into you, bringing it closer. Nothing seems far away any more.” Before You Knew My Name is the first novel by Australian/New Zealand author, Jacqueline Bublitz. When she turns eighteen, Alice Lee escapes small-town Wisconsin and arrives in New York City with a room address, $600 cash and a stolen vintage Leica camera. Mostly through luck and the kindness of strangers, she lands on her feet, for a while, at least. And then she is murdered. Also escaping to New York City is Ruby Jones, whose life in Melbourne is “so empty of the usual trappings, so accidentally unconventional, it was easier to take a gap year at thirty-six than it was to stay put and be reminded of everything she didn’t have.” But to begin with, Ruby isn’t finding New York an antidote to loneliness. Early one stormy April morning, needing to escape her claustrophobic studio apartment, Ruby goes for a long run which takes her to a deserted and disorienting Riverside Park, where she stumbles on Alice’s half-naked body lying at the waters edge. Her feeling of guilt at being too late to help transforms into a need to know who this girl, soon to be dubbed Riverside Jane, was. She begins to feel connected to her, deep in her bones. The first real friend she makes in the city tells her “I’ve come to think that intensity, not time, is what connects us. And what could be more intense than being the one to find her?” Days pass and, without witnesses, without a missing persons report, police are making no progress. Ruby is not the only one looking for answers about Alice, but she is subtly steered in a different direction… Alice’s first-person narrative details her time in New York in tandem with descriptions of Ruby’s days, and then delves into the life events that brought each of them to this point. Alice initially baulks at describing her death, although she expresses her surprise and anger at being robbed of her statistically allotted 79.1 years. Ruby and Alice have more in common than is apparent at first glance: both display optimism and a determination to survive, and both are putting distance between themselves and a toxic relationship with a man who is a user. Bublitz’s characters have depth and appeal, and she gives them wise words and insightful observations “Why do people, the good ones, always seem to blame themselves when someone deceives them? Seems to me, when that happens, the bad guy gets away with more than just their obvious crime.” Her descriptive prose is beautiful, evocative: “When the massage is over, she feels light, spacious, as if the man back in that cramped room has somehow untied all her knots, pushed her out to sea. Is that all it takes, she wonders, slightly embarrassed at her own simplicity. Someone taking care of her for an hour, placing her at the centre of things.” The story explores the highly topical theme of women’s right to safety in public places and highlights the disproportionate amount of media attention given to incidents of violent crime involving middle to upper class white girls. Thought-provoking and heart-warming, this is an accomplished debut novel. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
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SHIPPING AND RETURNS


Due to delays with some suppliers, some online deliveries are taking a little longer than usual. Please continue to track your delivery via the link provided.

 

Christmas Order Cut-off Dates

Due to increased demand during the Christmas period, there may be some delays in shipment and delivery due to high traffic. The table below is a guide to our Christmas order cut-off dates, however please check your “ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE” on all items ordered prior to checkout to ensure you receive your order by 24th December.

 
  In Stock Titles

Next Day Delivery
To Order

Dispatches in 4-5 days
To Order

Dispatches in 5-7 days
To Order

Dispatches in 5-14 days
To Order

Dispatches in 14-21 days
  Shipping - Saver Delivery ORDER BY
7th December
ORDER BY
1st December
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25th November
ORDER BY
14th November
ORDER BY
7th November
  Shipping - Express Delivery ORDER BY
10th December
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3rd December
ORDER BY
30th November
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21st November
ORDER BY
14th November
 

Delivery options: Shipping to an Australian address

 

Service Price per order
Australia wide
Delivery time1
After dispatch
Saver Delivery (Tracked)
via Australia post

Items in order will be sent as soon as they arrive in the warehouse. Order may come in multiple shipments, however you will only be charged a flat fee.
$7.95 2-10 days after all items have arrived in the warehouse
 Express Delivery2  (Tracked)
via StarTrack Express3

Items in order will be sent via Express post as soon as they arrive in the warehouse. Order may come in multiple shipments, however you will only be charged a flat fee.
$14.95  1-2 days after each item has arrived in the warehouse
 

1 The expected delivery period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
2 Express is not available on all items.
3 Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In" timeframe still applies to all orders.

NB All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?

Once we receive your order we verify it, complete invoicing and prepare your item(s) before we dispatch them from our Sydney warehouse.

You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product.

This Estimated Delivery date range is a combination of:

  • the time to dispatch your order from our warehouse, and
  • the time taken to ship your order to you.

In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
Explanation
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
 
Immediate download

Immediate download

Digital downloads only

Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

Usually dispatches in 4-5 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 4-5 business days. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.


+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

When will my order arrive?

The Estimate Delivery Date is when your order is expected to arrive at your chosen delivery location.

Once you have submitted your order you will receive confirmation and status update emails.

  • If you order multiple items and they are not all in stock, we will advise you of their anticipated arrival times.
  • For items not readily available, we'll provide ongoing estimated ship and delivery time frames.
  • Once your order has been dispatched from our Sydney warehouse you will receive an Order Shipped status email. This will contain your tracking information

All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

Australia Post deliveries can be tracked on route with eParcel. You can track your delivery by going to AusPost tracking and entering your tracking number - your Order Shipped email will contain this information for each parcel.

  • Delivery with Standard Australia Post usually happens within 2-10 business days from time of dispatch. Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery and due to various reasons, the delivery may take longer than the original estimated timeframe.
  • If you have not received your delivery following the estimated timeframe, we advise you to contact your local post office first, as the parcel may be there awaiting your collection.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Australia Post, please contact us to confirm that the details for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

Express Delivery via StarTrack Express

You can track your delivery by going to StartTrack tracking using your consignment number. The consignment number is emailed to you along with the invoice at the time of shipment.

  • Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery - the approximate delivery time is usually between 1-2 business days.
  • For enquiries regarding the delivery of your order, contact Star Track Customer Service on 13 23 45 - and quote the above consignment number.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Star Track, please contact us to confirm that the address for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

International delivery

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking

 

International orders

Deliveries to destinations outside Australia are made by DHL courier, and cannot be made to post office boxes. Charges for international delivery destinations are available below. For international deliveries we will hold your order until we can send you all your items at once.

Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom
Up to 1kg $30 $35 $40 $45
1.5kgs $35 $45 $50 $60
2kgs $40 $50 $60 $70
2.5kgs $45 $60 $70 $80
3kgs $50 $65 $75 $90
3.5kgs $55 $75 $85 $100
4kgs $60 $80 $95 $105
4.5kgs $65 $85 $100 $115
5kgs $70 $95 $110 $125

 

If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

Please note that some countries may charge the recipient duties on the 'import' of parcels from time-to-time. As these charges are the responsibility of the recipient, please check the customs service in your destination country to see if charges are applicable.

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking

 

Delivery restrictions

Remote areas: Please note that there may be a surcharge if shipping international orders to a remote area. You can check if the delivery address is in a remote area at DHL Remote Area Services.

Reshipping: If your order is returned to us by the delivery company due to incorrect or insufficient delivery details, you will be charged the cost of reshipping the order. Please note that if the delivery address is incorrect and the order has been shipped, depending on the delivery option selected we may not be able to change the delivery address until the order has been returned.

 

Problems with your delivery

In the event that the courier company fails to deliver your order due to invalid address information, they will return the order back to Dymocks Online.

Dymocks Online will do their best to ensure the information you have input is accurate. We cannot guarantee that your order will arrive at its destination if you have not provided correct address details and as much information as possible to assist the couriers when delivering e.g. company name, level, suite etc.

If your order has not yet been shipped you will need to send Dymocks Online an email advising the error and requesting a change in details. If your order has a status of "packed" or "shipped" we will not be able to guarantee any change in shipping details.

Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate.