Author: Helen Hagemann

The Ozone Café, a historical novel with three separate owners, is about the café’s demise through council corruption.

Vincenzo Polamo, a Calabrian, builds the Ozone Café with his builder-brother in 1957 in fictional Satara Bay. He meets three children, Winifred, Casey, and Nicolas, creating a seascape mural on a café wall that includes them. The café changes from Italian to Australian cuisine. However, due to long hours of hard work and Vincenzo’s wife unwilling to migrate to Australia, Vincenzo sells the café.

Joe Pendlebury suffers setbacks with too few customers, poor health and problems due to a violent storm causing structural damage close to the mural. In major scenes, Pendlebury goes missing, and Nicolas dies from muscular dystrophy, heightening Winifred’s concerns to keep the mural sacred.

Con & Dion Lasaridis experience problems with the damage. Unable to convince the Heystbury Shire the café is sound after a rebuild, they lose ownership in a court battle; the Shire evoking a Demolition Order, 1946. The Lasaridis believe this is due to an undercurrent of well-known council corruption; Mayor Tyrone being a principal player in corrupt land and property dealings. Vincenzo (et al) removes the mural reinstating it at his home. The mural becomes a lasting memorial to Nicolas Battersby, as well as the sole surviving piece of The Ozone Café.

Publisher: Adelaide Books

Book Link: