By TRICIA STRINGER “Sometimes an ending is really a beginning…” There’s nothing like a family squabble to set the juices flowing. But in THE FAMILY INHERITANCE, main character Felicity is handed more than her fair share of drama in the opening scenes. I really could not put this book down and raced back to the pages at every opportunity. I’m not sure if it's because there are so many connections I could make due to experience, age and gender, or whether the easy flowing style
By VICTORIA PURMAN “The war has ended, the fight begins…” Victoria Purman is a wonderful writer of historical fiction and her latest release — THE WOMEN’S PAGES proves no exception.This is a celebration of survival from the dynamic centre of Sydney’s newsroom to the homes and lives of the people. Tilly Galloway is a Daily Herald journalist in Sydney, whose insurance clerk husband signed up and left for war shortly after their marriage. The story begins with celebrations break
By Jane Johnson "One house, two women, a lifetime of secrets..." THE SEA GATE is an immersive read which takes the reader on a surprising adventure to WWII and the Cornish Coast. It touches on smuggled contraband, small town prejudices, and the hidden artwork of a mysterious painter. But while it’s the stories of the two women, Rebecca (Becky) and Olivia, that keep the narrative flowing, the most interesting to me was the revealed story of the ‘dark man,’ and his carvings of
By Meg Mason I’m unfamiliar with Meg Mason’s previous books, but Sorrow and Bliss is an enlightening and enigmatic read. Poignant, haunting and elusive, the main character, Martha is both endearing and tragic — she’s quite like the illness we suspect she has— but either she doesn’t admit it, or know the specifics. ( There are plenty of hints and speculation.) Her husband —and I admit — her long-suffering husband, is beautifully written. Patrick is supportive and nurturing and
By Alison Stuart 'There are people in this town with the gleam of gold in their eyes and cold steel in their hearts.' This is the second in the series of historical fiction novels by Alison Stuart, set in the fictional Victorian mining village of Maiden’s Creek. In 1873, Eliza Penrose arrives in Maiden’s Creek ready to begin a new life and to reunite with her brother. But her family’s circumstances have greatly changed, and Eliza’s uncle seems politely, but firmly, keen to be
By Kayte Nunn “Weaving. Witchcraft. Herbalism.” I enjoy Kayte Nunn’s historical fiction novels — my particular favourite is, The Lost Letters of Esther Durrant. I love the way she eases you into the narrative — enticingly dipping you into time and place. The Silk House is right on point for me again — but I think it’s all the richer for its sprinkling of alchemy. This is a dual narrative, set in an unusual old building with an extensive, but somewhat troubled past. Thea Rust,
By Vanessa Carnevale “No parent should ever have to lose a child.
No husband should ever have to lose a wife.
No one should ever have to choose.” Another heart-wrenching story by the delightful, Vanessa Carnevale. My Life for Yours tackles the difficult subject of motherhood and birth — and the decisions that must be faced when a woman’s health and ultimately, her life, is threatened by her pregnancy. While the subject matter is highly emotive and may be difficult for s
By Meredith Appleyard She's gone ... will her family pull together, or fall further apart? Delightful story of a family in turmoil — and how eldest daughter, Grace’s departure from Australia influences them to search deeper into the loss, regret and miscommunication that divides them. I hadn’t read Meredith Appleyard’s books before and was drawn to the themes of love, forgiveness, regret, grief—but more importantly, the multi-layering of family dynamics. It was a completely e
By Natasha Lester "A wardrobe of Dior gowns, a secret kept for sixty-five years, and the three women bound forever by war..." The one thing you can rely on with a title by Natasha Lester is that you’re in for an adventure. The Paris Secret is a rollicking great read that does not disappoint. In fact, it delivers a tale of high intrigue, delightful complexity and pure enjoyment on every level. The dual narrative begins with children, Skye Penrose and Nicholas Crawford, in Corn
by Leah Swann The beautiful phrasing, evocative language and fresh style of Leah Swann’s writing had me reeling. I warn you—you’ll need tissues, and we all know they’re in short supply. This is a story about a mother’s love, and the depths she is forced to take physically and psychologically, to protect her two sons. I was spellbound by the visceral descriptions, the drawing on of raw emotion with such vivid clarity. I lived through Ava, Simon, Laurence, and Max, as chapters
By Lucy Atkins With an intriguing premise and disturbing setting reminiscent of Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, Magpie Lane promises tension and suspense . The story revolves around the disappearance of the Master of Oxford College's eight-year-old, selectively mute daughter Felicity, who goes missing from the College residence. I enjoyed the way the plot was revealed; it's recounted as a police interview of Felicity's nanny, Dee, three days after the incident. Written in fir
by Cassie Hamer I’d love to live in Cuthbert Close. From the first few pages, I was so invested in the neighbourhood I was ready to move in! Like Australia’s answer to Marian Keyes, Cassie Hamer’s terrifically entertaining story is filled with the sort of people you need in your life— and the strain on relationships you learn to live with. Three diverse women, Cara, Beth and Alex, are central to the story and their problems— true and imagined— come alive on the pages. The sto