Tag Archive: book review

Oct 08

Review: The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns

I read my first Rachael Johns’ novel about a year ago and I’ve read several since, enjoying the interesting characters, engaging dialogue and rural Australian setting. Rachael’s latest title, the newly released The Patterson Girls, is a slight change of pace from her previous ‘rural romance’ books like Outback Blaze. While many of the familiar …

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Jan 07

Review: It Started with a Kiss by Lisa Heidke

Since the last time I read a Lisa Heidke novel, the very enjoyable Stella Makes Good (review here), I have had the opportunity to meet the lady herself during some author events in Newcastle early last year. Meeting Lisa was an absolute delight and left me even more eager to read the new novel that …

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May 16

Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

It’s no secret that I’m a Jane Austen fan. I’m not over-the-top fanatical – I can’t quote sections of text and I haven’t even read Mansfield Park – but I do love Austen’s work. I love her characterisation and her wonderful use of language and I love the social commentary aspect of her novels. I’m …

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Jan 15

Review: The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heughten

I have a definite leaning towards historical fiction and particularly enjoy stories with a European historical context of some sort. I also have an interest in holocaust fiction and non-fiction, so when I read the back-cover blurb for The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten, which includes information about the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands …

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Oct 30

Review: The Reunion by Joanne Fedler

I read this book several months ago when it was first released. Since then I have referred to it several times in conversations with friends and even in a post I wrote for Happy Child about stay-at-home mothers and depression.

Even though the characters weren’t particularly similar to my own friends or myself, there were so many moments in this book where I felt like they were articulating my own frustrations, challenges or subconscious motivations.

As a group, the women who meet together for their weekend retreat in The Reunion represent so many aspects of life familiar to women in their 30s and onwards. Between then they have had serious relationships, relationship breakdowns, had children or have passed the point where children are a possibility. They are dealing with illness within their family, either with children or aging parents, and they are facing a changes in their role as a mother, wife/partner and/or friend as their children grow older and they move on from the constant demands of parenting babies and toddlers.

I really appreciated that despite their age and experience, the characters were still discovering things about themselves. They still faced uncertainty and needed to be reminded to look beyond their superficial assumptions – they needed to be taken out of their own small world and reminded of the bigger picture. It was reassuring to read about characters who, like me, didn’t have it all worked out yet.

Apr 15

Review: Beijing Tai Tai by Tania McCartney

I’m not in general a big fan of autobiographies, biographies and memoirs. My hesitation comes, perhaps, from a fear that I will find that I have nothing in common with the person in question – no point of contact or common interest that will enable me to relate their experiences to my own in some …

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Mar 29

Review: One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey

One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey

I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful, character-driven YA novel. I enjoyed reading Ruby’s perspective on her life, from her childish perceptions of her parents’ relationship and break-up to her reflections on her relationship with her twin sister and her grandmother. One Long Thread is a story that explores how families are connected in a way that …

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Mar 08

Review: Australian Story by Tania McCartney

I attended a performance by John Cleese this evening before sitting down to write this review (stick with me, this will all make sense soon). During the performance, Cleese took the audience on a journey through his childhood and career, refering to several significant relationships and the impact they had on him personally and professionally. …

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Jan 05

Review: Stella Makes Good by Lisa Heidke

I have been looking forward to reading Lisa Heidke’s latest book and it didn’t disappoint. Her characters  are always women that I can relate to – women trying to balance home and personal commitments, trying to rediscover a sense of purpose in their lives and/or someone simply trying to find a way to fulfil some …

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Oct 18

Review: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Books like this make me realise just how complacent and casual I am not only about the freedoms I enjoy in my life, but about achieving my goals and simply being passionate about life. I really enjoyed reading The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. The story is inspiring and I was fascinated to read about the …

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