The Secret Life Of Shirley Sullivan

I loved it! I loved Frank. I loved the escape and the road trip but I also really loved the eating of scones and vanilla slices with the sun warming your back and nowhere to be. For me this is absolutely the definition of life lit. I loved that Shirley and Frank weren’t just oldies, they are the main characters, front and centre; people with personalities and histories. I loved it all so much. The road trip through the south coast was one I’m super familiar with, and the fact that they left from Kirrawee was just so cool for me! I loved that you think you are in for a gentle story but that you are left contemplating ageism, women’s rights, dementia and morality and mortality. I loved it all so much

The Girl He Used to Know

I wasn’t meant to read it. I was just meant to flick through. Then I dived on it. couldn’t put it down. I love first love and this was so sweet. The characteristics of Annika made it sweeter. I feel like I’ve walked in another’s shoes, or their bare feet even x I don’t want to give any spoilers. I think it’s enough just to go with it. We all feel like outsiders who haven’t been given the rules in life at one point or another. I really enjoyed the journey of this novel, love Janice and Jonathan

Elsa Goody, Bushranger

I LOVED having a new Darry Fraser to read! I love Australian colonial fiction, so I knew I would love this novel even before I started it and I was right. I loved the feisty, independent, opionated Elsa.. she is such a strong, determined protagonist for the novel. I want my niece to read it for her integrity and grit alone. I loved the quest this book encompasses, the adventure and the mystery, the search for buried treasure was so much fun. I also loved seeing their day to day lives. I particulars; the food and drink, the underwear and what they did with wet clothes…I loved that she was so excited to vote, I would have been exactly the same. It tackles big issue; grief, domestic abuse, and independence and self determination. But it is also just a great feel good romance, and it was so nice to see genuine love reflected in a family setting, father and children, and the bonds of siblings. I mustn’t often see that because I really appreciated it.

The Deceptions

What a deception. It’s true, it is an absolutely compelling story. I got so much out of it. For me it’s that you can be deceptive, to yourself as much as everybody else but the lies are still there. It’s a busy story, there are multiple characters and storylines but I found it so easy to keep them straight, they’re all so different from one another. I thought the central themes of truth and consequences to be so interesting. The lies we tell and the cost of this survival. The writing was so well done. Images and moral dilemmas I know I’ll be pondering over for a long time to come. I wasn’t surprised to all to read this experience of the Holocaust mirrors that of real people. I’ll definitely be reading Border Street.
I definitely made a connection between European Jews and Iranian refugees. The way we’ve just watched. But that might just be my guilt. This is a very moving, powerful nove

The Bar Habor Retirement Home for Famous Writers

This is a lovely story. A book full of troubled and damaged people who you just love. The novel centers around a beautiful retirement home that I want to live in right now, it’s gorgeous reading. It’s such a whimsical, beautiful book. Themes of love and forgiveness feature so significantly, so does mortality and acceptance. I really loved it so much, I didn’t want it to end.

The Hunted

That. Was. Petrifying. Thrillers aren’t my bag. This book is so removed far from my genre. I had to put it down constantly! I don’t like being scared, let alone fearful. Oh my goodness, that was scary! But bloody hell, if you do like thrillers this is such a thriller! I was so worried for everyone, the sunrise couldn’t come soon enough. The start before anything horrible happened was lovely, the Australian landscape was perfect. Ekk what a book 😱 

Who We Were

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ReviewI’m so not a thriller reader, so I was scared to start reading my ARC, but this was perfect for me. It’s definitely more character based domestic noir than bloody and violent. The storyline was so interesting. 17 year olds can so self centred, obnoxious and casually cruel in ways a 37 year old with life experience and empathy would never be. The story centres around a group of people whose 20 year school reunion is coming up. It’s an interesting premise and so easily relatable. There are lots of main characters, but I never lost my way with them, they’re all so different and well defined. It was such a mystery, I stayed up way too late because I just had to know. As well as the obvious themes of then v now and friendship, step parenting, loneliness, homelessness and disability are here too. It was my type of mystery, loved it! 

All Our Shimmering Skies

What an epic quest. So different from what I was expecting. So much more than what I was expecting. Beautiful girls doing unbelievable things. It is such evocative language “knobs turning, doors opening, cupboards slamming shut…”. Such beautiful messages “I think we’re supposed to to find ourselves things to etch”; a world where gold rots and people are neither good nor bad. I loved it, it’s not boy swallows it’s all our shimmering skies 

The Drover’s Wife

I don’t understand the indifferent reviews. I thought it was brilliant. I think it makes such a compelling statement on our national identity. There were definitely times when I felt chills. I thought it was a powerful story that really describes what could have been. For me the plot and narrative was tight. I thought it took on some very big, important themes; resilience, sacrifice, family and love, violence against women and racism “my only crime is existin’ while black”, “you say, “I just shot a native”…”, I think it did a fantastic job. How beautiful and intricate the indigenous culture is..

Lady in Waiting

This was such a great iso escape for me. What a difference world! Lady Anne Glenconner has shown me a life where ‘she tried her hardest to be a boy’, one in which ‘she didn’t think to question’, where the qualities of her children’s childhoods where unashamedly down to the right nanny ‘which made all the difference’ and she boasts of her mother being ‘lady of the bedchamber’. I don’t think it was just in the book that she called her lifelong friend Ma’am and while ‘dutifully running all around the garden while being told to spray Princess Michael of Kent’s cats was genuinely glad she didn’t spray her by mistake’! There were some shooting parties that could have come directly from major pettigrew…It is a complete difference world! A completely fascinating read