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

The Woman From Saint Germain

I really liked it. I thought the fact that Eleanor was so vain and arrogant just made her a rich, entitled fully formed character. I liked seeing WW2 through the eyes of an American living in Paris, a French policeman, and the German outcast. I loved Bauer, haven’t we all made bargains with God…I really felt the atmosphere of suspicion and desperation that would have been present in 1941 German occupied France. I felt it really captured survival in wartime. I also really loved seeing Shakespeare and Company, a nice nod to book love. It was a great book to read now, comfortable and feeling sorry for myself because I’m social isolating.

Easter Promises

I didn’t think I liked short stories, but these were fantastic. They are all full stories just condensed, I felt completely satisfied and happy with all of them. April was a great time to be reading them too, very Easter Perfect. I loved that these were all strong female role models crossing boundaries at pivotal points in history. I loved the romance of it all. Such a perfect escape 💕🐣💕

Sorrow and Bliss

Such a sad, hopeful, thought provoking, insightful novel. I loved Martha and I know she’ll be fine. It’s an engrossing novel about a woman, her family, her life and her marriage. I thought it provided real insight into mental illness “my whole adult life I’ve been trying to work out what is wrong with me…” “I’m not good at being a person…”, but with softness and humour, the book was full of pop culture references and in jokes; the quantity of lettuce… definitely one I’ll be thinking about for along time to come x

The Tolstoy Estate

Such a moving, powerful story of love, war, literature and longing. Seen through a German surgeon during the doomed Russian invasion in 1941. It showed me so well the horrors of war (made iso look like a holiday) the camaraderie of war, as well as the gift literature is in times of crisis. The story line centers around the surgeon reading War and Peace during their occupation and his admiration for Tolstoy. I’ve never read anything like it. Beautifully described “a coil of her auburn hair, escaped from her ushanka, was frantically whipping her face” so poignant. Absolutely unforgettable.