A few new books arrived the other day. I was speaking to my mother later that night, mentioning I’d been to the post office. “Thank God they’re not published until July,” I told her, saying I had an inordinate number of books to read at the moment.
Joseph Addison said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” And there are a million similar quotes espousing the benefits of being a reader. In my case, reading nourishes my soul. It allows me to be absorbed into another world where I get to experience things I’d never normally do or see. And… just for good measure…. I learn stuff.
A compelling and beguiling voice shines through Debbie Howells‘ psychological thriller, The Bones of You. Unfortunately the voice is also one of regret and heartbreak because it belongs to 18 year old Rosanna (Rosie); who dies before we meet her.
The book’s been compared to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones for that reason. (Australian novel, What Came Before by Anna George is another which comes to mind featuring someone who’s *supposedly* dead.)
In my review of the Nicci French novel, Thursday’s Children I was fairly blunt in relation to my antipathy toward psychologist, Dr Frieda Klein. Prickly and unlikeable I struggled to care a lot about her (and her welfare). I still enjoyed the book—predominantly because the Gerrard / French combo can still spin an absorbing tale. Despite Frieda.
Unfortunately I’m assuming Frieda’s going to stay in play right through the week, so we have a Saturday and Sunday to get through yet. <Insert sigh here.> However… on a happier note, I actually found her less grating this time around and almost… almost
cared whether she lived or died found myself on her side.
I used to avoid Australian books like the plague. They were too familiar, their landscapes too prosaic and characters too mundane. I didn’t want to read about my own backyard. I wanted something different. I needed to escape.
But slowly and surely I’ve found myself reading Australian author after Australian author and bewildered at the talent on my doorstep. I’ve been entertained by fascinating stories and enchanted by beautiful words and phrases.
Some who’ve read Alex Hourston’s debut novel In My House, have been disappointed that it’s not been more of an expose on the important issue of human trafficking. The marketing of disempowered and vulnerable women is certainly the genesis of the book, but I wasn’t disappointed when it focussed instead on the less-dramatic issue of human frailties.
Eleven years ago 12yr old Reggie LeClaire was kidnapped by Daryl Wayne Flint and kept in his basement for four years. Her rescue was fortuitous, having been found in the trunk of Flint’s car after an accident. Flint suffered brain damage in the accident allowing him to be incarcerated in a mental institution rather than prison.