Book review: The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

Sunday, February 17, 2019 Permalink

Irish-born Aussie-dwelling Dervla McTiernan’s debut novel, The Ruin, was warmly received last year, winning hearts and accolades.

Her fans will be happy to know that its sequel, The Scholar, most definitely does not disappoint and we pick up with Irish detective Cormac Reilly where we left off.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The House of Second Chances by Esther Campion

Saturday, February 16, 2019 Permalink

I hadn’t read Esther Campion’s debut novel, Leaving Ocean Road and hadn’t realised there were connections with her latest release when I started reading. It didn’t matter. In fact Campion includes enough backstory to give us some context, but not too much that it’d render reading her first book redundant.

As is so often the case (lately!!!!) I’d misunderstood and thought this was going to be a book about people who come to live at a house for their ‘second chance’ of happiness. I’d envisaged women escaping violent marriages and those who’d overcome a drug addiction. I thought it might have been heavy going, but thankfully it wasn’t that literal and is more about the lives of those involved in planning and renovating the house itself.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

TV show: The Cry

Saturday, February 9, 2019 Permalink

I don’t usually review TV shows, though I used to write about TV and movies quite a bit. Television more so probably as I used to be quite a TV addict. It comes and goes now. Box sets and Netflix is my catnip as I’ve always been prone to watch stuff in a binge and then not turn the television on for a few weeks.

So after some positive (well, glowing) local reviews I decided to tune into The Crya 4-part BBC production, showing here in Australia on ABC TV. Naturally I didn’t watch it live, rather watched it online via iView over a couple of days after the first episode aired.

Of course I write this as someone who’s not read the novel on which it’s based, by Helen FitzGerald. Having done some post-viewing research (googling) however, I understand the plot is pretty consistent but the structure deviates a little from the book.

Continue Reading…

Book review: After the Party by Cassie Hamer

Friday, February 8, 2019 Permalink

I’ve never met debut author Cassie Hamer but we’ve followed each other and chatted via social media for years so. I was delighted to hear she had a book deal.

I was a little nervous about reading it as I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a genre with which I struggle (romance, for example) or (from the backcover blurb) going to dip into themes that don’t interest me (the competitive yummy mummy thing).

However thankfully it was none of those things. I suspect it’ll be described as women’s fiction or general fiction, but it dips into an array of genres… with a mystery to be solved and a little romance thrown in. Hamer’s sharp and witty prose also mean there’s an element of humour added for good measure. 

Continue Reading…

four-stars

A lovin’ life check-in

Thursday, February 7, 2019 Permalink

Did you miss me last week? Lately I’ve only managed to write one non-bookish post a week – on Thursday’s for the Lovin’ Life link-up I’m a part of. And last week I failed at that. (Despite having something drafted.)

In reality I’m a little ‘all over the place’, which those who follow me on social media have had a front row seat to, but I do have an excuse for last week’s absence, as I had an early morning job interview.

So instead of sharing one of the insightful and interesting posts wallowing in my drafts folder, I thought I’d do a check-in of sorts. 

Continue Reading…

Book review: The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Permalink

This book by Australian author Karen Viggers took me out of my comfort zone a little as it’s a departure from my usual crime fiction / suspense genre. Having said that I do read quite a bit of general fiction nowadays but usually shy away from books showcasing all-things-fauna and flora, knowing that my mind skims detail and descriptions that normal people would find enticingly beautiful.

But of course I had no need to worry. It actually irks me that I am increasingly wrong about books and my reading taste. I’m not even judging them by the cover (as per the age-old adage) rather I get mislead by the blurb and / or title, so it’s a reminder that we need to nudge those boundaries some of us (ie. me) establish from time to time. 

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence

Sunday, February 3, 2019 Permalink

I’d misunderstood the backcover blurb of this book by Jennifer Spence so thought it was going to predominantly be historical fiction, flashing back and forth in time to a point at which someone made a decision they later regretted or that could have gone two ways.

I’m not a fan of historical fiction. I had visions of war-time London or similar and was worried this book might be heavy-going.

And… Was. I. Wrong!!!! (That’s a statement, not a question by the way!)

Of course it helps that a time-slip of 20 years – which is the case in this novel – only takes us back from its present (the book kicks off in 2017) to 1997, which kinda feels like just yesterday. 

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars

Book review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Permalink

As I started this book I was reminded of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (similarly centred around a patient and therapist). Although I read that book a long time ago, I recently watched the adaptation on Netflix, so I was a tad nervous one of our lead characters here, Theo, didn’t suffer a similar fate to Grace Marks’ therapist in Atwood’s book.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Monday, January 28, 2019 Permalink

Sally Hepworth’s books seem to be getting better and better… or more likely, they were always good and perhaps my taste is changing or evolving.

I usually prefer mysteries or thrillers and The Mother-in-Law isn’t quite that. I mean, it is about a death – a potential murder and the lead-up to it… so there’s an element of suspense, but it’s so much more. In many ways it’s a complex study of relationships: those between husband and wife or lovers; between parents and children; between siblings; between colleagues and friends; and (of course) those with our in-laws. 

Continue Reading…

four-stars