Book review: The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Permalink

All of Natasha Lester’s novels have featured ground-breaking women. Those ahead of their time – battling society’s norms and often weighed down by the expectations of those they love.

Her books I’ve enjoyed most have probably featured women with more virtuous pursuits (and I don’t mean to imply beauty products/make-up or designing fashion aren’t lofty life goals). Her first book, A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald featured a woman battling to get into medical school in the early 1920s; her last, The French Photographer a female war photographer.

Her books unfold in multiple timeframes, usually the past and present(ish). Her latest, The Paris Secret is no different and is probably my favourite since her first. Not only did I enjoy the characters and their stories, but Lester’s writing is quite exquisite.

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars

Book review: Gathering Dark by Candice Fox

Monday, March 30, 2020 Permalink

I’m always sad when Candice Fox ends a series, but I should know I don’t need to wallow for long as she’s always back with the next big thing. I wasn’t entirely ready for her Crimson Lake series to be over (and perhaps it isn’t?!) but I was able to take solace in the fact she was working on something new. I note this isn’t officially called number 1 (#1) but I’m crossing several limbs it is as I really liked the characters she introduces here.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Everybody’s baking bread

Monday, March 30, 2020 Permalink

What is it with all of the bread making? My social media feeds are full of people baking bread. I hadn’t realised we had so many bread lovers around the world.

I think there was initial panic-buying of bread and milk (as is always the case when we’re in danger of flooding, bushfires, cyclones, long weekends…) but most bakeries still seem to be open. And trading. Perhaps though, there is still a shortage of bread. Which I gather has led to the panic-buying of flour as lots of people assume they’re going to go all Martha Stewart or Little House on the Prairie and bake their own.

Continue Reading…

Book review: Red Dirt Country by Fleur McDonald

Sunday, March 29, 2020 Permalink

I LOVE Fleur McDonald’s Dave Burrows series’. And yes, that apostrophe is meant to be there—I think—cos there are two of them. In case you’ve been living under a rock, McDonald is basically releasing books in two timeframes as if we’re in some weird Sliding Doors-like timewarp thingy.

In addition to an interrelated series set in the present, which features Burrows though he’s not always the headline act, McDonald takes us back in time a couple of decades (kicking off in the late 1990s) to Burrows’ early years as a cop.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Walk the Wire by David Baldacci

Saturday, March 28, 2020 Permalink

I love Amos Decker. Aka the Memory Man. Walk the Wire is his 6th outing and he and his work partner, Alex Jamison contemplate here how far he’s come socially since they met.

Decades earlier—after almost dying—Decker developed hyperthymesia. Not only is he unable to forget anything but it kinda destroyed his social skills. The remainder of his will to live / ability to feel joy disappeared after the murder of his family.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The End of Cuthbert Close by Cassie Hamer

Friday, March 27, 2020 Permalink

I very much enjoyed Cassie Hamer’s debut novel, After The Party. I followed her via Twitter before she was published so we’d sort of circled each other virtually for some time. She seemed like the sort of person I’d like IRL… if you know what I mean? You often get an idea of what someone might be like through their interactions with you and others even if you’ve not met them in person.

And Hamer’s accessible, familiar and easy prose in After The Party only cemented that feeling for me.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Sheerwater by Leah Swann

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Permalink

I’d not read any of Leah Swann’s books when I picked up her new release Sheerwater, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

But her writing is exquisite. Beautiful, elegant and lyrical. From the first page I was enchanted by the way she wound words together. Smitten.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

The Coronavirus… doing our bit

Monday, March 23, 2020 Permalink

In my post about the Coronavirus a couple of weeks ago I commented on the fact I was worried we were panicking about the wrong things… toilet paper and the like, whereas I felt we should be worried about the impact on our livelihoods, not just our lifestyles.

I don’t profess to be less materialistic or shallow than others, but as I mentioned I watch waaaaay too much dystopian (end of world) type TV not to worry about the events leading UP TO the apocalypse. And yes… I am being blithe there!

Continue Reading…

Book review: Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

Friday, March 20, 2020 Permalink

I loved Lucy Atkins’ debut book The Missing One. It was in fact one of my favourite books of 2014. I’ve also read her two subsequent novels.

Magpie Lane is Atkins’ latest release and the thing that’s interested me most about her books is that, though are often centred around secrets and strained relationships, they all feel quite different.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars