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.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Saturday, June 16, 2018 Permalink

For some reason I’d been a bit reticent to dive into Ghosted by Rosie Walsh. I’m not a fan of romance but the idea of being ‘ghosted’ by someone who seemingly had no reason to disappear / ignore you was kinda intriguing.

And thankfully I decided to give the book a ‘try’ because I enjoyed it far more than expected and it ended up consuming my Friday night.

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three-half-stars

The Upside of Over (not exactly a book review)

Thursday, June 7, 2018 Permalink

I was planning to sit down and write one of my usual (exceedingly eloquent and learned) book reviews, this time of The Upside of Over by JD Barrett, but realised much of what I wanted to say is really not about the book, but about the notion itself.

Given I already inject far too much of myself into my reviews I figured I’d touch v.briefly on this book – which I enjoyed – a well-written and easy read – perfect for a sunny day at the beach or when cocooned under blankets in a cold house with rain falling outside…. but really talk more a little about the concept:

That sometimes what feels like the very worst thing that could happen to us, is – in fact – the best.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Permalink

I enjoyed Natasha Lester’s second book, Her Mother’s Secret, but I’d really really loved her first book, A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald. At the time I very much appreciated the insight it offered into the plight of women who’d come less than a century before me – not just through career-limitations but also through society’s beliefs and values, and sadly, its norms.

I reflected on this as I steamed through The Paris Seamstress. It’s most certainly saga-like. It doesn’t centre around topics as heavy and lesson-laden as Lester’s debut novel and yet I adored it and could not put it down.

I was rivetted. By the story of Estelle – a wannabe fashion designer in the 1940s – and her granddaughter Fabienne, a young woman wanting to make her own mark on the world.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Permalink

I wasn’t sure if I’d struggle with this book. I was in my early 40s before I gave up on meeting the man of my dreams. Or just someone who wanted to spend their life with me…. and started contemplating motherhood solo.

Dreary stories about sperm donors, artificial insemination and IVF aside… it didn’t happen for me and – as a result – I’m occasionally bitter and twisted about the whole thing. (Something others take for granted etc etc).

So, it was with some trepidation I embarked upon this story on motherhood.

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four-stars

Audiobook review: The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Permalink

It will surprise those who regularly follow my reviews to see this book pop up as it’s more than a-stone’s-throw outside my usual / preferred genre. I’ve talked before about why I don’t read ‘straight’ romance novels… and in summary it’s sadly because my default state-of-mind is far too cynical and insufficiently tolerant or wistful enough for romance.

However, I’m trying to broaden my horizons and hoping to do that via audiobooks as I drive a bit for work. And because I knew I had a 6hr drive to attend an author event as well as some work travel I put in a request for this audiobook. Which – incidentally – I enjoyed, though tried not to think about the fact I could have read it in 2-3 hours, not 10-11hrs stretched over 3 weeks of driving and a few lunchtime walks.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Amber and Alice by Janette Paul

Friday, June 23, 2017 Permalink

I think if I’d known rom-com author Janette Paul was also Jaye Ford – Australian suspense / crime fiction author I might have tucked into this book earlier. And not wavered quite so much in the early stages.

I’m afraid I may have been put off by the cover… which was way too glossy and bright (for me!) and reminded me of a UBD or travel guide or something. Of course that latter part is probably with good reason, because the book does offer a bit of an insider’s guide into the Northern Territory and central Australia.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Monday, April 10, 2017 Permalink

I was a little surprised when this book arrived. I often receive books I haven’t requested and many are outside of my usual (crime / thriller) reading genre, however Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar series – and her novels in general – are so far outside of my realm of experience (aka comfort zone) they might as well be dystopian fantasy or big L-Literature and written by a dead Russian. Or similar.

However… I decided to give it a try. Expand my reading repertoire if you like. I’ve talked before about the fact I struggle with ‘romance’ and why, but have also read a few romance novels I’ve quite enjoyed. Plus I met Kylie at the Australian Romance Readers Convention I attended in February and she seemed very nice and quite witty.

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three-half-stars