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.

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four-stars

Book review: Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Permalink

I starting reading this book amidst a terrible case of murder / suicide in my home state. Domestic violence rather than child abuse reared its ugly head but it involved the murder of a family – as a result – there have been many discussions since about men hurting children they purport to love.

Kelly Rimmer’s latest book Truths I Never Told You unfolds from the points of view of two women. One struggling to engage with her child, and the other struggling against the urge to lash out and harm hers.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Permalink

I must have requested this book (electronically) a while ago. Or during a lull. Because when it popped up in my ‘due to read’ pile I read the back cover blurb and groaned. Not from any physical pain ( 😉 ) but rather the thought of yet another book about parenting wars. I know the fascination with good / bad parenting started before Big Little Lies but the perfect / imperfect mummy thing has become a little old hat. More so for me I suspect as a non-parent.

But I bravely read on, deciding it’s not the author’s fault there’s been a deluge of books about parents being blamed for their children going missing or getting hurt when they should be keeping a better eye on them.

And, I was relieved to discover – after this book kicked off – there are some secrets at play that go beyond the parenting crap, so I found myself more intrigued than I expected to be.

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three-stars

Book review: The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

Friday, December 27, 2019 Permalink

I really enjoyed Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, released in 2015. At the time I suspected the book – which I took fairly literally – was some great metaphor I just didn’t quite understand and it wasn’t until later I noticed others’ reviews labelling it dystopian fiction and I realised I’d been right.

I loved Wood’s writing, which I thought exquisite. I missed her latest release, The Weekend, when it came out but thankfully won a copy recently and probably (now) need to add it (belatedly) to my ‘favourite books for the second half of 2019’ post.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Just One Wish by Rachael Johns

Saturday, October 19, 2019 Permalink

Rachael Johns’ most recent novels tackle a range of contemporary and complex issues. Her latest release is no different. My expectations around her books have probably grown over recent years and thankfully she’s giving readers consistently strong characters, interesting plots and challenging us to ponder our own attitudes and beliefs a little as well.

Just One Wish offers up three generations of women. All relatable and very very different.

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four-stars

Book review: Matters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer

Friday, August 30, 2019 Permalink

I follow West Australian author (and farmhand) Fiona Palmer on social media so she’s writing what she knows in her books set in rural Australia. I do usually steer clear of rural romance, just because I’m not a fan of romance novels, however… my love of Jane Austen outweighs my meh-ness for romance so I found myself ploughing (ie. reading quickly and eagerly) through Palmer’s new release, Matters of the Heart, which is based on one of Austen’s more famous books, Pride and Prejudice.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Memories We Hide by Jodi Gibson

Sunday, August 18, 2019 Permalink

I’ve (virtually) known author Jodi Gibson for a number of years via the online writing and blogging world so was very excited she decided to independently publish her debut novel, The Memories We Hide. It’s an enjoyable read which reflects her warm and relatable writing style as well as her familiarity with small town Australia and country life.

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three-half-stars

Book review: A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino

Monday, April 29, 2019 Permalink

I’ve read a couple of Nicky Pellegrino’s books, One Summer in Venice and Under Italian Skies, and I enjoyed both. Of course it had long been my dream to travel to Italy. It was my big bucket list item and since reading those books I’ve been able to tick it off my list as I spent just over 3wks in Italy last September / October including a fabulous week at a Tuscan villa.

Pellegrino lived in Italy (and England) before settling in New Zealand and her passion for Italy – its culture and cuisine in particular – shines through in each of her novels.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Gift of Life by Josephine Moon

Sunday, April 28, 2019 Permalink

I hadn’t requested this book when it was first offered as I think I assumed it was a romance novel or about babies / childbirth. Both of which are kinda sore points for me much of the time.

It wasn’t until later I discovered it was about the recipient of a heart transplant and the wife of her possible donor. It’s a subject I know a little about as my father had a heart transplant (in December 2000) when he was 61, and it gave him 11 additional years with us until he passed away in late October 2011.

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three-half-stars