Book review: Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton

Sunday, January 28, 2024 Permalink

Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton is a bittersweet tale of family and friendships and of love and loss. I read this as my mother’s 80th birthday neared and was a little sad that there’s even any question about older women’s worth or how much living septuagenarians might have left.

And of course that’s the thing about age; 30, 50 or 70 seems old… until you’re there. And 10, 15, 20 seems young… unless you’re there. I recall finishing high school and looking at the year 8 students thinking we NEVER looked that young. And now I look at staff in stores and they look like they’re 12.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Green Dot by Madeleine Gray

Friday, October 13, 2023 Permalink

Green Dot by Madeleine Gray is a book based on a premise that will possibly divide its readers. Essentially it’s about a woman who falls in love with a married man and continues to have an affair with him, even after finding out. It’s cliched in some ways because she’s sure he’s desperately unhappy in his marriage and just waiting to escape in a way that doesn’t hurt his wife. Too much.

The thing I liked most about this book however is that Gray doesn’t take the easy way out by making our leads cliches. Hera knows she will be harshly judged by others for her behaviour. She knows it’s viewed by everyone – including herself – as ‘wrong’ but she loves Arthur desperately and cannot imagine life without him. And Arthur – doesn’t make a lot of false promises. He doesn’t diminish his relationship with his wife. But he falls in love with Hera nonetheless.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Lioness by Emily Perkins

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 Permalink

Lioness by Emily Perkins is a beautifully written book. I’ve bookmarked a lot of pages featuring phrasing or passages that leapt out at me – as being eloquent, or perhaps relatable for me personally. Which is interesting, as though I could relate to some elements of this and its lead characters (who are similar in age to me), I really did not connect with them in the way I expected. In fact, I did not like them at all. Therese our narrator seems surprisingly enamoured by her neighbour Claire and I confess I did not see the allure.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Reinventing Emily Brown by Jodi Gibson

Thursday, September 14, 2023 Permalink

I’m not traditionally a reader of feel-good books. Most I read are those written by writing and blogging friends whose words I enjoy and who I know will always deliver on their promise. Reinventing Emily Brown is the third book I’ve read by Jodi Gibson and I’ve enjoyed them all. It’s perfect for lovers of Virgin River (and the like) as it offers that perfect balance of joy and happiness with personal angst and life-not-going-how-you-expect.

Here, I felt I could fairly confidently guess where the book was going and how it would end, but I very happily coasted along because sometimes that predictability is comforting and exactly what you need.

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four-stars

Book review: The Knighton Women’s Compendium by Denise Picton

Saturday, January 21, 2023 Permalink

The Knighton Women’s Compendium wasn’t really on my radar until I realised it was by Denise Picton, whose debut novel The Family String was my favourite book of 2022. As a result I put in a belated request for a review copy and was then even more excited to discover the book featured my favourite kind of narrator – a child! I regretted the time I’d wasted having initially eschewed this (thinking – from the cover perhaps – it was another book about women in a retirement village!), though at the same time happy I could savour this delectable treat.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The One and Only Dolly Jamieson by Lisa Ireland

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 Permalink

What a delightful read The One and Only Dolly Jamieson by Lisa Ireland is! I would have read it in a sitting (in the bathtub) had I not had my mother visiting (at the time) and needed to be social and prepare dinner. I was reminded from previous books I’ve read by Ireland, she’s got the ability to create really warm and familiar characters that you feel as if you get to know – and perhaps – befriend, in the few hours you spend with them.

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four-stars

Book review: Terms of Inheritance by Michelle Upton

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 Permalink

Terms of Inheritance by Michelle Upton is the kind of feel-good read that is perfect for this time of year. While it covers some deeper themes around familial relationships and the challenges that come with them, it offers engaging and mostly likeable characters and quixotic but (at the same time) relatable ‘scenarios’.

It features four sisters – all very different, but bound in the way siblings are… or at least can be. Apologies in advance to my brother, but this made me wish I had sisters. Other versions of ‘you’. The best friends you can’t rid yourself of, who drive you crazy, know your faults and idiosyncrasies but love you anyway and always, always have your back.

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four-stars

Book review: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Saturday, July 9, 2022 Permalink

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the first book I’ve read by the popular American author. I’d heard A LOT about Daisy Jones and the Six. I didn’t get a copy for review and haven’t bought it, though not sure why given I’ve only heard consistently good things about it.

And if it’s anything like Carrie Soto is Back, then I’m sure I’ll be hooked as I was with this upcoming release. I adored everything about this book and the things I didn’t adore I realise I wasn’t supposed to. My frustrations were with Carrie and they were lessons Carrie herself needed to learn and we got to tag along for the journey.

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four-half-stars