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. 

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four-stars

Book review: Happy Ever After by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 Permalink

This is Joanne Tracey’s fourth book and a bit of a departure from her loosely linked series which are more centred around romance with lead characters in their 20s and 30s… although a couple of characters readers met in the last novel in that series (Wish You Were Here) appear briefly here – and I appreciated them dropping in and the sense of familiarity they brought with them.

And I know Tracey’s still working on the next books in that series, but recall her saying that this story (and these characters) popped into her head and she needed to commit them to paper before they disappeared and I’m certainly glad she did as this is my favourite of her books to date.

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four-stars

Book review: Lost Without You by Rachael Johns

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 Permalink

There’s something really warm and familiar about Rachael Johns’ writing and characters. I’ve not read any of her rural romance novels, but I’ve enjoyed her recent contemporary novels and each time I turn the first page I settle into a comfortable reverie of sorts. I could be reading about people I know. Friends, family. They’re authentic and – even if not always completely likeable – they’re relatable.

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four-stars

Book review: The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell

Saturday, October 20, 2018 Permalink

This blurb on the backcover of this likens it to the TV show Grace and Frankie and book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. None of which I’d watched or read, or really found appealing.

That’s not to say I don’t like books about ageing ‘disgracefully’ or the quirks that come with old age. One of my favourite books is one called Elizabeth is Missing, about a woman grappling with dementia, in addition to Fredrik Backman’s books about grumpy old men and women (A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here).

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three-stars

Book review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Saturday, October 6, 2018 Permalink

Jodi Picoult is probably known best for some of her early work and I too was an early adopter, reading anything and everything she wrote in the early 2000s.

I drifted away for a while, but was impressed with her 2016 novel Small Great Things which centred around race and the related notions of privilege and guilt.

Her latest, A Spark of Light is set in a women’s centre, one of a few remaining clinics in Mississipi to offer a range of reproductive choices to women, including terminations.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Monday, September 17, 2018 Permalink

I started reading this new release by the ever-popular Liane Moriarty after a dinner out with friends during which I spoke about a health retreat I’d been to in 2000. I’d planned four weeks in Italy (which is where I’ll be FINALLY when this review goes live) but at the time I was living in East Timor (in my previous life as a diplomat) and stressed out of my little brain; so instead blew the same amount of money on three weeks at a health retreat in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, called The Golden Door (which has now closed).

The experience was life-changing. At the time.

So it was very freaky when I lolled in the bath at 10pm after the dinner to make a start on Nine Perfect Strangers (not remembering anything about the blurb or the book) to discover it is – in fact – centred around the lives of nine (not-so-perfect) strangers who attend a health retreat. WAAAAAY freaky!

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four-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