Book review: Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry-Jones

Thursday, August 4, 2022 Permalink

I’ve only read one of Eliza Henry-Jones’s previous novels, Ache, and I loved it. It was beautifully written. Her latest Salt and Skin is no different. Her way with words is exquisite. Her prose stunningly eloquent. I already know I’ll have trouble writing this review, uncertain I can do her talent justice.

I must confess this book delved into a realm in which I’m less enamoured, as I usually avoid books featuring the mystical or mythical – selkies, witches, faeries, magic and the like. Of course I realise that in the past (and in the present) people are often labelled or written-off just because they’re different. Because they’re unique. Or special. The unknown is something that frightens many.

I’m not entirely sure why I’m reticent to delve into the whimsical. I suspect I’m too logic loving and pragmatic. So while I am very sure there are things in this world that cannot be explained, I also don’t necessarily want to divert my already-overthinking-mind to them. If that makes sense.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Family String by Denise Picton

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 Permalink

I LOVE books written from a child’s point-of-view. It can be hard for writers to nail the voice without it sounding contrived, but if it’s done well it offers an opportunity for a story to be delivered without much of the nuance we usually get from a narrator who – whether they mean to or not – adds a layer of subjectivity.

Some of my favourite books are those ‘told’ by children, such as Lost & Found by Brooke Davis, Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel, The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna, The Yellow House by Emily O’Grady,  Room by Emma Donahue, as well as everything I’ve read by Favel Parrett. And (not-so-coincidentally) I notice the media release for this references the two books first on my list.

The events of The Family String by Denise Picton are relayed to us by not-always adorable though desperately likeable, 12 year old Dorcas.

five-stars

Book review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Sunday, May 22, 2022 Permalink

I’ve not read Sulari Gentill’s popular Rowland Sinclair series given I tend to stay away from historical fiction but I absolutely adored the Ned Kelly award-winning After She Wrote Him, which I read in 2020, also known as Crossing the Lines.

It was a complete mindf*ck in many ways, but rather than find it frustrating I thought it incredibly clever and kinda jealous that I’d never be able to think of anything quite so complex and twisted.

Thankfully Gentill does it again in her latest release, The Woman in the Library. Again it’s about a writer. Or rather two writers and one – or maybe both – are using the other’s life as inspiration. And just to make things twistier, one of the writers is actually writing about a writer and events taking place in her life and those she meets.

four-half-stars