Book review: The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath

Monday, January 2, 2023 Permalink

Fun fact: I’m rethinking the way I review books and decided I’d switch to instagram predominantly. The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath was to be my first attempt. So I jotted down some thoughts. I did pretty well initially with this…

Quick take: fascinating characters Рsome more twisted than others, long-kept secrets, dual timelines that intersect perfectly, well-paced with a series of twists that would not make Ben Shapiro* happy because author Rebecca Heath has kept secrets from us! Egad!

four-stars

2023, the year of salvaging me

Saturday, December 31, 2022 Permalink

This past year has seen me settling into new full-time work and finding my financial feet again. My job with a not-for-profit was fairly low-key and I was able to work from home – on someone else’s dime rather than as a contractor working for myself. There was a lot I enjoyed about my job and some stuff I didn’t. I’ve mentioned before it wasn’t necessarily as challenging as I’d hoped so, just after my one-year anniversary I successfully applied for something that would take me back into the type of work I did pre-seachange.

Book review: In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

Tuesday, December 27, 2022 Permalink

We’re not yet in 2023 and I already wonder if In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan will be one of my favourite books released in that year. It’s a debut novel that feels as if it’s written by a seasoned author. One who’s confident with their craft and characters they’ve created. In fact, I did check a couple of times to see if our lead, Detective Chief Superintendent Kat Frank had featured in previous outings.

She hasn’t but I loved that Callaghan gives us a senior, experienced and confident protagonist and one who’s a significant way through her career and life. Kat’s likeable but has baggage. She’s talented but also fallible.

four-half-stars

Book review: Seven Sisters by Katherine Kovacic

Saturday, December 24, 2022 Permalink

When I first started Seven Sisters by Katherine Kovacic I was worried it was going in an obvious direction but then realised it wasn’t just me drawing parallels between the women we meet here and the book / movie Strangers on a Train. Rather Kovacic – via her characters – makes the point that they’re drawing their inspiration from exactly that… crossed with Greek mythology’s seven sisters, The Pleiades.

It changed the perspective for me and meant the book was more about the women, the crimes committed against their sisters and the hurt brought upon their families than the unfolding plot itself.

three-half-stars

What’s for dinner? And other grown-up questions

Thursday, December 22, 2022 Permalink

Sometimes I think my mother and I cannot be more different. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a mother. Or perhaps it’s just our personalities.

One of the questions my mother often asks me – now and historically… when we’re chatting is, ‘What’s for dinner?’

Of course she means, what are you cooking or having for dinner. Not asking what I’m preparing for her. We’ll be on the phone usually when she asks the question and seems actually interested.

Book review: The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale

Saturday, December 17, 2022 Permalink

The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale is a fascinating read, featuring a narrator who – initially anyway – has her secrets, sharing them with us slowly but surely. At times it’s written in second person, as if Billie is talking directly to us. Filling us on on her past and confiding in us now.

Ultimately, she’s honest – with us anyway – so it’s hard not to like her as we learn what motivates her and feeds her obsession/s.

four-stars

2022 in books

Thursday, December 15, 2022 Permalink

I used to do end-of-year ‘favourite books’ posts before reading that many authors hated them. I guess missing out can be a disappointment. I’ve often commented that I’m pretty harsh in my ratings systems so my ‘fave books’ posts are usually short and sweet. Occasionally I’ve only listed 3 or 5. Never a top 10 or 20 or anything. Because then surely I’d skip something that I later regretted. And after all it is very very subjective.

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.

four-stars

Book review: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle

Saturday, December 10, 2022 Permalink

The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle crosses the new wave of ‘influencers’ with the not-so-new world of mommy bloggers with a blast from the past… the Single White Female-trope.

I was a smidge worried when we opened with the mummy blogger theme, thinking we’d been there and done that over a decade ago. What else was there to say? But Belle manages to blend that world with today’s influencers (albeit via Instagram rather than TikTok) and this decades toxic propensity for doxxing, serious trolling and bullying and and the dreaded curse of being cancelled. I mean… I was blogging over a decade ago when the mummy/parenting bloggers were a big thing and the side-chat was snide and bitchy but rarely encouraged violence or involved threats.

three-half-stars