Mae’s husband has been posted to serve on the HMAS Sydney leaving her to cope with their newborn child. This is not going to end well. Grace has just fallen head over heels in love, and her journalist boyfriend leaves to cover the war in Singapore – more tragedy to come. There is a lot of emotion in this story and it is handled beautifully. The women’s grief, hope and ambitions along with coping with everyday life are explored. War effects everyone and this story brings it to life.
An unusual collection of characters are found in this story that has several dark mysteries to explore. There is a strong sense of place, the wild around Cairns, which matches the tone of the story. There are some really nasty people out there, able to hide their secrets – for a while!
I loved these diverse characters that formed a tight friendship on the goldfields of Ballarat. With the Eureka Rebellion as a backdrop, the story is full of adventure and historical detail. A great Australian story.
This is not a sweeping historical romance, but that is OK. This is a great story about the early pearling industry in north WA, the tough lifestyle, the racism and discrimination and the characters you find there.
For lovers of language, not action, this book is about life and those who live it; it’s a river flowing through the mundane, the every day, picking up the thoughts, motivations, loves, losses and every little foible of those it carries along. It is beautiful, lush, stark, funny, uncomfortable, and tenderly beautiful.
Stories of early Australia are a favourite of mine and this story I thoroughly enjoyed, so much that I read it over a weekend. Add strong female characters, good historical detail in dual story lines and you have a good story.
A mixing of myth and real life, this was a different read for me, a mixing of genres. I loved the story of the early female generations of the family (the history). The modern day family, however, and their interactions felt strange. No one in the family could say what Zoe was doing the day she disappeared or much about her life. The ending was somewhat predictable. Their were moments of good storytelling and then some disbelieving.
This story began as a typical Australian history story, but then the story line took off, ending with such an emotional tug. I raced to finish the story! Great descriptions of post war Sydney, highlighting issues of returning soldiers, divorce, attitudes towards women and religion.
The landscape of Tasmania is hostile and early colonial life there is also harsh. Bridget is a convict who walks out on a bad situation, becomes lost in the Tasmanian wilderness, and is found by a gang of bushrangers. It is incredible to read what she has to do to survive in the wilderness. There is not a lot of hope here, but that did not stop me from reading the story. The short, sometimes shuffled, chunks of the story helped create the feeling of harshness and grittiness.
Sofie Laguna is very good at writing about children who are very badly let down by their families, schools and society. The Choke is the story of Justine; abandoned by her mother, she lives with her Pop, who has his own demons, and is occasionally visited by her criminal father. Justine quietly tries to make sense of a confusing, and hurtful world, finding solace in nature. The book starts slowly, but then captured my heart. It’s dark, disturbing and very sad, but not without beautiful moments of love, kindness, and hope.