We meet Cassie just after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. She decides to travel back home on the Indian Pacific, the same way she travelled to Sydney many years ago. As Cassie takes the journey back we are also taken back through her life as she tries to work out who she is and who she will become. We meet her family and the major events that shaped her life. A gentle story about memories and how we see ourselves through them.
This book would best be described as an Australian western adventure. Set during the goldrush we meet brothers Toby and Patrick (Paddy) who have just lost their parents at the hands of a bushranger. What follows is their tale of survival as they attempt to regain thier family farm. The Australian landscape is harsh and so are many of the people who live in it, and for a few a happy ending.
Kim Leamy teaches photography in Melbourne, when she is approached by an American man convinced that she is his sister, who disappeared from their home in 1990. What follows is a fast-paced, psychological thriller, told in the present, and 1990. There is plenty of intrigue, red herrings galore, and a satisfying conclusion.
There is a lot to like about this story set in Australia after World War II. Billie is a private investigator with a whole lot of spunk, trying to make it in a male dominated world. Many underlying issues are explored in the story, such as women in work and society, returning soldiers, the wealthy divide, and policing. This is the first book in the series and was a great start – reminds me a bit of the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton which I enjoyed. Can’t wait to see what case Billie will dive into next.
August Gondiwindi returns home after ten years of wandering, when her grandfather dies. She finds her home about to taken by a mining company, and she is overwhelmed by the stories of her country. It’s a story of the horrors of the past, their lingering legacy, and of hope for the future; of language, belonging, and truth. I found it slow, and also moving, beautiful, and powerful.
This was an entertaining thriller that kept the momentum going throughout the story. Told in a conversational tone by the main character Charlie (which included great asides) it grabbed me from the start and drew me into the story. It also made the story personable – leaving me wondering all the time if I could except Charlie’s version of what happens as the truth?
Justine’s recipes are very tempting and the sub title says it all – “create 100+ delicious new meals using pantry staples”. All the recipes can be attempted by anyone as the recipes are clear, use everyday ingredients and even include a shopping list. The photography is excellent as well.
Kerry Salter is living life on the edge. She is trying to avoid going back to prison, and being drawn into her family’s dramas, but her Pop is dying, so she goes home. It’s an unflinching look at an Aboriginal family, dealing with violence,abuse, loss, anger, suffering, and strength. It’s funny, raw, sad, frightening, uplifting, and a great way to understand some of the legacy and continuing impact of colonialism, the importance of culture, family, and connection to country.
This was a well researched and detailed story of 1850s Sydney. It was interesting to read the sources for this story at the end of the book. For me some of the detailed paragraphs disrupted the flow of the story, but it was an interesting tale of a family and society. Society was regimented and the list of events that could disgrace a family and be shunned were numerous – and so it was for the Macleod family and for Isobel in particular. Isobel grew up in a mansion on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour and we are witnesses to what happens as her family falls apart.
This is a great fiction companion to Chris Hammer’s The River. Through greed, climate change, and long-term mismanagement, Australia’s river system is stuffed, in real life. The Last Pulse is about a man from a small town in South Australia that has been devastated by the long drought and the government’s mismanagement of water. He takes his young daughter to Queensland, where he blows up the dam that has robbed everyone downstream of their livelihood, and rides the flood he created all the way down the country. It’s a black comedy about a truly tragic environmental situation. There are endearing characters, dastardly villains (Queenslanders!), and a joyful, if not particularly hopeful, journey.