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.
Judy Nunn tells a good story. This was a very human story – the politics of refugees has mostly been left behind, which I appreciated. Humans have such capacity to hurt, to damage but its our ability to show compassion that can make the biggest difference.
A suburban primary school’s trivia night degenerates so badly that someone ends up dead; if only all school events were so exciting! This is a murder mystery with characters and a setting so familiar, suspense, humour, twists and turns. It deals with the complex issues around domestic violence and also about school politics, parenthood, marriage and friendship. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, definitely not just for women!
I enjoyed this story and characters mainly based around the WWII campaign in Timor. I love it when a story makes me experience a range of emotions throughout the story. It is a story on the horror of war and its aftermath, mateship, complicated families, love and ultimately hope. The story jumps time periods several times per chapter, sometimes throwing me off the flow of the story, but this is only a minor complaint.
Although most events were predictable I enjoyed reading about this family in rural Victoria. It brings to light the affect of family secrets, experiences, expectations, history, perceptions and dynamics. Fiona has a great writing style that flows well.
I don’t want to give away too much about this thoughtful novel. It was completely different to the style of book I usually read. The author does a good job of grounding the reader into the story and then pulling you into something completely different. The concepts were therefore familiar to me at the beginning of the story, keeping me reading when things were revealed to be not as they seemed.