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.
This is one of the titles in the RRL Book Club collection. The Trauma Cleaner tells the true story of Sandra Pankhurst who has lived an extraordinary life: husband and father, drag queen, sex reassignment patient, sex worker, businesswoman, trophy wife. As a little boy, she was raised in violence and excluded from the family home. Sandra now brings order and care to the living, and the dead: a woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years, a man who bled quietly to death in this loungeroom. Biographer, Sarah Krasnostein, accompanies Sandra on her cleaning assignments, at the same time piecing together her much forgotten life history. A fascinating and utterly moving story of survival.
Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country, for many reasons, was of particular interest to me. It was a book that was easy to pick up where I last left off. Bill Bryson the author, travelled and fell in love with Australia – hence, I have gained a knowledge of places I would love to visit, history of Australia that I never knew, all entangled with Bill Bryson’s amusing and entertaining sense of humour.
During the current time of isolation, we are all probably thinking of places we can visit, things to do away from home once this COVID-19 is over. By reading “Down Under” you will appreciate that Australian travel provides an experience around every corner, history that you never envisaged, along with scenery that is spectacular and so diverse. Bill Bryson says that “Life doesn’t get much better than this …”
Bill Bryson will have you looking forward to when you are able to take that next flight, train or car travel and see the unique sights of our amazing, beautiful country that we live in – Australia … north, south, east or west – you choose.
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.
Girl, Woman, Other reads like twelve linked short stories. They are the stories of British black women, and their experiences, struggles, and successes over more than 100 years. There is little punctuation, no capital letters to begin sentences, and yet it flows beautifully, and the women’s stories are sad, uplifting, funny, horrifying, wearying, encouraging and moving.
Unlike most of Garth Nix’s books, this is a regency romance, with magic. Lady Truthful Newington is just about to inherit her magical emerald when it is stolen, and she heads to London to seek it with the aid of magic, and a cast of eccentric, endearing, infuriating and handsome characters. A light-hearted, fun, sweet, romp of a story.
A beautiful, heartbreaking book about Conor, who, struggling to come to terms with his mother’s illness, is visited by a monster in the garden. It’s about loss, love, life, truth, and hope. Is very sad, but deeply moving and the audiobook is brilliantly read by Jason Isaacs.
The Museum of Modern Love is set during Marina Abramović’s 75 day art work, The Artist is Present, at MOMA in New York City. There are lots of facts about Abramović‘s life and career, as it introduces characters who become fascinated by her, and visit MOMA often to watch. It’s about the impact of art on life, relationships, purpose, and hope.
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?