Four and a half stars for this beautiful coming of age story. Eli is growing up in a rough part of Brisbane, with drug dealing parents, a mute older brother, and a best friend who is a murderer. It’s a tough setting, but it isn’t bleak; it’s funny, touching, a little bit magical, and full of surprises and hope. I loved it.
This is the third book in three years by Jane Harper, her first novel The Dry only being published in 2016.
Harper’s third murder mystery is set in South west Queensland on a large cattle station where Cam Bright , one of three brothers is found dead at a remote landmark, the stockman’s grave.
Assumed to be an accidental death by the local police, Nathan, the brother who discovers Cam’s body, cannot make sense of Cam , successful and organised, abandoning his fully stocked land rover, to die alone in the extreme heat.
Nathan is the eldest of the Bright brothers and the one who and has been ostracised by the local community for a mistake he made ten years before. He lives a solitary life, estranged from his wife and the relationship with his son becoming weaker as Xander approaches adulthood. His property is in deep financial debt and he struggles to run the farm without the support of his neighbours in drought like conditions.
Nathan starts to look into Cam’s death and uncovers uncomfortable truths about his seemingly popular brother, his deceased father and events in the past that his mother has kept quiet for many years.
This isn’t so much a murder mystery as a family drama, but not in the sense of a soap opera, more intrigue than that! The writing is very atmospheric and descriptive and you can feel the sun’s heat on your neck and the hot , red dirt under your feet while you follow the Bright family to the conclusion of this story.
Clarry and her older brother Peter look forward to their summers with their grandparents, and older cousin Rupert, in Cornwall. This sweet, moving, rather dark tale follows them as they grow up, and World War One changes everything.
Black Swan Green is stories from one year in the life of a thirteen year old boy, in an English village during the early 80s. It’s about the common and peculiar trials of being a thirteen year old boy, friendship, family relationships, music, politics, poetry and truth, love and loyalty. It’s funny, clever, moving, sad, joyful, and with the special delight for the regular reader of David Mitchell books, the characters from his other books. He is one of my very favourite authors.
A liesurely-paced historical fiction. A family moves to Australia after they lose their Irish ancestral home. But the past does not stay in the past and secrets finally come to the surface. Beautiful descriptions, a happy ending but somehow the characters did not fully interest me.
The reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then. Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated. The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake – it would of ruined the building tension throughout the story – everything had to turn out right, didn’t it?
Whoa! This book was different. Written from the perspective of a baby still in the womb it tells the tale of a likely doomed trio that includes his mother, her lover and his father. The embryo infant contemplates the fates of his tragically flawed family and what influence he can possibly have in the grand scheme of things.
I really enjoyed listening to this on borrow box and it is also available in many of our libraries in traditional book format.
Yoshie is a young woman whose father recently died in a suicide pact with a woman who wasn’t his wife. She and her mother move out of the family home, to a new neighbourhood, where they try to come to terms with what happened, and start new lives. It is a slow and thoughtful book about grief, growing up, and the healing power of food, relationships, and a sense of community.
Educated is the memoir of a woman brought up in a family that was isolated by their strong religious beliefs, and fear of intervention, which led to them avoiding doctors and school. Living in rural Idaho, there was so much dirt, danger, and ignorance, as well as emotional and physical abuse, as to make this a most uncomfortable read. Eventually, thanks to a thirst for knowledge and understanding, Tara is able to leave, be educated (all the way to Cambridge, Harvard and a PhD) and be freed from abuse. Though not always a pleasant read, it is a moving account of the hardships of ignorance and poverty, and the power of education.
Korede’s younger sister, Ayoola, has just killed her third boyfriend, and calls practical Korede to come and clean up. Things get tricky when the sisters both have their eye on the same man. Lots of typical sister relationship issues, and some that are not so typical, in this darkly amusing book. It’s a quick read, with a great Nigerian setting.