I do love novels set during WWII, and this may be my first young adult WWII story. It begins as a written confession from Queenie, who has been captured in France, and she tells the story of how she and her best friend Maddie, a pilot, ended up there. There’s a lot about being a pilot, some of what it was to be a woman in the air force, and about the French resistance. Though torture is involved, there is little gory detail, and the book is gently amusing at times, and is a great story of friendship and loyalty.
A charming Australian story about female friendship. Sybil decides to start a book club which leads to 5 women developing the strong bonds of friendship, bonds that will stand up against the bad and the good times. The setting of this book is a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory, which adds extra dimensions to the story, as well as being set in the late 70s. It was quite nostalgic going over some of the major world events for that time period which Sophie has included in her story and how much communication has changed (who remembers the telephone party line?). I was worried that the story was going to end all neatly wrapped up with everyone blissfully happy, but it wasn’t. Sophie has left room at the end of the story for the reader to continue the characters’ stories themselves – a great tool to let the story remain with you after reading the story.
Read via Borrowbox – ebook
This is the type of book I would pick up and hand to random strangers in Kmart and insist they buy… Okay, it’s the actual book I did that with. The story has stayed with me long after I finished reading. It’s a fabulous example of contemporary Australian women’s fiction – full of friendships, romance, and personal growth. I laughed, I cried, I ran out of pages too quickly.
Four women from diverse backgrounds meet in an online weight loss forum and develop a deeper friendship. They share their struggles and each takes a different path on their journey. This book would be particularly relatable to anyone who has ever stood on the scales and seen a number they didn’t like.
Our Souls at Night is a gentle and quietly beautiful book. Addie and Louis are neighbours, who find comfort, adventure and love together, late in life. It’s about small town life, how people are more than the facts of their lives and about choosing happiness.
Well, it’s hard to say, really. The Waves is not so much a story as a flight through the heads of six friends as they live their lives, from school to death. In their heads you find nonsensical, profound, affirming, sad and intriguing thoughts; about life, status, friendship, love and death. It’s beautiful but discombobulating.
I must have watched the film a lot, as a teenager, because I have never read the book before, but the dialogue came flooding back. It’s the story of Ponyboy Curtis (yes, really), a fourteen year old boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He and his family and friends are ‘greasers’, and they are in conflict with the ‘socs’. One night Ponyboy and his friend are cornered, and a soc is killed, whichleads to more tragedy. It’s typical teenage angst, in some ways, but ultimately, it encourages us to understand others; to see that everyone has their struggles and not to give in.
A thoroughly modern, gentle Australian story. It could of easily slipped into melodrama and misunderstandings, but doesn’t thankfully. Glenna’s knowledge of orchard life shines through and the characters were engaging making for an enjoyable read.
Gustav is a young boy, growing up in Switzerland after WWII, his father having died, his mother cold towards him. A Jewish boys starts at Gustav’s kindergarten, and they become close friends. The book is beautifully written; quiet and pensive. It’s about the impact of the war on Switzerland as a neutral country, and about the nature of friendship and love.
Several months after her mother’s death Summer returns to her mother’s narrowboat cafe. We are transported to life on the river and the communities along the towpath. I enjoyed the flow of the story and the characters. A sweet read of friendship (and love) with hints of mystery that kept me reading.
To the Lighthouse is rather hard to describe. There isn’t a great deal of plot, or even dialogue, at least not spoken out loud. The Ramseys summer at their house on the Isle of Skye, and they have various visitors, before WWI, and then some of them return ten years later. It is largely internal musings of each of the characters; floating from one to another, waves of emotion and scenery, now glorious, now oppressive. It is beautiful, perplexing, kind of like its profundity is just out of reach, and that doesn’t seem to matter.