The Little House books were among my favourites as a child, so when I saw this title I just had to read it. Sarah was able to capture the Ingalls’ journey across the prairie, but I did loose some of the story with the over detailed accounts of events. I could picture Caroline as she would of presented to Laura in her books, but internally have different thoughts and feelings. It was a good representation of what a mother and wife goes through, what it takes to hold a family together, the need to suppress your own feelings or to be a bit selfish.
I loved these diverse characters that formed a tight friendship on the goldfields of Ballarat. With the Eureka Rebellion as a backdrop, the story is full of adventure and historical detail. A great Australian story.
This is not a sweeping historical romance, but that is OK. This is a great story about the early pearling industry in north WA, the tough lifestyle, the racism and discrimination and the characters you find there.
Sunset Song was voted the best Scottish book, so I felt compelled to read it. It is set in a small, rural Scottish community, full of eccentric characters, and a landscape both harsh and beautiful. Beginning not long before WWI, it tells of an ancient place in a time of great change, and we follow young Chris Guthrie as she grows with her family, suffers loss, falls in love and changes with the world. There were so many Scottish words I had to guess the meaning of, but the strange beauty of the land, the pull it had on its people, the quirky, funny, sweet and dark characters, and Chris’ strength through her trials and joys were clear, heartwarming and moving.
The intrigue and mystery gradually builds throughout the story. Spies and double agents abound in this dual storyline. The modern thread of the story, however, falls a bit flat for me.
There was a high body count, humour, love and a bit of philosophy of life in this book. As you read about the gruesome killings, you also read about the coming of age of Jack and the background stories of his companions. It was an odd bunch of characters, but they were well developed and worked well together. Texas at the beginning of the oil boom was a great setting. It reminded me of the movies True Grit and Django unchained.
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.
In the 1890s, newly widowed Cora Seaborne leaves London for a village in Essex. She is now free; free to explore nature, to spend time with friends, old and new, and to be caught up in superstition and legend about the Essex Serpent. Slow to get going, it’s a book about intellect, the blurring of friendship and romantic love, faith and reason. There is a very strong sense of place, and such vivid characters.
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.