Taking the Leap

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves From Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodron 
From the cover: In this book Pema Chodron shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of shenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to "hook" us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better." 
"The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. 
"This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities;" explains Pema. "These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others."
This book gives us the insights and practices we can immediately put to use in our lives to awaken these essential qualities. In her friendly and encouraging style, Pema Chodron helps us to take a bold leap toward a new way of living - one that will bring about positive transformation for ourselves and for our troubled world.

I read about this author in David Roland’s book, How I Rescued my Brain, and can recommend it to anyone that is interested in freeing their mind. Pema Chodron clearly explains the Buddhist idea of "shenpa", which are regular thought patterns that we can get hooked on. For example, being hooked on anger, blame and self hatred. 

Once we are aware of the shenpa, we can then learn to work in the present moment with our “natural intelligence, natural warmth and natural openness” to help ourselves and others. Pema has presented these ideas in Taking the Leap in an accessible and encouraging style.


False Advertising

False Advertising by Dianne Blacklock

From the cover: Helen always tried to be a good person. She recycles, obeys the water restrictions, she is even polite to telemarketers. As a mother, wife, daughter and nurse, Helen is used to putting everyone's needs before her own. But it only takes one momentary lapse of concentration to shatter her life forever.
There was no momentary lapse for Gemma. Her customary recklessness leaves her pregnant, alone and estranged from her family with her one-promising advertising career in tatters. So when Gemma barges unceremoniously into Helen's life, things will never be the same again for either of them. Two very different women who have one thing in common - their lives have fallen short of their expectations. But is fate offering them a second chance?

It's no secret that I really enjoy Dianne's books, as our Endeavour Hills branch was lucky enough to have Dianne visit a couple of years ago. This is the only book of hers that I hadn't yet read. I was hoping a new one would be on the way soon, but I'm led to believe it is a little way off yet.
I really enjoyed this story, I love the way Dianne makes the characters feel so real. I felt for Helen, the young widow who believes she is still married, and I loved Gemma and her family, her OTT mother and her sister. 
Dianne weaves an interesting plot in this book and I really believe it would make such a wonderful movie - hey there, movie producers you need to option this one!
This book will appeal to all readers of Contemporary Women's Fiction and, as she is an Australian author, the story is set in Sydney.


Books to film in 2015

Many of the better films on the big screen these days were inspired by books. While most book lovers despair at shallow cinematic adaptations that don’t “get” the novel or the unnecessary introduction of new love interests and locations, we all still make the effort to read the book before seeing the film.

Next year there are plenty of books making their way onto the big screen. Here's a selection to read over the summer:

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

From the cover: 1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia, and lives there with his wife. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and an infant. Years later Tom and his wife discover the consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds.

Last month more than 100 cast and crew of The Light Between Oceans descended on the town of Stanley on Tasmania’s north-west coast to film scenes in the historic town. The story is located on an island off the coast of Western Australia but the film will be shot in Stanley, Sydney, and Marlborough and Otago in New Zealand. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the film stars Oscar winner Rachael Weisz and Michael Fassbender, star of X-Men: Days of Future Past, plus plenty of Stanley locals who grew beards to score roles as extras!

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

From the cover: Mariam is just fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

Director Steven Zaillian has the difficult task of bringing to life the complicated relationship of Miriam and Laila (Saye Yabandeh) against the backdrop of Afghanistan's political and social turmoil. Hopefully he can achieve the same balance of gritty reality and emotion as the novel.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle

From the cover: The astonishing autobiography of SEAL Chief Chris Kyle, whose record 150 confirmed kills make him the most deadly sniper in U.S. military history.

The upcoming adaptation is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper of The Hangover and, more recently, The Place Beyond the Pines, and Sienna Miller. 

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

From the cover: In Communist Russia, there is no murder, only crimes against the state. Dedicated MGB officer Leo Demidov arrests whomever he is told to because he believes in the Party stance. When he is forced to witness the torture of an innocent man and investigate his own wife his belief that he serves a greater good crumbles. Child 44 is the first of a trilogy.

Swedish director Daniel Espinosa is behind the film adaptation of Child 44. He is best known for the Denzel Washington thriller Safe House. The cast includes Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Paddy Considine, Dev Patel and Charles Dance. 

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

From the cover: Libby Day was just seven years old when her older brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Her evidence helped put him away. Ever since then she has been drifting, surviving for over twenty years on the proceeds of the 'Libby Day fund'. But now the money is running out and Libby is desperate.

Another dark thriller from Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, which was one of the hit movies of 2014. The big screen version stars Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult and Corey Stoll.

The Martian by Andy Weir

From the cover: I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

This survival story adaptation directed by Ridley Scott has attracted a stellar cast including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Kate Mara and Sean Bean. 

And I suppose we probably need to mention this one...

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

From the cover: When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

With translations into 51 languages, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold more than 100 million copies in e-book and print — making it one of the biggest and fastest-selling book series in history. The film is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, with Jamie Dornan starring as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.


Victorian Premier's shortlist

The 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlists have been revealed. The winners will be announced on 28 January 2015.

The titles are:

Only the Animals (Ceridwen Dovey, Penguin)
Golden Boys (Sonya Hartnett, Penguin)
The Snow Kimono (Mark Henshaw, Text)
Demons (Wayne Macauley, Text)
N (John A Scott, Brandl & Schlesinger)
To Name Those Lost (Rohan Wilson, A&U)

Non fiction
The Europeans in Australia: Volume Three: Nation (Alan Atkinson, NewSouth)
Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen (Erik Jensen, Black Inc.)
Darwin (Tess Lea, NewSouth)
Where Song Began (Tim Low, Penguin)
The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama (Julie Szego, Wild Dingo Press)
The Bush (Don Watson, Penguin)

Two of the fiction titles, Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett and Demons by Wayne Macauley, are part of the 2014/15 Summer Read at libraries across Victoria. The winner of each category is awarded $25,000 and goes into the running for the Victorian Prize for Literature, which is worth $100,000. 

For information on the awards and the poetry, young adult and drama category shortlists, visit the Wheeler Centre website.


Our Best Reads - 2014

Our Reading Rewards Blog team has spent some time scratching heads, mulling over past reviews and has, at last, come up with our Best Reads of the Year 2014.  What a broad range it is – from three wildly different non-fiction, to fantasy, suspense, horror, thriller and one that is heading for the big screen next year!  So, without further ado ...

How I Rescued My Brain: a psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma  By David Roland
This book is written in a warm and engaging way.  David Roland is able to explain complex processes in simple terms and doesn’t shy away from his emotions.  I was kept interested and very curious about his incredible journey.  Such a fantastic non-fic!!

Our Houseless Home by Lyle Courtney 
Subtitled A colourful bush childhood during the great depression, Lyle Courtney has written of the years he and his family spent living in a
tent in the bush near Maryborough Victoria. With no job and no income, Lyle's widower father is forced out of their home in town and set up house under canvas with his children and a much loved sister-in -law, who had looked after the younger children when her sister died. It is a story of resilience and resourcefulness with recycling skills that we would never have imagined and of a happy, loving childhood amidst extreme poverty. My parents grew up during the 1930's depression and much of Lyle's story resonated with me it was just like the stories my parents told me.

Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson
How would you feel if you woke up every morning not knowing who you are or where you are? Who can you trust to tell you the truth? What if all is not what it seems.  A great psychological thriller and a real page turner.

My best read of 2014 is Skin Game, book 15 of the fantasy-fiction ‘The Dresden Files’ by Jim Butcher.  Skin Game continues the tale of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. 
I had been eagerly awaiting the release of this book ever since finishing the previous one back in December 2012.  The library’s copies arrived in the same week as the book release and I started reading it on the same day it arrived.  Thankfully that was a Friday afternoon, so I didn’t have to go to work bleary eyed the next day after staying up until 2am to finish it.

With so long to wait between books in a series, you run the risk of forgetting details of previous books.  To overcome this problem I immediately picked up book 1 (Storm Front) and re-read the entire series. Now I just need to wait for book 16 to be released! 

Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner
This book is fast paced and very well done.  The action is thick and fast, but not too overwhelming.  The main characters respective histories and current situations are intricately woven into the story, making you barrack for them as they face adversity and as their own interactions develop in a way that both scares and appeals to them.  Twists, turns, bad guys, good guys who have their own issues – it’s all there and more!

Tree Palace by Craig Sherborne
Shane, Moira and Midge, along with young Zara and Rory are “trants” - itinerants roaming the plains north-west of Melbourne in search of disused houses to sleep in, or to strip of heritage fittings when funds are low.  When they find their Tree Palace outside Barleyville, things are looking up. At last, a place in which to settle down. A warm and moving story of a different sort of family and their very believable rural life.  This is a Summer Read 2014/15 title – try it!

Sandra E
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The outrageous blurb captured my attention - Pirrawee Public's annual school trivia night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident or something else entirely? Big Little Lies is fabulous study of twisted schoolyard politics and how lies and rumours - big or small - damage reputations and lives.  Based around a fictitious primary school in Sydney's beachside suburbs, Liane Moriarty's latest bestseller was engrossing from beginning to end. A must-read for parents and coming soon to the big screen.

This House of Grief: the story of a murder trial by Helen Garner
Helen Garner’s book of the courtroom trial of Robert Farquharson, the man who drove his sons off the road and into a dam on Father’s Day 2005, drowning all three, is at the top of my list for 2014 reads.  The story is enthralling but it is the quality of Garner’s writing that for me made the book so memorable.  The tale is tragic and awful yet she manages to invoke feelings of pity and at times even sympathy for this wretched man.  Unputdownable. 

Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan

There have been a few stand-out reads for me this year – Poirot and Me by the remarkable David Suchet and Hunter Davies’ authorised biography, The Beatles, but my read of the year comes from the fiction realm.  It’s the Bram Stoker Award-winning supernatural thriller, the creepy, quirky and haunting - Audrey’s Door.  The story has all the hallmarks of a classic gothic thriller, albeit set in the modern day, and the author deploys some very clever writing by using humour to keep us happily tripping through this horror-fest while employing slow-building suspense.  Her use of repetitious onomatopoeia adds a discordant ‘Psycho/Jaws music’ type of edginess, thereby ramping up the fear factor times 10!   A totally surprising book and a memorable read!


Mean Streak

Mean streak by Sandra Brown.

From the cover: "Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a paediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyse the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the centre of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer."

My View:

This is the first book I have read by Sandra Brown and I must say it will not be the last. The story is gripping and keeps you involved throughout. It's a good thriller with that classic twist towards the end that I didn't see coming. I felt for the victim and for her captor, it put you on edge, and as the story goes along, you don't know what to believe and who was the goodie and the baddie!!

I listened to this on audio book and the narration by Jonathan Davis was excellent. Definitely an author to look up. She writes Crime/Thrillers, Historical & Romantic fiction.

~ Janine


The News: a users manual

The News: a users manual  by Alain de Botton

From the cover: Alain de Botton explores our relationship with 'the news' in this book full of his trademark wit and wisdom. Following on from his bestselling Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton turns now to look at the manic and peculiar positions that 'the news' occupies in our lives. We invest it with an authority and importance which used to be the preserve of religion - but what does it do for us? Mixing current affairs with philosophical reflections, de Botton offers a brilliant illustrated guide to the precautions we should take before venturing anywhere near the news and the 'noise' it generates. Witty and global in reach, The News will ensure you'll never look at reports of a celebrity story or political scandal in quite the same way again.

De Botton has produced another elegantly written, philosophical examination of modern life. He has turned his attention to our news services, and asks why they select certain stories, the consequences of those choices, and what the benefits to society might be if different stories were presented to us as "news". 

The book examines issues ranging from politics to murders, economics to celebrities, the weather to paparazzi shows - in an effort to work out whether any of our news is doing us any good.

We have several copies available including an audio e-book.


Queensland Literary Awards

Richard Flanagan has won yet another award for The Narrow Road to the Deep North! The novel about an Australian surgeon held in a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway has won the University of Queensland Fiction Book Award at the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. The Tasmanian author won the Man Booker Prize in October and the Fiction Prize at the Prime Minister's Literary Awards this week.

Other winners at the Queensland Literary Awards include:

University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award
Winner: 1914: The Year the World Ended, Paul Ham

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection - Judith Wright Calanthe Award
Winner: Earth Hour, David Malouf

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award
Winner: Broken Nation, Joan Beaumont

Australian Short Story Collection - Steele Rudd Award
Winner: Only the Animals, Ceridwen Dovey

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award
Winner: The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty

Griffith University Children's Book Award
Joint Winners: Refuge, Jackie French and Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year

Emerging Queensland Author Manuscript Award
Winner: We Come From Saltwater People, Cathy McLennan

Unpublished Indigenous Writer - David Unaipon Award
Winner: It’s Not Just Black and White, Lesley and Tammy Williams


PM's Literary Awards

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Minister for the Arts Senator George Brandis have announced the winners of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
The winners are:
Fiction — joint winners
A World of Other People, Steven Carroll (Harper Collins)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)
Non-fiction — joint winners
Moving Among Strangers, Gabrielle Carey (University of Queensland Press)
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John, Helen Trinca (The Text Publishing Company)
Prize for Australian history — joint winners
Young adult fiction
The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing Company)
Children's fiction
Silver Buttons, Bob Graham (Walker Books UK)
Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call, Melinda Smith (Pitt Street Poetry)
Two of the award winners generously donated their prize money to charity. Richard Flanagan donated $40,000 to the Indigenous Literary Foundation, while Bob Graham donated $10,000 to Melbourne's Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
In addition to the copies on our shelves, we have two of these titles available through BorrowBox: 
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North (e-audio read by the author)
  • Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War (e-book)


Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

From the cover: Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned paediatric surgeon. Despite her mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.
Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie - a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance - and even, to some degree, friendships - believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.
Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.
Emily Giffin's "The Heart of the Matter" alternates between two points of view: Tessa, the wife of successful paediatric surgeon Nick Russo, and Valerie, the single mother whose son Charlie comes under Nick's care after being badly burned in an accident.
Giffin starts the first chapter with Tessa's story, narrating in the first-person. But in the next chapter, she introduces us to a second character, Valerie, delivering Valerie's story in the third-person. The novel continues in this fashion, alternating between Tessa and Valerie.
Nick is dedicated and compassionate; Valerie, a lawyer, is lonely and vulnerable. As Nick and Valerie grow closer in their concern over Charlie, Tessa, his wife, who has given up a professorship to stay home with her two small children, begins to feel there's something wrong with her marriage.
When Nick's attachment to both women comes under scrutiny, there are no easy answers. Was Nick drawn to Valerie (and her injured son) because of a need to be needed? Did Tessa immerse herself in "perfect Mum" activities instead of being a good wife? Did Valerie want too much by falling for another woman's husband? There are no easy answers here, in a novel that is consistently engrossing right to the surprising finish.

We have copies available in books (standard and large print​ format) and audio (CD, playaway and e-audio).


Is it Just Me?

From the cover: 
You know what I want? I want to be able to have fun wherever I am. I want to laugh. All. The. Time. I want to have one holiday every year with my family where we have no plans and nowhere else to be. I want to watch less television and read more books. I want to be able to whinge about never being able to be alone any more, then, after someone organises a hotel room voucher for me, I want to spend the evening eating chips (that I don't like) from a cylinder and missing my children to the point of tears.

A deliciously joyous, honest and feisty collection of Chrissie Swan's editorials that reflect upon her experiences of motherhood, sisterhood and working as a woman in the entertainment industry. Chrissie Swan has the delightful ability to turn what could be a stressful and mortifying experience into a humorous and empowering one. Reading her collection has reminded me of a few very valuable lessons. How important is is to always maintain a smile behind a serious comment. To remember that we compare our own personal mental state to everyone else's "show reel". Most importantly however, she has provided me with the come back to all uncalled for criticisms: "How very Dare you!" 

Interestingly structured and pleasingly self referential, you could pick any editorial and quite happily dip in or out. I read from cover to cover relishing the developments in her life, opinions and career as the book progressed. The collection began with a discussion about 'a re-kindling romance challenge' that she and her friend attempted. She describes her failings and successes in a refreshingly coy manner - how you might describe to a friend. Without giving anything away, she expounded that she had learned in her relationship that although good things happen throughout and the big bangs might happen down the track that the beautiful, intimate, humorous getting to know you experiences all happen in chapter one. So if you jump to the end you will miss out. Whilst introducing the collection with a great editorial, Swan also sets up the kind of story that she wishes to tell and the relationship she wants to have with her readers. Let's just say I've fallen in love with Chrissie Swan, and if you're as saddened as I am to hear that she won't be on breakfast radio any more - do yourself a favour and enjoy this book - because she writes like she presents on breakfast radio.

A joyous light read that kept me smiling on my lunch breaks and leaving me relaxed in the morning. I would happily recommend and read again! 5 out of 5.



The Last Precinct

The Last Precinct  by Patricia Cornwell
Book 11 in the Kay Scarpetta series.

From the cover:  Thwarting an attack by a suspected serial killer puts Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta in the harsh glare of the spotlight. As her personal and professional lives come under suspicion, she discovers that the so-called Werewolf murders may have extended to New York City and into the darkest corners of her past. A formidable prosecutor, a female assistant district attorney from New York, is brought into the case, and Scarpetta must struggle to make what she knows to be the truth prevail against mounting and unnerving evidence to the contrary. Tested in every way, she turns inward to ask, where do you go when there is nowhere left?

Sometimes you can be lucky to stumble across a book that you didn’t know was part of a series, and it stands alone as a good read.  This was not one of them.  It is very much a link in the series with frequent and unexplained references to past storylines and characters and if you haven’t read them, you have no idea of what it is all about.  That aside, the Scarpetta series is gritty crime with a twist of intelligence and although at times confronting, the stories are put together well.  We have this title in all formats - hard print, large print, CD, Cassette, MP3 and e-audio – I chose to download the e-audio and once again, narrator Lorelei King delivers an expert job with the many accents, particularly the male New York/Italian Detective, Marino.  Her voice portrait has him pictured as real and large as life right before your very eyes.


IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards

The longlist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards [a work of fiction published in English] is out and it definitely is a LONG list – 142 nominations!  
The books, which were nominated by libraries around the world, are vying for the $144,000 prize and include both this year’s and last year’s Booker Prize winners, Richard Flanagan for The Long Road to the Deep North, and NZ’s Eleanor Catton for The Luminaries.

Eight other Australian titles made the list:
Chris Womersley's Cairo is one of the 10 Victorian titles chosen for The Summer Read, a program of the State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Network Victoria to celebrate the diversity of Victorian writing. The 2015 Summer Read was launched on Monday and runs until 15 February 2015.

We have multiple copies of Cairo on our shelves plus the e-book version is also available.  


Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

From the cover: What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions storm cloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?' Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war.

If you are looking for a great book to read on the beach or by the pool this summer then grab a copy of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It is a thrilling, psychological suspense novel focusing on the warped relationship of married couple Nick and Amy Dunne. Each chapter comes from the perspective of either the husband or the wife and as the story unfolds you begin to feel quite conflicted over where your loyalties should lie. 

I can't say too much without giving away the major twist in the novel but this is definitely a page turner exploring themes of love, hate and revenge. There's a media circus, former lovers who show up to shake things up, and plenty of clues to decipher. If you read it quickly (and I promise you will), you may still have time to catch the movie adaptation which is currently showing at the cinemas.

Sandra E


Vale P.D. James

Crime novelist PD James, who penned more than 20 books, has died aged 94.  Her agent said she died "peacefully at her home in Oxford" on Thursday morning.

The author's books, many featuring sleuth Adam Dalgliesh, sold millions of books around the world, with various adaptations for television and film.  Her best known novels include The Children of Men, The Murder Room and Pride and Prejudice spin-off Death Comes to Pemberley.


The Husband's Secret

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

From the cover: The story of a woman who finds a letter from her husband. It says: For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick. To be opened only in the event of my death. Her husband is very much alive. Should she open it? Would YOU open it?

The Husband’s Secret focuses on the anguish of three unrelated women whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways. Cecilia Fitzpatrick is a super-organised mum, P&C president and Tupperware extraordinaire in Sydney. Tess Curtis runs a marketing and design business with her husband Will and cousin Felicity in Melbourne. Rachel Crowley is a widow, a devoted grandmother to Jacob, and mother to Rob and to Janie who was murdered in 1984. She works part-time at St Angela’s, the school which Tess and Felicity attended as children and which Cecilia’s children currently attend.

Cecilia’s comfortable life is thrown into disarray when she discovers the mysterious letter in the attic. A letter such as this from your husband would generate curiosity in even the most unadventurous person. Like most of us would eventually do, Cecilia opens the letter and instantly regrets her decision. The lives of several characters begin to spiral out of control.

The Husband’s Secret is dilemma-based novel which demonstrates how people’s actions can profoundly affect the lives of so many others. And how keeping someone else’s secret can be a huge burden to bear. The author skilfully brings the reader into the minds of the three central characters as they stew over their own particular issues. The characters are believable, the plot is engrossing, and there are many twists and turns along the way.

We have The Husband’s Secret in hard copy, e-book and audio book CD.
Sandra E

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