15.4.14

Pulitzer Fiction prize

2014's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to Donna Tartt for her latest novel The Goldfinch.

Tartt's sprawling epic tells the story of Theodore Decker, a Manhattanite who winds up in possession of a renowned painting, Carel Fabritius's "The Goldfinch."  Theo heads to Las Vegas, New York City's Lower East Side, and Amsterdam, where the events of his life are intermixed with his burgeoning theories on art and love.

The Goldfinch was Tartt's third novel, following her critically acclaimed The Little Friend, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2003. Tartt began writing her first book, The Secret History, while studying at Bennington College.

The Goldfinch was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2013, and has been nominated for the BAILEYS Women's Prize for Fiction in 2014 - yet to be announced.
Deb.

The Spirit Keeper

The Spirit Keeper by K. B. Laugheed is an intriguing tale set in Pennsylvania in the 18th century. It is the story of seventeen-year-old, Katie O’Toole, the thirteenth child of Irish immigrants. On 2nd March 1747 Katie was removed from her family by 'savages'. She was taken captive by two strange Indians who claim to have been searching for her. Syawa is a gifted Holy man with captivating and mystical ways, and his travelling companion, Hector, Syawa’s strong and courageous bodyguard. Together they take Katie on an epic journey across the American frontier.
 

Katie is their ‘Creature of Fire and Ice’, with her red flaming hair and clear blue eyes, destined to bring a great gift to their people. She is to become their ‘Spirit Keeper’. And indeed she shows great spirit, bravery, strength, intelligence, and faith during her arduous journey with these two Indians. 
It is a compelling account of two very different cultures and how they connected through love, loss, and loyalty. It is a wonderful first novel for K. B. Laugheed and a great read!
~ Narelle



14.4.14

Big, Beautiful & Sexy

Big, beautiful & sexy : my journey from Idol to showgirl : an intensely personal story by Casey Donovan with Naomi Evans.

From the cover:  Thrust into the limelight in 2004 as the youngest ever winner of Australian Idol, Casey Donovan has experienced the best and worst that winning a reality TV show can offer.

The success of her debut album and landing the boyfriend she always wanted gave way to media coverage of her weight, family struggles and being dropped by her record label. But battling her demons in a very public arena, Casey fought back receiving critical acclaim for her roles on stage shows The Sapphires, and The Flowerchildren - The Mamas and Papas Story.

Casey's career has powered from strength to strength. She is now regarded as one of Australia's most acclaimed indigenous entertainers with a career spanning music, stage and screen. In this intensely personal account of the last ten years, Casey opens up about her family life, her passion for music, and her gratitude to those that continue to believe in her. And for the first time, she tells the painful truth behind her first love, a relationship which consumed every aspect of her life, ruining friendships, family and almost her career.

 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I read it in a day. It’s a warts-and-all story of how early fame can sometimes not be a good thing, and doesn't prepare you on how to cope with life thereafter. Casey has risen above this and continues to grow within herself and I wish her every success in the future with that amazing voice of hers.

Janine.

11.4.14

Poirot and Me

Poirot and Me by David Suchet

From the cover:  Hercule Poirot, with his distinctive moustache and fastidious ways, is one of Agatha Christie’s finest creations and one of the world’s best-loved detectives.

Through his television performance in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet OBE, CBE (pronounched Soo-Shay) has become inextricably linked with the ‘little Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love dearly through an intimate relationship lasting more than twenty years.
No one could have been more surprised than David when he was asked to play the role back in 1988.  By the end of 2013, David Suchet will have played the detective in every one of the seventy Poirot stories that Agatha Christie wrote.  In Poirot and Me, he shares his many memories of creating this iconic television series and reflects on what the detective has meant to him over the years.


My first ever introduction to Agatha Christie’s books came through my bedroom window when I was about 10 years old.  My grandmother snuck it to me, with the obligatory torch, one night when Mum and Dad demanded, unfairly of course, “lights out”.  Cat Among the Pigeons featured the little Belgian with the little grey cells and from then on I was hooked.  Having over the years watched sundry actors play Christie characters, most of them not at all what I had pictured in my head, David Suchet’s portrayal is without doubt the quintessential Poirot! 

This captivating book is very well written, and does indeed take us further into the character, along with other acting work (particularly in the theatre) that came Suchet’s way.  But it’s the strength of this multi-award winning character actor, his commitment to Dame Agatha’s intent and his promise to Rosalind, Christie’s only child, that his portrayal will never be comical or embarrassing, that is remarkable.  The way he goes about bringing Poirot to life and keeping him true is absorbing.  There are photos to enjoy, an extensive index of people and characters in the book, and the 300+ pages were fascinating.  Highly recommended for fans of either gent!

Deb

10.4.14

Good As Gone

GOOD AS GONE by Douglas Corleone

From the cover:  Ex U.S. Marshall Simon Fisk is pitted against some very formidable foes in this fast-paced, riveting thriller as he relentlessly searches  for a kidnapped young girl.  Simon’s own daughter, Hailey, was abducted and after ten years, is still missing.  His wife later committed suicide.  Now working as a freelancer who specialises in retrieving kidnapped children for their custodial parents, Simon is unwillingly drawn into the Sorkin case by the French police.  His investigation will take him from Paris to Germany, Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia as he tries to rescue Lindsay before it is too late.  Simon is a man who strongly believes in right and wrong and that keeps the violence and deaths to a minimum during the course of his investigation.  While he remains a step behind the kidnappers, his quick thinking keeps him moving rapidly and continuously forward.  

 In a novel that touches on police and political corruption, child pornography, exploitation of women, and the lingering effects of Chernobyl, Simon’s search for Lindsay is thoroughly engrossing.  It is virtually impossible to find the reason for Lindsay’s kidnapping – the author brings the story to a stunning and completely unexpected conclusion.  Pulse-pounding adventure!
Dot.

8.4.14

Aurelius Awards

The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the publishers of Aurealis magazine, to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.  The 2013 Aurealis Award winners were announced at a ceremony in Canberra on Saturday 5 April and the winning titles are:



Science-fiction novel:  Lexicon by Max Barry
Fantasy novel: A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan
Horror novel: Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near
Young adult novel (tied):  These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, and
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near
Anthology (tied): The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 ed. by Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene, and
One Small Step, An Anthology of Discoveries ed. by Tehani Wessel
Collection: The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton
Children’s book:  The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty MurrayIllustrated book or graphic novel (tied):  Burger Force by Jackie Ryan, and
The Deep Vol 2: The Vanishing Island Tom Taylor & James Brouwer
Fantasy short fiction:  The Last Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Science-fiction short fiction: Air, Water and the Grove by Kaaron Warren
Horror short fiction:  The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins
Young adult short fiction:  By Bone-light by Juliet Marillier

Deb.

7.4.14

Harlan Coben's Six Years


SIX YEARS by Harlan Coben

From the cover:  Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man.  But six years haven’t extinguished his feelings, and when Jake comes across her husband’s obituary, he can’t keep away from the funeral.  There he catches a glimpse of the grieving widow … but she is not Natalie.  As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel and soon even his life is at risk.

It's very rare that I dither over a book review.  One minute I thought this was quite good, with a strong and different storyline; but then again the main character, Jake, was so annoying and unbelievable, he became irritating.  The book would have been better if it didn’t drag in the middle, and the more it went on, the more convoluted it became but it also picked up in pace.  I toyed with the idea of ditching it, but I just had to stick with it to find out how it all played out!  

I have read other Harlan Coben novels before and this is definitely nowhere near his best but at least it was a bit different to the general run-of-the-mill formula in this genre.  Gotta love the playaway format and it was well narrated by Mr. Kerry Shale.  

If anyone else has read it, what did you think of it?
Deb.

4.4.14

Storm Catchers

Storm Catchers by Tim Bowler 
Narrated by Mark Meadows 


From the cover:  Ella is snatched away from the house in the middle of a storm. As the kidnappers make their demands, Fin's guilt is replaced by a fierce determination to find his sister by whatever means he can, and bring the criminals to justice. But as the drama unfolds, a complex web of family secrets is revealed. It emerges that Ella's kidnapping is revenge for mistakes Fin's father made, years before. The consequences will change all their lives forever. 
 
Although in the Young Adult (YA) genre, adults should enjoy this - I certainly did!  Set in Cornwall, this was a thoroughly entertaining novel that had a bit of mystery and a bit of supernatural mixed in with adultery, crime and blackmail! The setting was evocative – there is so much atmosphere when you have a crumbling old lighthouse teetering on the brink of a storm-swept cliff face.  Couple that with an old house equipped with a hidden passage, a little boy who communes with ghosts and a dangerous smugglers cave, and you’re pretty much set up for a rollicking story.  (I don’t think it’s quite suitable for those at the younger end – there are some quite disturbing parts in it).  Overall, a very enjoyable book!

Deb

3.4.14

Miles Franklin longlist

The Miles Franklin Award is regarded as Australia’s most prestigious literature prize, having been established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, (Stella Maria Sarah) Miles Franklin. First awarded in 1957, the Award is presented each year to the novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.
The longlist includes two debut novelists and two past winners:

Tracy Farr - The Life And Loves Of Lena Gaunt
Richard Flanagan - The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Ashley Hay - The Railwayman's Wife
Melissa Lucashenko - Mullumbimby
Fiona McFarlane - The Night Guest
Nicolas Rothwell - Belomor
Trevor Shearston - Game
Cory Taylor - My Beautiful Enemy
Tim Winton - Eyrie
Alexis Wright - The Swan Book
Evie Wyld - All The Birds, Singing

The Miles Franklin 2014 shortlist will be announced at a public event at the State Library of New South Wales on Thursday 15 May 2014, with the winner to be announced on Thursday 26 June 2014. 
Deb

31.3.14

Murder and Mendelssohn



Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood
Narrated by Stephanie Daniel.   
Book 20 in the Phryne Fisher series

From the cover:  An orchestral conductor has been found dead and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson needs the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher's assistance to enter a world in which he is at sea. Hugh Tregennis, not much liked by anyone, has been murdered in a most flamboyant mode by a killer with a point to prove. But how many killers is Phryne really stalking? At the same time, the dark curls, disdainful air and the lavender eyes of mathematician and code-breaker Rupert Sheffield are taking Melbourne by storm. They've certainly taken the heart of Phryne's old friend from the trenches of WW1, John Wilson. Phryne recognises Sheffield as a man who attracts danger and is determined to protect John from harm. With Mendelssohn's 'Elijah', memories of the Great War, and the science of deduction ringing her head, Phryne's past must also play it's part as MI6 becomes involved in the tangled web of murders.

So much potential, and such a disappointment, though it’s possibly a better one to read than listen to ‘thanks to’, god forbid, narrator Stephanie Daniel singing.  This unfortunately has cropped up before in other Phryne Fisher audiobooks and it’s cringe-worthy.  Luckily her narration isn’t.  That aside, the intrinsic wherewithal of choirs, musical orchestration parts, and technical conductor-speak is a tad mind numbing.  The oratorio details for ‘Elijah’ are equally so.  And the blatant chapter where homosexual Sheffield demands his curiosity about the female body to be unveiled by Phryne - “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” with dear friend John Wilson “supervising” every clinical inch-by-inch discovery, makes for disturbing listening and is totally unnecessary. I hope Kerry can get back on track with what is generally agreed to be a delightfully entertaining series. 
Deb.

26.3.14

Shadows of the Past

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
 

From the cover: Psychology professor  and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve – the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.
Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife – a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.
Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present – and moving into a future they never imagined.


I found this book intriguing, thrilling and romantic - what a combination!  This debut novel by Patricia Bradley is guaranteed to have you hooked. Bradley cleverly involves the reader in the intricacies of each character and their story and just when you think you have all the answers - she tosses in another red herring!
Weaving romantic tension with believable characters and thrilling suspense has made this novel a winner of the 2012 Daphne du Maurier award and 2012 Touched by Love award, as well as a finalist for the 2012 Genesis award.
~ Narelle

25.3.14

Romance Awards

The winners of the 6th annual Australian Romance Readers Awards (ARRA) have been announced.  The awards are handed out in nine categories from titles published the year before, with ARRA members invited to choose and vote on three special ‘reader-selected’ awards, this time being Favourite cover, Sexiest Hero and Favourite New author.  Drumroll ... And the awards go to:
 


Paranormal Romance—Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance—Allegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin
Short Category Romance—The One that Got Away by Kelly Hunter
Historical Romance—Untamed by Anna Cowan
Contemporary Romance—Holding Out for a Hero by Amy Andrews
Erotic Romance—Skin by Kylie Scott
Romantic Suspense—Half Moon Bay by Helene Young
Continuing Romance Series—Sons of Sin series by Anna Campbell
 

Favourite Australian Romance Author for 2013— Kylie Scott
 

Favourite Cover—Half Moon Bay by Helene Young
Sexiest Hero—Daniel Montgomery in Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns
Favourite New Romance Author 2013—Anna Cowan

Deb.

24.3.14

Diagram Prize winner



A tongue-in-cheek book that purports to deal with an awkward but critical issue, “How to Poo on a Date”, scooped an award for the Oddest Book Title of the Year on Friday.
The winner of the Diagram Prize, awarded annually since 1978 and based on a public vote since 2000, beat out other titles including “Are Trout South African?” and “Working-Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City”.
 
The prize, which carries no cash award, is run by The Bookseller, a British-based business magazine and website for the book industry.

“The public have chosen wisely. Not only have they picked a title that truly captures the spirit of the prize, they have selected a manual that can help one through life’s more challenging and delicate moments,” Horace Bent, described as “custodian of the prize”, said in a press release.
Deb

20.3.14

Stella Prize shortlist

Named after one of Australia’s most important female authors, Stella Maria Miles Franklin, The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature and was awarded for the first time last year to Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds. The prize is worth $50,000, and both fiction and nonfiction books are eligible for entry.  The 2014 Stella Prize shortlist has just been announced :


Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Night Games by Anna Krien
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright

The 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 29 April - we'll publish the winner details on Wednesday 30 April.

Deb.

19.3.14

C.S. Lewis ...

C.S. Lewis and the Body in the Basement by Kel Richards 
 

From the cover:  A fun, new detective novel by Kel Richards where the sleuth is C.S. Lewis, the beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis (known to all his friends as Jack), his brother Major Warren Lewis (known as Warnie) and one of Jack's students, Tom Morris, are on holiday in the English countryside. When they go to the bank they unwittingly enter a crime scene where a murder has just been committed in the vault. The victim is in the basement of the bank, alone, cut off by brick and steel from the rest of the world – and yet he has been stabbed from behind and the murder weapon has vanished. The three out of towners become suspects and must conduct their own investigation to clear their names. C. S. Lewis eventually solves the seemingly impossible crime by applying his razor sharp mind to the subtle clues. It is a ‘locked room’ mystery that would have baffled the cleverest sleuths of the Golden Age of detective stories. 
Written by Sydney’s 2CH radio show host, Kel Richards, this is the first in a new series of C.S. Lewis mysteries.  Initially it’s quite entertaining – the era, the setting, the downright ‘Englishness’ of a ‘walking holiday’; and being hooked swiftly into the 'impossibility' of it all – the locked room and the disappearance of the weapon.  But the constant ‘padding’ of what is really quite a short story with ongoing religious philosophising by Jack to Tom becomes tedious, so much so that I ended up skipping numerous pages, thankfully coming to a speedy wrap up. I'm not in any hurry to read the next one in the series.
Deb.

17.3.14

Inaugural Folio Prize

After the controversy with the Man Booker Prize in 2012 - the judges wanted 'readability' rather than 'literary merit' - The Folio Prize was established.  
It honours the best English-language fiction published in Britain, regardless of the nationality of the author or genre.

The winner of the inaugural $74,000 prize is George Saunders for his short story collection, Tenth of December.
Deb.


13.3.14

Thornwood House

Thornwood House by Anna Romer
From the cover:  When Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland, she jumps at the chance to escape her loveless existence in the city and make a fresh start. In a dusty back room of the old house, she discovers the crumbling photo of a handsome World War Two medic - Samuel Riordan, the homestead's former occupant - and soon finds herself becoming obsessed with him. But as Audrey digs deeper into Samuel's story, she discovers he was accused of bashing to death a young woman on his return from the war in 1946. When she learns about other unexplained deaths in recent years - one of them a young woman with injuries echoing those of the first victim - she begins to suspect that the killer is still very much alive. And now Audrey, thanks to her need to uncover the past, has provided him with good reason to want to kill again.

 
As you know, I have a penchant for a good Australian novel, and this is one of the better ones which is quite amazing for a debut author.

Anna Romer spent her wayward youth travelling the globe, working as a graphic artist while she soaked up local histories and folklore from the Australian outback, then Asia, Europe, and America. On returning home to Australia, she began weaving stories of her own and was quickly hooked. A visit to her sister in north Queensland inspired this first novel, a story that reflects her fascination with old diaries and letters, dark family secrets, rambling old houses, the persistence of the past, and our unique Australian landscape.

Her writing is rich and evocative, producing that wonderful feeling of ‘being there’ which is so lacking in many others.  The storyline is peppered with four generations of colourful characters and was not difficult to follow as it swings between the different family members’ stories.  Audrey and her daughter Bronnie are both perfectly captured – so real you half expect them to walk through your own back door!   I won’t wax lyrical any further.  This was a really good book – I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version narrated by Eloise Oxer – so why not download it.  In the meantime, here’s an interview with the talented Anna Romer to enjoy. 

Deb. 

)

11.3.14

IMPAC Prize - vote now

Each year public libraries throughout the world join together to submit titles for consideration in the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the world's richest literary prizes with a €100,000 prize (AUD $154,000).

The State Library of Victoria invites you to help select Victoria’s titles to be submitted in the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the nineteenth year of the award. To vote, please consider the titles below then visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CXWHF57 by close of business  Friday 11 April 2014. The State Library of Victoria will put forward the top three titles. Your choice should be based solely on the literary merit of the work. Please vote only once.

A World of Other People by Steven Carroll
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
Blood Witness by Alex Hammond
Cairo by Chris Womersley
Coal Creek by Alex Miller
Dark Horse by Honey Brown
Gotland by Fiona Capp
Holy Bible by Vanessa Russell
The Memory Trap by Andrea Goldsmith
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright


Deb.

7.3.14

Diagram Prize shortlist

How I love this time of year - it's Diagram Prize 2014 shortlist time! 
Every year since 1978, the Diagram Prize has singled out the oddest titles of books published in the preceding 12 months. Last year's winner was the surreal-sounding Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, beating robust contenders How Tea Cosies Changed the World and God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.
In 2014, the odd books up for the prize are:


Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City by Chris Balsinger and Erin Canning
Are Trout South African? by Duncan Brown
How to Poo on a Date by Mats & Enzo
Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography by Jo Packham
How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God by Ian Punnett
The Origin of Feces by David Walter-Toews

The annual prize is organised by The Bookseller magazine (UK) and the winner will be announced on Friday 21 March.

Deb.

5.3.14

Open for Inspection

Open for Inspection by Carmel Bird
Narrated by Caroline Lee 
   

From the cover:  Sassy freelance journalist Courtney Frome is on assignment counting bathrooms for the property pages. For Courtney the world of expansive bay views and renovator's delights is just another job... until Lizzy Candy is discovered dead in her spa while Courtney is inspecting the Candy mansion. Lizzie's faithless husband is a big player in real estate. But is he the obvious answer to the obvious question? Then a second body is discovered at another prestige address...

I liked Courtney Frome from the get go (this is the second book in the series) – not only is she sassy and a freelance writer; she has meaningful two-way conversations with her cat Vanessa; adores her Grandma despite her interfering ways; and isn’t stupidly in love with crime reporter P.P.  It’s also set in Melbourne, which is a bonus when you’re a local – you just can’t help ‘landmark spotting’, identifying buildings, the Westgate bridge, Fitzroy streets, parks and schools etc.  I also think I like her so much because of the way Caroline Lee brings her to life.  She has the perfect voice that matches the persona in my head!
This was a fun, easy-breezy read, though the amount of bodies piling up towards the too-sudden ending was a tad over-the-top.

Another reviewer wrote:  “Australian sleuth girl, ditzy but streetwise, with men running round her like sniffer dogs and an array of histrionic and sleekly observed characters camping it up on the sidelines, (it’s) just itching for that film or TV destination. All this in prose that oozes like an apple in autumn and with a talking cat."
Deb


27.2.14

Angel Baby

Angel Baby by Richard Lange, is the story of a woman who goes on the run. To escape her awful life, Luz plans carefully. She quits drugs and pretends all is normal. All she takes are the clothes on her back, a gun, and the money from her husband’s safe. Her plan is to find her daughter she left behind years earlier on the other side of the US-Mexico border. What she doesn’t count on are two dead corpses left in the hallway before she has even stepped outside. 

Her husband, El Principe, is a key player in a powerful Mexican drug cartel and a violent and dominating man. What follows are thrilling chases, and unpredictable twists and turns. The author, Richard Lange, is a finalist for the 2014 Hammett Prize for Angel Baby. The Hammett Prize is awarded annually by the International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch. Richard Lange is a strong contender with this powerful story of ruthlessness, revenge and redemption.
Narelle

24.2.14

Hush little baby

Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

From the cover: DON'T SAY A WORD. Not if you want to live or you want your children to live.
In a game of ultimate stakes, Jillian Kane struggles to save herself and her two children from her extremely cunning abusive husband.

Gordon Kane, Jillian's husband, is a good guy – at least that's what everyone thinks. Handsome, a recognized hero, an involved father, a respected coach. No one would suspect that beneath the flawless veneer lurks a man capable of unspeakable cruelty. Jillian, on the other hand, has her faults. She works too much, lacks maternal instinct, misses teacher conferences, and doesn't bring cupcakes to the school fair.

Perception is everything in the high stakes game of child custody and Gordon has the upper hand. And when all hope is lost of keeping her kids, Jillian is left with the question of how far she'll go to save them.

A chilling story of abuse and marital warfare, Hush Little Baby is a cautionary tale about how easily a reputation can be destroyed, a mother's children can be taken from her, and the terrifying choices she's left with to get them back.

This novel popped up on a reading blog that I follow, and it's rating on Goodreads is 4.09/5 which is very good, so I thought I would give it a go, in fact we didn't have it on our library system at all, so I put in a request and our Adult Collections Librarian ordered it in!!

This book was a page-turner, and what this woman went through was hard to imagine, and it makes you wonder how many women out there are in a similar position. Jillian is left with only the clothes on her back when she finally flees with her two children to escape her emotionally and physically abusive husband, but where do you run to, when he is a police officer who has all the connections available to him to track her down?


It seems that I have read a lot of books by new authors over the last year, and Suzanne Redfearn is another one. Sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone when you read can open up a whole new world for you. So long as the subject matter doesn't bother you, it's a good read.

~ Janine

20.2.14

The Bed I Made

The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse
From the cover: One night in a bar in Soho, Kate meets the powerful, sensual Richard.  Going home with him that night is reckless and exhilarating, their connection electric.  Now, 18 months later, Kate is fleeing London for an old coastguard’s cottage on the Isle of Wight, determined to forget Richard forever.  In winter, however, the island is locked down, wary of outsiders and there is little to distract her from her memories.  Within days, Alice, a local, goes missing from her boat and there are whispers of suicide.  Kate is quickly drawn into Alice’s world, but all the time Richard – powerful, unstable Richard – looms larger and larger over her own.
Even from the brief publisher blurb above, you can pretty much foretell how this story will play out, however the setting stops it from being too predictable.  Whitehouse writes some wonderful descriptive passages that lure you into the Island setting and it’s this evocative atmosphere that helps to deepen the sense of foreboding.  I enjoyed the book as it was a little different to others in this genre.

Deb.

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