Post Script: The Bit In Between – Claire Varley

Cover The Bit In Between

The Bit In Between

Claire Varley

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781743535608

RRP $29.99

  

Description:

There are seven billion people in the world. This is the story of two of them.

After an unfortunate incident in an airport lounge involving an immovable customs officer, a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes and the capricious hand of fate, Oliver meets Alison. In spite of this less than romantic start, Oliver falls in love with her. Immediately. Inexplicably. Irrevocably. With no other place to be, Alison follows Oliver to the Solomon Islands where he is planning to write his much-anticipated second novel. But as Oliver’s story begins to take shape, odd things start to happen and he senses there may be more hinging on his novel than the burden of expectation. As he gets deeper into the manuscript and Alison moves further away from him, Oliver finds himself clinging to a narrative that may not end with ‘happily ever after’.

 

My View:

A contemporary love story that explores all the relationships in the narrative rather than focusing on just those of the protagonists – Alison and Oliver; everyone that comes within their orbit has a unique story, even the minor characters – the taxi driver, the house cleaner, an aunt, members of the band, the passer-by…I loved these little vignettes of life, where we are privy to the personal events that have shaped people rather than just seeing the faces/the facade usually presented to the world.

 

In a particular I enjoyed reading about the development of the relationship between Alison and Sera and her extended family – seeing how the extended family/community helps to raise the children, “… babies are part of the cycle of nature…the community raises the baby. I (Sera) am not doing it on my own. It is not just my love that will raise these babies.” (p219) This is just one example of the very poignant and astute story telling that forms part of this complex narrative which is punctuated with such observations and hilarious anecdotes.

 

More than a story of romance and love this is a story of real relationships and personal growth, perhaps this could even be recognised as a contemporary “coming of age” story. Claire Varley writes with passion and exuberance.

Post Script: Close Your Eyes – Michael Robotham

An enthralling read. Loved every word.

Cover Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes

Michael Robotham

Sphere

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780751563351

 

Description:

I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing

Someone is coming

They’re going to find me

 

A mother and her teenage daughter are found brutally murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself the ‘Mindhunter’, trading on Joe’s name, has jeopardised the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger. With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders to a series of brutal attacks where the men and women are choked unconscious and the letter ‘A’ is carved into their foreheads. As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe’s fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .

 

My View:

An enthralling read. Loved every word. Plenty of action, plot twists, turns, great characterisations and complex plot. The back story is so sad. When you pick up any book written by Michael Robotham you know you will be getting a fabulous read. I read this in one night, now what do I do? It is a long time till the release of the next book… :)  Write faster Michael.

Post Scritp: Pretty Baby – Mary Kubica

What a remarkable read! Intense and thought provoking.

Cover Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby

Mary Kubica

Harlequin (Australia), TEEN / MIRA

MIRA

ISBN: 9781743690352

 

Description:

Mary Kubica — bestselling author of The Good Girl — delivers a stunning new psychological thriller about a chance encounter that sparks an unrelenting web of lies where a chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies…

 

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a non-profit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi comes home one day with a teenage girl named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Dishevelled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal — or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated?

 

 

My View:

Mary Kubica is an author to include on you must read list. I loved her first novel – The Good Girl, and this new book is as powerful and surprising; a complex yet not complicated narrative, characters that will affect your emotions and prompt you to think about issues that surround us daily, issues perhaps we have been desensitised to. Kubica makes us look with fresh eyes. Mary Kubica has the real talent of being able to wrap up contemporary issues in complex engaging plots whilst insidiously pricking your conscience and holding your emotions to siege. This is an outstanding, absorbing read.

 

For me there were many levels to this narrative – there is the obvious – a story of child abuse, homelessness loosely knotted together with issues surrounding other health and welfare issues yet for me the strongest and most powerful sub story here was one about the defining of female identity with reproduction and family. This narrative is the perfect vehicle to stimulate such a discussion – and Heidi Wood is the perfect character to lead this discussion. A masterfully written!

 

Friday Freebie

Friday the 31st of July 2015 Giveaway

Cover The Hush Treasure Book

Thanks to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin and the Hush Foundation I have one copy of The Hush Treasure Book, to give away to one lucky Australian resident.

I was very impressed with the  high quality production values of this book which shine a light on the beautiful  prose and the art work within.

For your chance to win copy, in the comments section of this blog post, please tell me what is the “bonus ” you receive with this book.

This will be a random draw, entries close midnight Monday 3rd of August 2015.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday 4th August. Good luck.

Post Script: Evil Games – Angela Marsons

My apologies Angela Marsons…

Cover Evil Games

Evil Games – a D.I. Kim Stone Novel

Angela Marsons

Bookouture

ISBN: 9781909490956

 

Description:

The greater the evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim soon finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal.

 

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham will be gripped by this exceptional new voice in British crime fiction.

 

My View:

Before I say anything else I must apologise to Angela Marsons – I downloaded this ebook months ago…and then it sat on my e-reader – sad, isolated, lonely and forgotten – until last night. I wish I knew then what I know now – what a great read!!! Unfortunately I had no awareness of this author and did not even realise this was the second book in the series (which didn’t matter at all – it can easily be read as a standalone). And so I let it sit, forgotten.  What a mistake!  Now I want to read the first book, Silent Scream, as soon as possible.

This book – gripping, intense, empathetic characters, heinous crimes with a glimmer of optimism woven into the narrative and enough threads left dangling to ensure you look out for the next in the series. And as a bonus the female protagonist is strong, intelligent and intuitive and a dog lover- what more could you want? The next book perhaps?

 

 

A Quiet Day

After the fog lifted (it was swirling around, leaving its damp trail until after 10.30am this morning) we were left with an almost spring like feel in the air.  Although a little cloudy it was actually relatively warm outside. I took the two dogs for a walk then, when home again, had a wander around the backyard.

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A prefect day for a swing .

And to admire nature at its blooming best (Protea + bees) . Pun intended. :)

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Post Script: The Hush Treasure Book – Hush Foundation

…I am the drifting boat, you are the quiet deep, buoy me….

Cover The Hush Treasure Book

The Hush Treasure Book

Hush Foundation

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760112790

RRP $29.99

Description:

This absorbing collection of stories, poems and artwork by a stellar cast of children’s book creators has been specially commissioned by the Hush Foundation. Includes bonus CD featuring a special compilation of Hush music compositions.

Welcome to the world of HUSH … a world of magic, wonder and mystery. Created for the Hush Music Foundation, famous for its original music albums used in hospitals all around the world, this book is a treasure trove that will delight and entertain the whole family. A glorious collection of stories, poems and pictures from thirty favourite storytellers: Nick Bland, Karen Briggs, Kevin Burgemeestre, Michael Camilleri, Jackie French, Jane Godwin, Bob Graham, Jacqui Grantford, Mark Greenwood, Ann James, Danny Katz, Frane Lessac, Alison Lester, Chris McKimmie, Doug McLeod, Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King, Tohby Riddle, Victoria Rohan, Judith Rossell, Paul Seden, Craig Smith, Shaun Tan, Jane Tanner, Karen Tayleur, Mitch Vane, Julie Vivas, Anna Walker, Bruce Whatley, Margaret Wild

 

My View:

What a delightful collection of short stories, poems, rhymes and beautiful illustrations. This is a fantastic book to share with the young children in your life (or for you to take a moment, sit, be and enjoy; relax and let your imagination roam free). This hardback edition is beautifully presented – colourful imaginative illustrations, enchanting prose and this edition includes a bonus CD featuring a special compilation of Hush music compositions – which I am listening to as I write this review – it is very very relaxing.

 

I think a colouring- in book (for adult and children to share) based on this collection should be the next thing on the list :)

 

This is an extract from ‘I am the Small Green Pea’ by Stephen Michael King and Glenda Millard from The Hush Treasure Book, published by Allen & Unwin, it is my favourite in this collection.

“I am the small green pea
you are the tender pod
hold me

I am the diving kite
you are the bow-tied tail
steady me

I am the drifting boat
you are the quiet deep
buoy me….”