Post Script: Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowley

Cover Graffiti Moon Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon

Cath Crowley

Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd

ISBN: 9780330425780

 

Description:

Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist.

Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose.

Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn’t the best way to show it.

Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other.

An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.

A lyrical new YA novel from the award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Duskin and the Gracie Faltrain series.

 

 

My View:

Before I start my review I would just like to mention that this book has won or been nominated for a massive number of awards, I am just one of many singing praises for the beautifully written book:

Literary Awards:

New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature (2011), Children’s Book Council of Australia Award Nominee for Older Readers Book of the Year (2011), Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Young Adult Fiction (2011), Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Nominee for Prize for Writing for Young Adults (2011), The Inky Awards Nominee for Gold Inky (2011)  The Inky Awards Shortlist for Gold Inky (2011).

 

This book is a beautiful coming of age story that is the perfect pick me up for any waning spirits – full of lovable characters, complex yet not complicated issues, full of big ideas ( the images/art work descriptions here are poetic and beautiful and sad all at the same time), some great descriptive prose, colours, colour and more colour. I loved it. No need to say any more 🙂

 

 

 

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Post Script: Please Don’t Leave Me Here – Tania Chandler

Please Dont Leave Me Here Tania Chandler Cover

Please Don’t Leave Me Here

Tania Chandler

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925106770

 

Description:

A riveting psychological thriller.

 

Kurt Cobain stands at the top of the stairs, wearing the brown sweater. ‘Please don’t leave me,’ she yells up at him. But it’s too late; he’s turning away as the tram slows for the stop out on the street.

 

Then she’s lying on the road. Car tyres are going past, slowly. Somebody is screaming. A siren howls.

 

Sweet voices of little children are singing ‘Morningtown Ride’.

 

Is Brigitte a loving wife and mother, or a cold-blooded killer?

 

Nobody knows why she was in the east of the city so early on the morning she was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. It was the Friday before Christmas 1994 — the same day police discovered the body of a man beaten to death in her apartment.

 

Fourteen years later, Brigitte is married to the detective who investigated the murder, which she claims to have lost her memory of in the car accident. They have young twins, and seem to be a happy family. Until the reopening of the cold case.

 

Please Don’t Leave Me Here is about loss, love and lies. It is about pain, fear, and memory. And, above all, it is about letting go.

 

 

My View:

This has to be the scariest book cover I have come across in quite some time…that smoke blurred image that distorts the facial features of this photo, for some reason I find this very spooky- thankfully the book is not scary , it is …intriguing and very sad.

 

This is a narrative of many mysteries, survival, and memory and how low self-esteem can really shape a person’s life choices and boy has Brigitte mad some very poor choices… as we reach the conclusion of this book we catch a glimmer of hope that Brigitte is perhaps about to make a good decision – the past being acknowledged as the past and maybe accepting/owning her own feelings and a truth revealed.

 

Tania Chandler takes an addictive personality, low self-esteem, poor parenting and loss of memory and creates a very credible personality that is Brigitte. At each turn of the page you can understand why poor decision are made and empathise with the protagonist who is exploited and manipulated by even those who care for her. This is a grim, realistic story that ends with just a trace of optimism – or is that me looking for a positive outcome? Who knows…?

 

Tania Chandler has mastered the art of writing the unreliable narrator in this book.

 

 

 

 

Post Script – Song of the Sea Maid – Rebecca Mascull

Song of the Sea Maid Rebecca Mascull cover

Song of the Sea Maid

Rebecca Mascull

Hachette Australia

Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 9781473604360

 

Description:

In the 18th century, Dawnay Price is an anomaly. An educated foundling, a woman of science in a time when such things are unheard-of, she overcomes her origins to become a natural philosopher. Against the conventions of the day, and to the alarm of her male contemporaries, she sets sail to Portugal to develop her theories. There she makes some startling discoveries – not only in an ancient cave whose secrets hint at a previously undiscovered civilisation, but also in her own heart. The siren call of science is powerful, but as war approaches she finds herself pulled in another direction by feelings she cannot control.

 

 

My View:

“I dream of running away…it is the idea of escape that is alluring, yet also the thought of living as a boy, as a man, appeals keenly. To escape the strictures of feminie dress and limitations – the narrow and small lives women live in our age – to escape that and be a swaggering man free to follow his own destiny that is something to covet.” Dawnay Price 1740 (pps59-60)

 

“To escape the feminie limitations – the narrow and small lives women live in our age – to escape that and be a swaggering man free to follow his own destiny…” Carol Seeley 1960’s. I had the same thoughts as a child Dawnay .

 

 

I started this book with no expectations – sorry Rebecca Mascull I hadn’t heard of you or your earlier book The Visitors (though want to read this one now). I found this novel  to be beautifully written, engaging … an adventure story, a creation story and a feminists story….delightful. This book makes my heart sing. Read it, you won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Soup With Warm Spices – Apple Blossom Pie Memories of An Australian Country Kitchen – Kate McGhie

This is a very delicately flavoured soup –  which is easy to make, combines spices I wouldn’t have dreamed of using in this soup and the outcome is a restaurant quality starter or lunch made at home!  (I used home grown pumpkins, sage from the garden to decorate and home made chicken stock).

 

Pumpkin Soup with Warm Spices

Pumpkin Soup with Warm Spices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple and Sage Jelly – Apple Blossom Pie Memories Of My Australian Country Kitchen – Kate McGhie

 Apple Blossom Pie cover

“Apple and Sage Jelly

If you have pots of aromatic savoury jelly on hand you will never be without a fresh and lively accompaniment for roast meat, cold ham, something to stir through vegetables or to serve with cheese or use as a glaze before roasting or grilling.

 

Start to finish : 45 minutes + overnight makes : about 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz)

 

Apple and Sage Jelly

Apple and Sage Jelly Recipes and Images from Apple Blossom Pie by Kate McGhie (Murdoch Books).

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) granny smith apples

3/4 cup loosely packed (15 g/1/2 oz) young sage leaves

1/2 cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) lemon juice

3 cups (750 ml/26 fl oz) water

1 cup (220 g/73/4 oz) white granulated sugar

extra 1/4 cup firmly packed (10 g/1/4 oz) shredded young sage leaves

 

 

Chop the apple including the peel and core and put into a sturdy wide-based pan with the whole sage leaves, lemon juice and water. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the apples are pulpy. Squash the apples with a potato masher or wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Rinse a double layer of muslin (cheesecloth) in hot water and suspend over a bowl. Pour the apples and liquid into the muslin and let the liquid drain overnight. Do not press the solids or the juices will be cloudy; simply let the juices drip.

 

Next day measure the reserved apple liquid (discard the pulp) and for each 1 cup (250 ml/9 fl oz) of liquid measure out 1 cup (220 g/73/4 oz) of sugar. Put both into the pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil rapidly, stirring often, for 20 minutes and then start testing for the setting point. Remove any froth with a spoon. When you are satisfied with the set, add the shredded sage and stir gently into the jelly without making too many bubbles. Pour immediately down the sides of clean warm jars (to prevent bubbles) and seal. Turn the jars upside down for 2 minutes, then invert and leave to cool. Label and date the jars. Keep the jars in a cool dark place for 6–12 months and refrigerate after opening.

 

and a bit more :

Other fresh herbs such as small tender rosemary, mint, parsley, basil, savory, tarragon or thyme can be used.

Jellies not setting Don’t panic if your jelly doesn’t set after 24 hours. Tip it back into a pan, melt it down and cook until it passes the setting test. Often 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, dry sherry, whisky or brandy added before the jam is re-boiled, helps. Sweet jellies can be melted and served as a dessert sauce, perhaps thinned slightly with a little liqueur and savoury jellies can be brushed over grilled lamb or fish or stirred through hot vegetable dishes.”

 

 

Chicken And Feta Sausage Rolls – David Herbert’s Best Home Cooking – David Herbert

Davdi Herbert's Best Home Cooking)

Recipe from David Herbert’s Best Home Cooking by David Herbert with photography by Brent Parker Jones, published by Lantern rrp$39.99

Chicken and feta sausage rolls

Makes 12

 

Chicken & Feta Sausage Rolls

Use ready-made puff pastry to make these. To thaw the pastry sheets, lay them flat on baking paper at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

 

2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed 1 free-range egg, beaten

tomato sauce, to serve (optional)

 

Filling

500 g minced chicken

1 small golden shallot, very finely chopped grated zest of ½ lemon

4 tablespoons chopped rocket

4 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes 100 g feta, crumbled

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Season well with salt and pepper.Cut each sheet of pastry in half. Form the filling into four sausages the length of the pastry, and place one slightly       off-centre on each strip

2. Brush one edge of the pastry strip with beaten egg and then fold the other over to enclose the filling.

3.  Press down to  seal with the back of a fork and brush with beaten egg.

Cut each roll into three smaller sausage  rolls,  and prick each with a fork. Place on a baking tray lined with

baking paper and chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to cook.

4. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan- forced).

5.Bake the sausage rolls for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with tomato sauce, if desired.

 

My Chicken & Feta Sausage Rolls

My Chicken & Feta Sausage Rolls

As you can see these turned out perfectly  –  they were delicious and could easily be made for a lazy supper or served with some salad for a quick and easy meal.  I will certainly be making these again.