Review: The Wattle Island Book Club

The Wattle Island Book Club
Sandie Docker
Penguin Random House

My View:

Outstanding!!!

Add this author to your must read list. Do it.

Written with finesse, with gentle words, with kindness, gratitude and positivity, this book brought a few tears to my eye – and that was a good thing.

From the outset I knew this was going to be a read that would take me to uncomfortable places, I was expecting some of the scenarios presented here – but not all of them. Although tinged with sadness, a bitter sweet ending, I am so pleased the author wasn’t tempted to make this a (unrealistic) happy ever after.

It was indeed sad. It was indeed thought provoking. I did shed a (few) tears. But it was a stronger read for the realistic, poignant, ending. Bravo!!

Synopsis:

Time for a Little Holiday

We are so lucky in Western Australia, our relative isolation to the rest of the country (and good management skills by State Government) has meant the harshness of Covid19 has been softened and travel within our state is relatively free and easy. I am grateful.

And we are taking a little break to recharge after a busy few months.

Guest Review: At The End of the Day – Liz Byrski

At the End of the Day

Liz Byrski

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760987893

Pam’s View:

I’ve been a fan of Liz Byrski’s work for many years and her 11th fiction book At The End Of The Day doesn’t disappoint. Her ability to create believable and relatable characters shines through once again.

The main characters are of an age rarely highlighted in fiction, if seen at all this older age group is generally in a minor role, offering sage advice or in place as a warning about the ravages of time. Liz Byrski puts them centre stage with their imperfections, realistic concerns and ever present worry of irrelevance.

This character driven, insightful story deals with the nuances of ageing, the gradual physical changes and the mental challenges of self-worth, loneliness and decision-making that accompanies the years.

The wonderful main characters are balanced by a supporting cast of different ages dealing with realistic challenges of their own that are topical and thought provoking.

I found this book thoroughly enjoyable and relatable, and I felt connected in a way that rarely happens through fiction. These people could have been my neighbours.

New Releases 15 Sept 2021

I am busily engaged in Margaret River Open Studios as some of you will be aware, the TBR continues to grow so I thought I would do a quick shout out to the new releases that are sitting on the top of my TBR. I have started the new book from Sandie Docker “The Wattle Island Book Club” (Penguin Random House)- and am loving it.

” A Journalist Infiltrate the Police: Cop” by Valentin Gendrot (Scribe) looks intriguing,

“The Banksia House Breakout” (Ventura Press) from debut author James Roxburgh sounds like a fun and enlightening.

“Brainwaves” from Ziggy Alberts (Commonfolk Publishing) – poetry and prose that you can carry in your bag or pop in your pocket and read when you have a few minutes – inspirational prose.

brainwaves
is a polite request
an invitation into
a vulnerable relationship
between the writer
and the reader
it is an ode
to word of mouth
to paper pages
to hard copies
handed to strangers
shared with lovers
kept with family
to taking chances on books
without knowing
the entirety of its contents first
to do and practice just that
of which we do so little of today
with books and relationships alike.
brainwaves
was not made for the internet
it was made for you

I hope you find something on my TBR that might interest you.

New Release: The Heron’s Cry – Ann Cleeves

The Heron’s Cry (Two Rivers #2)

Ann Cleeves

Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509889679

RRP $32.99

Description:

Ann Cleeves—New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—returns with the extraordinary follow-up to The Long Call, in the Two Rivers series, soon to be a major TV series too.

North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder – Dr. Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases.

Dr. Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found – killed in a similar way. Matthew soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.

My View:

Sit back and take an armchair vacation to the seaside towns of Ann Cleeves latest book in the Two River series.  This is another solid read from the critically acclaimed Ann Cleeves and I can visualise this as a TV series – this read is made for tv (in my opinion); with characters you can almost reach out and touch, settings that will take you away from your own loungeroom on a journey to the English countryside/seaside towns that Cleeves writes so well.  If I had to sum up this book in two words I would say “Midsomer Murders”; it has characters whose journey you will be keen to follow, towns, settings you will come to know and satisfying resolutions. This is a series you will be keen to follow.

Sneak Peek – Joes Family Food – Joe Wicks

Joe’s Family Food

Joe Wicks

Pan Macmillan

Bluebird

Pre order here

Joe’s Family Food will be available at the end of the month (pre order now) I will be sharing 3 recipes:

Broccoli Carbonara

Indian Spiced Chickpea Burgers and

Chocolate, Pear and Oat Breakfast Tray

Stay Tuned!

Review: In Moonland – Miles Allinson

In Moonland

Miles Allinson

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925322927

Description:

‘A parent’s love for a child, you probably know this yourself, it’s pretty bottomless. It goes down into the guts of the world. But a child’s love for a parent is different. It goes up. It’s more ethereal. It’s not quite present on the earth.’

In present-day Melbourne, a man attempts to piece together the mystery of his father’s apparent suicide, as his young family slowly implodes. At the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in 1976, a man searching for salvation must confront his capacity for violence and darkness. And in a not-too-distant future, a woman with a life-altering decision to make travels through a climate-ravaged landscape to visit her estranged father.

In Moonland is a portrait of three generations, each grappling with their own mortality. Spanning the wild idealism of the 70s through to the fragile hope of the future, it is a novel about the struggle for transcendence and the reverberating effects of family bonds. This long-awaited second outing from Miles Allinson, the multi-award-winning author of Fever of Animals, will affirm his reputation as one of Australia’s most interesting contemporary fiction writers, and urge us to see our own political and environmental reality in a new light.

My View:

A book that is literally in four parts.

And perhaps that makes reviewing this the hardest thing; the parts. I found the first section mildly intriguing, yes there is sadness, a mystery, a family experiencing relationship issues. I liked the writing in the first person – it felt a little like reading the protagonists diary – I enjoyed this style and the quirky characters encountered.

For me part two was the most interesting. The trip to India (fathers), the life in the cult, the “fly on the wall” experiences the author shares with you and that mystery, the shocking revelation … and others of family violence, abuse…. which leads us to part 3 – more of the discoveries of events in India told by bystanders or others involved. Memory is an interesting thing.” We’d made up our minds a long time ago, hadn’t we?  That was the agreement. You were my brother and that’s what you wanted. So I knew the script pretty well. I half believed it anyway, after all those years. I said my lines. I wasn’t bad…” p 198.

For me the first three sections were enough to convey the story, to expose some incredible secrets and to discuss generational violence, sins and secrets. The “hippy era” was very interesting. The reflections on those times illuminating. Section four didn’t really add much for me – either it could have been longer or not there at all…

All in all an interesting read with lots of surprises, a trip or two down a distant memory lane, a reflection of the 70’s  in Australia and India, a look at culture, religion, cults and families and all that dirty linen.