More moving beautiful words on paper
“Epicurus tells us that there’s no reason to fear death, because we don’t get to meet it. While we exist there is no death. And when death comes, we’re not there anymore.” p122.
We All Looked Up
Simon and Schuster (Australia)
They always say that high school is the best time of your life . . .
Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried ‘they’ might actually be right. Eliza wholeheartedly disagrees; she can’t wait to graduate and get far away from Seattle, if only to escape her reputation. Anita has done everything perfectly in high school, and she has the grades to prove it. But then, she can’t help wondering what is it all worth since she’s never done what she truly loves. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career – the future can wait.
But what if the future was hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth?
As these four seniors – along with the rest of the planet – wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.
What would you do if you were alerted to the fact that the world may not exist in a few weeks’ time? This YA book uses the distinct possibility of the world ending as a device to open up the discussion on so many contemporary youth issues – they are thinly disguised as circumstances in individuals’ lives or as part of the narrative that I felt a little like I was being preached to. I think I am a little too experienced and worldly for this particular book. I didn’t like the main characters, so shallow and selfish and with no redeeming features to speak of. I thought the plot was too busy – a bit like Lord of The Flies – on drugs and with a meteor about to obliterate the world.
I did so want to like this book but it didn’t work for me. I love the cover art, and some of the writing and philosophical quotes/arguments presented are very intelligent but I could not suspend my belief and roll with the flow on this one.
This weekend we spent preparing olives for pickling; that entailed – picking from the tree, then cutting a cross on the ends (both ends) of the individual olives, then placing them in a brine bath which allows some of the bitter acids in the olive to leach away. The olives are left for twenty four hours then they are rinsed and then the brine is replaced, this process is repeated for 2-4 weeks depending on the olive, a taste test is required. Then the olives have a final rinse and are placed in jars and filled with picking solution and left for a few months to develop their flavours and then enjoyed 🙂 This year despite the trees taking a heavy loss of fruit to the parrots we had plenty of olives to meet our needs.
I will soon be reading and reviewing Hummer Boy B by Ruth Dugdall – this is the third novel by this author that I will have read – I am a keen follower of her work, she writes powerful, insightful crime fiction narratives informed by her work as a probation officer in prisons for serious offenders. This is guaranteed to be a thought provoking read. I cant wait to start it. The book is due for release in April 2015 by Legend Press – pre order now.
A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B’s reintegration into society. But the general public’s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate’s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play?
No Name Lane
The hunt for a serial killer unearths an unsolved cold case from over sixty years ago.
Young girls are being abducted and murdered in the North-East. Out of favour Detective Constable Ian Bradshaw struggles to find any leads – and fears that the only thing this investigation will unravel is himself.
Journalist Tom Carney is suspended by his London tabloid and returns to his home village in County Durham. Helen Norton is the reporter who replaced Tom on the local newspaper. Together, they are drawn into a case that will change their lives forever.
When a body is found, it’s not the latest victim but a decades-old corpse. Secrets buried for years are waiting to be found, while in the present-day an unstoppable killer continues to evade justice…
A very engaging and compelling story of murders -past and present, secrets and the huge burden that guilt imposes on our lives and mental health. I liked that this book was more than just a murder mystery; there were interesting characters and relationships – work and personal, that we might all be able to relate to. Ethical behaviour was also spotlighted. There was also plenty of local history and commentary on the social mores of the time of the older murder and a glimpse of how the past can and does effect the present.
This narrative presents a few interesting scenarios – the main investigators in this instance are the journalists, more so than the police. They have the energy, they are not bound/restricted by the same protocols as the police and they have a connection with the community which gives them opportunity to discover more about those concerned with the crimes – past and present. I liked the factor of redemption that played a vital role in this narrative.
And the twist at the end in unique and surprising- I did not see this coming!
Unlucky-in-love zoologist Zoe King has given up on men. Moving from Sydney to take up an exciting new role in marine science in the small sugar town of Kiawa is a welcome fresh start. Zoe is immediately charmed by the region’s beauty – by its rivers and rainforests, and by its vast cane fields, sweeping from the foothills down to the rocky coral coast. And also by its people – its farmers and fishermen, unhurried and down to earth, proud of their traditions.
Her work at the Reef Centre provides all the passion she needs and Zoe finds a friend in Bridget, the centre’s director. The last thing she wants is to fall for her boss’s boyfriend, cane king Quinn Cooper, so she refuses to acknowledge the attraction between them – even to herself. But things aren’t quite adding up at the Reef Centre and when animals on the reef begin to sicken and die, Zoe’s personal and professional worlds collide. She faces a terrible choice. Will protecting the reef mean betraying the man she loves?
Jennifer Scoullar has a gift; she is able to weave the most extraordinarily beautiful, inspiring stories about Australia’s natural environment, ecology, wild life and conservation into a modern romance. How unique! Ms Scoullar writes with verve and such radiant colours I could almost see myself underwater exploring the Great Barrier Reef, her images are so vivid and engaging:
“Black fins cut the surface and a vast shadow passed underneath them…Manta Rays, five in all caught in a courtship train of magnificent grace…The larger female leading the dance was five metres across, wingtip to wingtip…The eager suitors mirrored the female’s every move, performing a series of backward rolls, looking for all the world as if they had been choreographed…they reappeared like magic, slicing back into the water many metres from where they had left it, flapping wings like giant birds as they flew away….”
Manta Rays, turtles, dolphins, the colourful fish of the Barrier Reef, even the humble octopus all burst into life on these pages. All descriptions poignant, magnificent, captivating. And by a wonderful coincidence when we went on a walk today along the banks of the Blackwood River (Augusta Western Australia) we came across a playful pod of about five dolphins, close to shore, who delighted us with a display of graceful flips and dives as they powered through the water. What beautiful wild mammals! What a special book.
I should amend that to Man and his second best friend 🙂
A glorious day at Augusta, the sun is shining, the wind has dropped, the water is clear. Perfect.
The Port Fairy Murders
The Port Fairy Murders is the sequel to The Holiday Murders, a political and historical crime novel set in 1943 featuring the newly formed Homicide department of Victoria Police.
The department has been struggling to counter little known fascist groups, particularly an organisation called Australia First that has been festering in Australia since before the war. And now there’s an extra problem: the bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants, which is especially raw in small rural communities.
The homicide team, which once again includes Detective Joe Sable and Constable Helen Lord, is trying to track down a dangerous man named George Starling. At the same time they are called to investigate a double murder in the fishing village of Port fairy. It seems straightforward – they have a signed confession – but it soon becomes apparent that nothing about the incident is as it seems.
Written with great verve and insight, The Port Fairy Murders is a superb psychological study, as well as a riveting historical whodunit.
An Open Letter to Robert Gott
Dear Mt Gott (or may I call you Robert?)
I am writing to complain about your latest book, The Port Fairy Murders. I recently (last night) read this novel and was engaged, enchanted, invested and so involved in this narrative that when I read to the end of page 282 and then there was no more I was bereft! Surely there must be more? What will happen to Joe Stable next? Does poor Tom recover? What about Helen? She will be devastated by that phone call. And then there are the relationships stalled and unfulfilled. And did I mention the villains? There are villains to be caught and murders to be solved.
If you need inspiration I can send you many pictures of coastal towns in South Australia (courtesy of our recent holiday) that will send your fingers flying across the keyboard. Do you need help with research – I have some spare time, I can do. Come on Robert, where is the next episode?
Your loyal fan