Post Script: Turtle Reef – Jennifer Scoullar

Turtle Reef -   Jennifer Scoullar:  Penguin.

Turtle Reef –
Jennifer Scoullar: Penguin.

 

Turtle Reef

Jennifer Scoullar

Penguin

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143799719

 

Description:

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?

 

My View:

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.

IMG_2911

 

Post Script: The Port Fairy Murders – Robert Gott

Outstanding!

The Port Fairy Murders

The Port Fairy Murders

Robert Gott

Scribe

ISBN: 9781925106459

 

Description:

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.

 

My View:

Outstanding!

 

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

 

Carol

 

A Quick Dip and A Rock Climb

Bob the Dog is enjoying his holiday in Augusta. There are two caravan parks in the town run by the local shire, one is close to the river, the other (Flinders Bay Caravan Park) is a little further out of town, close to the beach and is dog friendly. Bob the Dog loves this town, the walks along the river and on the beach. Today he enjoyed a quick dip in the ocean and then a scramble up some rocks where he enjoyed the magnificent view 🙂

 

IMG_2862

 

 

Post Script: The Faithful Couple – A. D. Miller

The Faithful Couple

The Faithful Couple

A.D. Miller

Little brown

Hachette

ISBN: 9781408705919

 

Description:

California, 1993: Neil Collins and Adam Tayler, two young British men on the cusp of adulthood, meet at a hostel in San Diego. They strike up a friendship that, while platonic, feels as intoxicating as a romance; they travel up the coast together, harmlessly competitive, innocently collusive, wrapped up in each other. On a camping trip to Yosemite they lead each other to behave in ways that, years later, they will desperately regret.

 

The story of a friendship built on a shared guilt and a secret betrayal, THE FAITHFUL COUPLE follows Neil and Adam across two decades, through girlfriends and wives, success and failure, children and bereavements, as power and remorse ebb between them. Their bifurcating fates offer an oblique portrait of London in the boom-to-bust era of the nineties and noughties, with its instant fortunes and thwarted idealism. California binds them together, until – when the full truth of what happened emerges, bringing recriminations and revenge – it threatens to drive them apart.

 

My View:

It is not often that I do not form a strong opinion or sense of a book but this one has me stumped. I struggled to immerse myself in the narrative and often (particular in the first half of the book) had trouble differentiating between the two protagonist and found myself constantly flicking back to see whom it was that I was currently reading about. And it took me a few days to read – which is an indication of my lack of connection to this narrative.

 

I think this book poses some interesting questions about class, friendship and morality. In particular I think the symbiotic friendship between the two protagonists works very well and is very credible however the episode with Rose didn’t quite achieve the momentum I think the author was aiming for. I can see how the relationship worked here, the goading, the alpha male competitiveness …but why the one in the know didn’t speak up and prevent the incident I did not understand and why they weren’t able to talk about this after didn’t quite work for me, maybe I missed something?

 

I did want to like this one more than I did.

 

 

 

Post Script- Still Alice -Lisa Genova

 

Powerful and intense.

Still Alice

Still Alice

Lisa Genova

Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0 9781471149061

 

Description:

A moving and insightful story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, now a major film starring Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life – and her relationship with her family and the world around her – for ever.

Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice

See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com.au/Still-Alice/Lisa-Genova/9781471149061#video-30354345001

 

My View:

This book is very difficult to review – not because of any of the literary elements you usually base your judgment or review on but because of how this book connects with you in such an intense and emotional level that merely thinking about the book again is enough to make you relive the feelings you had reading this book; and mostly those feeling are of sadness, of loss, of grief, of fear, tempered by a moving demonstration of love – a glorious example of how the love that exists between this mother and her children can make the unbearable a little more bearable. For this is a book about love and loss and relationships and Alzheimers – a disease that now needs no introduction, thanks to the way the literary world has embraced this subject matter and made the unthinkable a subject for open discussion and Still Alice has played an important part of that movement.

 

This book – is moving, written intelligently and written respectfully. The narrative is engaging, the characters are realistic and empathetic, and the settings are credible but it is the brilliant portrayal of emotions and experiences – fear, confusion, disorientation…that sense of loss as the disease progresses that is so powerful here. This book is a must read.