Post Script: Terms and Conditions – Robert Glancy

Terms & Conditions, Robert Glancy


Terms & Conditions

Robert Glancy

Bloomsbury Publishing plc

ISBN: 9781408852217



Frank has been in a car accident*. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories – of those around him, of the history they share and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specialises in small print**.


In the wake of the accident Frank begins to piece together his former life – and his former self. But the picture that emerges, of his marriage, his family and the career he has devoted years to, is not necessarily a pretty one. Could it be that the terms and conditions by which Frank has been living are not entirely in his favour***?


In the process of unravelling the knots into which his life has been tied, he learns that the devil really does live in the detail and that it’s never too late to rewrite your own destiny.


*apparently quite a serious one


**words that no one ever reads


*** and perhaps never have been



My View:

Witty, clever, funny with a happy ending.**


I really enjoyed this quirky funny narrative – the writing was engaging, the settings and characters fully fledged and I really enjoyed the terms and conditions (self-talk) that featured on most pages. The protagonist, Frank, is bravely saying to the readers (and himself) what he cannot say out loud to whomever he happens to be conversing with. He is not brave, he is non-confrontational and he is starting to wise up to the manipulation he has been subjected to – and he doesn’t get angry (well only just a bit) he gets even; “The Terms and Conditions of Revenge: It’s best served cold (with a side serve of humiliation) (p.214) and this revenge is very well executed – it has me cheering in the background. I think there is a little bit of Frank in most people, and hopefully not too much of Oscar or Alice.


As I read this book I could see the action playing out in my head – like a stage play or maybe a tv series…



**Individual responses may vary.




Post Script : The Geography of Me and You – Jennifer E Smith

The Geography of You and Me

Jennifer E. Smith

Hachette Australia


ISBN: 9781472206299



A compelling, heartbreaking story of first love.

Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking…

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can’t shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can’t, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy – and pain – of first love.

And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.

The Geography of You and Me is a story for anyone who’s ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who’s searched for home and found it where they least expected it.

My View:

A delightful and smile provoking book! This reader suggests that this is best read on a cool evening, when you are snuggled up in your warm pjs, with the quilt tucked in around you and a hot beverage and a few chocolates by your side to sustain you whilst you settle in and enjoy this read. It is so lovely to read a warm, caring, gentle and heartfelt book before bed; you go to sleep with a smile on your face!

This novel is highly recommended not only for the YA reader but for all who enjoy a little romance and a happy ending now and then. This author knows how to put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart! An easy pleasant read to take on holidays, read on the bus, on the plane or like me in the caravan or read before going to sleep and you will make the end of your day glow with happiness; charming and heart-warming and who couldn’t do with a little extra love in their day? This book makes no apologies for the simple pleasure it will bring to you heart. It is what it is…cosy love story.


Post Script: Side Effects May Vary – Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary

Julie Murphy

Penguin Books Australia


ISBN: 9780143571711



Written from the perspectives of both Harvey and Alice, in Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy weaves a compelling story of friendship, relationships and love, with a little bit of death thrown in for good measure; at least for a while.

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend Harvey, who’s loved her forever, to help with compiling a crazy ‘just-dying-to-do’ bucket list, that’s as much about revenge as it is about redemption. But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done and discover just what happens when we say our ‘final’ words, only to find that life isn’t through with us yet.

Sharp, witty and poignant – this is a book written for all ages.


My View:

A warm and moving read about growing up, understanding what real love (not infatuation) is and facing a death sentence. This is a very readable story full of real characters and real emotions. A coming of age story with a difference – Alice thinks she has only a short while to live and therefore risks everything to boost the numbers on her score card; she becomes selfish, hard and cruel and when the death is  sentence is removed she is lost and drifts like flotsam in the real world.

This narrative is every parent’s worst nightmare – I am really pleased it had a happy and redemptive ending. This story told from the two teenager’s perspectives, it flows freely and realistically. The language and conversations are engaging without being self-conscious. A delight to read.

Post Script: Inside These Walls – Rebecca Coleman

This is a beautiful, poignant and haunting story.

Inside These Walls

Rebecca Coleman


Harlequin MIRA

ISBN: 9781459239074



There is only one day, and I live it over and over…

For Clara Mattingly, routine is the key to enduring the endless weeks, months and years of a life sentence in a women’s prison. The convicted murderer never looks back at who she once was—a shy young art student whose life took a sudden tragic turn. And she allows herself no hope for a better future. Survival is a day-to-day game. But when a surprise visitor shows up one day, Clara finds that in an instant everything has changed. Now she must account for the life she has led—its beauty as well as its brutality—and face the truth behind the terrible secret she has kept to herself all these years.

Critically acclaimed author Rebecca Coleman brings you the haunting story of a woman’s deepest passions, darkest regrets and her unforgettable and emotional journey toward redemption.

My View:

I loved every minute of this narrative; the writing is clear, clean, understated and elegant. The protagonist’s voice has a particular sense of calm and peace that I found mesmerising and very, very moving. The story itself is powerful and very sad and very relevant to the social issues and Royal Commissions that countries like Australia are trying to deal with today; this one story speaks so well for the victims of so many kinds of abuse and the voices of the characters in this book ring true and clear, they do not whine, or brashly shout out pleas for attention but quietly inform and allow the reader to peek into the lives of others less fortunate to witness the injustices themselves.

There are so many levels to this very quietly spoken, moving narrative. There were times when I held back a silent tear for the inhumane treatment served up to so many caught up in the penal system – the point of a custodial sentence is to detain not to dehumanise isn’t it?  All involved in this system are affected, not just those who are incarcerated. I think this point is made very clearly.

Clara’s story is moving. Clara’s story is engaging, insightful and so well written – and that is the best part – the writing is so restful despite the subject matter being discussed. I loved Clara’s peaceful, calm, serene voice. This is a great read. Don’t be put off by the gentleness of the words, this is a great story, this is a powerful story of redemption and hopes told by voice that does not preach to or admonish the audience.

Post Script: The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project

A Novel

Graeme Simsion

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781476729084



An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

My View:

A hilarious, light hearted feel good book (I also most said movie…I am sure that isn’t far away). I really enjoyed this read so much; it was refreshingly simple and honest to read, it was not pretentious or verbose, it didn’t take itself too seriously.  This story was interesting, it had very likable characters, it has a well crafted and deftly woven plot and it had an ending that all will applaud.

I really enjoyed this light hearted read. It entertained. What more can you want in a book? I am a satisfied reader J

Post Script: No Place Like Home – Caroline Overington

Quietly spoken… a powerful voice.

No Place Like Home

Caroline Overington


Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781742758015


From bestselling author and award-winning journalist Caroline Overington comes another thought-provoking and heart-rending story, that reaches from the heart of Bondi to a small village in Tanzania.

Shortly after 9.30 in the morning, a young man walks into Surf City, Bondi’s newest shopping complex. He’s wearing a dark grey hoodie – and a bomb around his neck.

Just a few minutes later he is locked in a shop on the upper floor. And trapped with him are four innocent bystanders.

For police chaplain Paul Doherty, called to the scene by Senior Sergeant Boehm, it’s a story that will end as tragically as it began. For this is clearly no ordinary siege. The boy, known as Ali Khan, seems as frightened as his hostages and has yet to utter a single word.

The seconds tick by for the five in the shop: Mitchell, the talented schoolboy; Mouse, the shop assistant; Kimmi, the nail-bar technician; and Roger Callaghan, the real estate agent whose reason for being in Bondi that day is far from innocent.

And of course there’s Ali Khan. Is he the embodiment of evil, as the villagers in his Tanzanian birthplace believe? Or just an innocent boy, betrayed at every turn, who just wants a place to call home?

My View:

A very seductive novel –Paul Doherty, the police chaplain, is the narrator, his voice is very calm, reassuring, gentle and non threatening or judgmental. The police chaplain is a great listener- this is how he describes himself ,and he lets the characters of this novel quietly have a conversation they think is just with him; personal, intimate, all revealing and he is a supportive listener; he actively listens and we the audience through reading this book become a silent party to this conversation. I love this device – it is simple and makes the narrative easy to follow and play out in your mind and you feel comfortable listening to uncomfortable things: of refugee camp horror tales, of detention centres crisis, of small minded mean hearted people living small mean lives, of infidelity, and greed and sometimes you hear the voices of hope and love.

Slowly and deliberately you are reeled into this story …then POW you are knocked off your feet with the twist and reveal; the death your expecting, the death that seemed an obvious outcome didn’t quite work out the way you were lead to believe it would happen and then there is the twist…so sad.

This is a gently written, powerful book that will affect your emotions and will leave you thinking about the bigger issues. 

Post Script: Burned – Persephone Nicholas



Persephone Nicholas

Random House

ISBN: 9780857981240

One tragic event connects four lives in this haunting story of loss, love and renewal. Burned is the winner of the National Seniors Literary Prize 2013.

Noah Daniels is an innocent young boy who treasures the telescope his father bought him and who daydreams of one day travelling through space …

His mother Kate nurses bittersweet memories of her marriage to Richard and deeply regrets moving the family from Sydney to England …

Malcolm Martin is still paralysed with grief twenty years after the death of his son. Home for him now is a park bench by the canal …

And then there’s Matthew Hooper – a classmate of Noah’s – who has come to suspect his older brother, Tom, has a dangerous obsession with fire…

Four people, from opposites sides of the world, are about to be brought together by one horrifying event that will burn them forever.

My View:

This novel provides an interesting and thought provoking discussion on a number of issues – including a major contemporary issue, bullying. Bullying and the effect this has on all those involved, be it that the one doing the bullying, the bullied, those in the immediate vicinity (family, friends, colleagues) and those on the periphery; communities as a whole including school teachers, police officers etc. It is a big issue with huge ramifications for all those scorched by this touch and this book admirably demonstrates the extent of the influence one person can make to the lives of so many.

This is a story that delves into many issues; death is paid particularly attention; death of a child, death of a parent, and death of a love affair, death of a relationship.  Death impacts on those in the immediate vicinity and those in the surrounding in many and varied ways. Some cope and move forward, for some lives are negatively impacted and forever changed.

But this is not an altogether negative book; it is a book of hope (for some but not all) and ultimately a book of new beginnings. I particularly enjoyed the sections of the book that dealt with Kate and her affinity with the ocean. They are some beautifully evocative descriptions of the ease she felt with and the restorative nature of the ocean.

Post Script: The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan

Random House Australia Pty Ltd

Vintage Australia

ISBN: 9781741666700



A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.


August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.


My View:

This is destined to be an award winner!

Brutal, passionate, inspiring, remarkable, emotional and complex; a love story, a story of relationships, a story of war, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is all these things and more. Flanagan’s writing is poetic, is humbling, is revealing and is at times horrifyingly realistic, cruel and brutal and overwhelming and I have never felt so many contradicting emotions reading a book!

This man can write! At first I was lulled into a false sense of security thinking I knew where this narrative was heading; a coming of age tale, a story full of youthfulness, excitement and passions on fire, a young man discovering his potential, striving for betterment, an old man reflecting on a life that was, but these were just elements of this complex story.  The introduction lulled me into a sense of false comfort that was quickly shattered with the brutal truths of a Japanese Prisoner of War camp charged with building the Thai- Burma railway in impossible, inhumane conditions (my response fuelled by the many black and white images burnt into my retina from documentaries and still photographs of WW2) I almost could not bear to read any further, the images were too real.

This novel asked many questions – about the brutality inflicted during war and who carries the responsibility for war crimes, it discusses the meanings of culture, of reverence to ones political and sovereign leader, of who should pay the ultimate price for sins inflicted in that leaders name (and maybe didn’t), of when punishment becomes a sadistic pleasure and why/how onlookers allow these terrible acts to happen or joins in…The novel offers rational meaning for such behaviour that effectively discredits such behaviour…

But this is not just a story of war – it is also a story of love and of the meaning we place on relationships/family and love.  “There grew between him and Ella a conspiracy of experience, as if the raising of children, the industry of supporting each other in ways practical and tender, and the sum of years and then decades of private conversations and small intimacies – the odour of each other on waking; the trembling sound of each other’s breathing when a child is unwell……as if all of this were somehow more binding, more important and more undeniable than love, whatever love is. For he was bound to Ella. And yet it all created in Dorrigo Evans the most complete and unassailable loneliness, so loud a solitude that he sought to crack its ringing silence again and again with yet another woman…  ” (p.373-374), such beautifully evocative writing amid such tales of horror and amazing ability to survive you cannot help but be moved.

And then we have the beautiful poems scattered amongst the prose.

Surrender to the influence and emotions of this book. Read this book, and then re read this book!

Post Script: The Vale Girl – Nelika McDonald

The Vale Girl, Nelika  McDonald

The Vale Girl

Nelika McDonald


Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd

ISBN: 9781742612423



“I had seen every last secret laid bare in my own house, every briefcase in Banville gaping open.

But I had missed one.”

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Vale has disappeared from the small town of Banville.

Resident copper Sergeant Henson attempts to find the missing girl but the locals dismiss his investigations. What would you expect with a mother like hers anyway?

No one cares except teenager Tommy Johns – for Sarah Vale takes a straight line t his heart.

A delicate and layered exploration of secrets and lies, forgotten children and absent parents, and the long shadows of the past.

An extraordinary debut from a talented new writer.


My View:

A solid debut performance by author Nelika McDonald. I really enjoyed this fast paced contemporary novel that features astute character development and brilliant observational qualities depicting small town middle class Australia in the 1980’s. As Edmund Burke is reputed to have said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, and this theme is very evident and relevant in this narrative. Neighbours and community members ignore ongoing domestic violence, bullying is prevalent in the behaviours of children and adults alike and rumour and innuendo prescribe how individuals are perceived and treated. Thankfully we have several heroes in this book who do not sit idly by and let the past totally dictate the future.

This is a multi-layered sensitive narrative that is an introspective analysis of contemporary attitudes largely still relevant today; of family histories and values, of secrets and lies, of children exchanging roles with the adults in their lives, a story  that discusses the meaning of love and family and a wonderful coming of age narrative. This narrative is so many things but most of all it is an impressive, engaging debut novel.

Post Script: Enon – Paul Harding

Enon, Paul Harding

Paul Harding


Random House

ISBN: 9781400069439



The next novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, in which a father’s grief over the loss of his daughter threatens to derail his life.

Powerful, brilliantly written, and deeply moving Paul Harding has, in Enon, written a worthy successor to Tinkers, a debut which John Freeman on NPR called “a masterpiece.” Drawn always to the rich landscape of his character’s inner lives, here, through the first person narrative of Charlie Crosby (grandson to George Crosby of Tinkers), Harding creates a devastating portrait of a father trying desperately to come to terms with family loss.

My View:

“I was walking in the woods, when Kate died,” and so with this profoundly sad introduction we are drawn into a story of a father imploding with grief and despair after his daughter dies in an accident.  This is a beautifully written stream of consciousness/internal monologue of grief, impending madness and drug addiction that will haunt your thoughts and prick your emotions.

Harding pens a visually rich landscape of settings and emotions as we join Charlie Crosby on his trip down memory lane as he recounts and sometimes hallucinates about past times spent with his daughter and his family juxtaposed against the images of his spiral into a drug induced state of numbness. He slowly shuts down and isolates himself with only his grief as a companion. This narrative is tragic and haunting yet there are moments of absolute joy and love when Crosby reminisces about times spent with his daughter;  their love shines like a beacon during the recollection of ordinary every day events – such as feeding the birds, taking a walk together, playing board games…having an ice-cream…

Harding writes beautiful prose. He writes wonderfully powerful emotive descriptions of the everyday… and of Crosby’s rapid descent into drug dependency and total despair as he attempts to deal with his grief and loss. This is a book that will engage the full spectrum of your emotions, it will take you to a place no parent ever wishes to go. A great read.