Post Script: The Patterson Girls – Rachael Johns

Cover The Patterson Girls

The Patterson Girls

Rachael Johns

Harlequin Mira

ISBN: 9781743693070

 

Description:

How can four sisters build the futures they so desperately want, when the past is reaching out to claim them?

 

When the Patterson daughters return home to Meadow Brook to be with their father after their mother’s death, they bring with them a world of complication and trouble.

 

The eldest sister, obstetrician Madeleine, would rather be anywhere but her hometown, violinist Abigail has fled from her stellar career, while teacher Lucinda is struggling to have the children she and her husband so desperately want. The black sheep of the family, Charlie, feels her life as a barista and exercise instructor doesn’t measure up to that of her gifted and successful sisters.

 

Dealing with their bereft father who is determined to sell the family motel, their loves old and new and a series of troublesome decisions doesn’t make life any easier, but when they go through their mother’s possessions and uncover the shocking secret of an old family curse, they begin to question everything they thought they knew.

 

A warm and wise novel about secrets revealed, finding your soulmate and the unique bond between sisters.

 

My View:

Engaging, entertaining, salacious; this narrative is a blend of many genres including  romance, contemporary fiction,  drama and a lot of family and relationship issues set in many locations including London, Baltimore, Perth, Melbourne and small town South Australia mixed with a glimpse of the trials and tribulations of long distance relationships in this era of the fly out work workforce.

 

I particular enjoyed the settings – it is always a joy to be able to identify an area that you are familiar with in a read and when Lucinda and Joe take their romantic trip to the South West of WA – Bunker Bay, I could picture the area clearly – and then I could not believe the coincidence – Rachael Johns has this couple stop for an ice-cream – in the exact location we stop for an ice cream when we do a trip from Perth to home – a road house between Bunbury and Busselton. How amazing. (I would love to have been researching this book, so many great locations).

 

This narrative is big on drama, big on issues (infertility being the binding issue, it is good to see this issue being aired in such an upfront way, it is a topic that needs more public airing). Themes regarding identity and family; obligations, ties, secrets, history and connections all play a part in this complex story.

 

Each sister has an opportunity to share their view point as they take turns in narrating. This is very much a character based plot and the different personalities are very well expressed and the connections and expectations within the family unit are ones we are all familiar with.

 

Overall an entertaining read that has much to offer the contemporary reader.

 

 

Post Script: The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train

The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins

Transworld Books

ISBN: 9780857522313

 

Description:

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

 

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

 

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

 

 

My View:

A brilliant expose of addiction, isolation and alcoholism woven neatly into a narrative of manipulation and mystery. The book begins slowly, (personally I would have liked to have seen the tempo increased and a little more tension built into the earlier part of the book), yet despite the slow pace I did enjoy this read and there is a lovely twist or two in this one that you will not see coming. The last few chapters are bursting with action, mystery, violence and suspense.

 

This is a great debut novel and this author is certainly one to look out for.

 

After you have read this book you will never look at a bottle of wine or a gin and tonic the same way again…

 

Have you read this book? What did you think? I think sometimes the hype surrounding a book can be detrimental to your enjoyment of the read – expectations can cause the bar to be unrealistically high. Perhaps you are better of not having heard anything about this book before you pick it up and let the writing speak for itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Let Her Go – Dawn Barker

Intense, fast moving with contemporary social issues, a great read.

Let Her Go

Dawn Barker

Hachette Australia

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733632228

 

 

Description:

How far would you go to have a family? What would you hide for someone you love?

 

Confused and desperate, Zoe McAllister boards a ferry to Rottnest Island in the middle of winter holding a tiny baby close to her chest, terrified that her husband will find her or that her sister will call the police.

 

Years later, a teenage girl is found on the island, unconscious and alone.

 

When she recovers and returns home, she overhears her parents discussing her past and the choices that they’ve made. Their secrets, slowly revealed, will shatter more than one family.

 

Let Her Go is a gripping, emotionally charged story of family, secrets and the complications of love. Part thriller, part mystery, it will stay with you long after you close the pages wondering…What would you have done?

 

 

My View:

Have you ever read a book where from the very beginning you go “oh no, something terrible is going to happen, I can just feel it?” This is one of those books; from the very first page I was hooked and I was on hyper alert, I just knew this narrative was not going to end well.  I was conflicted, I was so engaged with the narrative, with the characters, with the plot lines but at the same time I really didn’t want to turn the next page and discover that the “worst” had indeed happened. I read about one hundred pages and had to take a break; I needed an emotion free few days before I could pick this up again and complete the read.

 

And what a read it is – as with Ms Barker’s earlier book, Fractured, the characterisations and psychological profiling are superb. Ms Barker weaves an intricate plot that presents the reader with many contemporary social issues to consider and to place one’s self in the characters situations and wonder “what would I do/have done, would I do things differently?”

 

The pace is fast, the action and drama intense and personal and yet so easily identifiable with situations in our own lives or the lives of people we know and love it breaks your heart.  After finishing this book my only regret is that I will not be able to attend the Perth launch of this fantastic book.  Bravo Dawn Barker, I hope the launch goes brilliantly.

 

 

My View: