Diner at Rose’s
Allen & Unwin
After Jo Donnelly finds her best friend having sex with her boyfriend in a chair, she flees city life to take up a temporary job at the physiotherapy clinic in her small home town. Honorary Aunty Rose takes it upon herself to act as cupid.
Do not be put off by the brief description that reads as chick lit/romance – Danielle Hawkins writes fiction with humour and depth and portrays rural life in a vibrant reality. There is always a very human, poignant narrative thread in Danielle’s books – and Aunt Rose is the pivotal poignant character in this read. We all need an Aunt Rose in our life.
I very much enjoyed this early read from this author – I have read several of her books including Chocolate Cake for Breakfast, The Pretty Delicious Café, When it All Went to Custard; her reflections of rural life are always interesting, engaging, poignant and satisfying. Such enjoyable writing!
When it All Went to Custard
Odds of saving marriage – slim. Farming expertise – patchy. Chances that it’ll all be okay in the end – actually pretty good …
I wasn’t enjoying the afternoon of 23 February even before I learnt that my husband was having an affair …
The news of her husband’s infidelity comes as a nasty shock to Jenny Reynolds, part-time building control officer and full-time mother – even though, to her surprise and embarrassment, her first reaction is relief, not anguish. What really hurts is her children’s unhappiness at the break-up, and the growing realisation that, alone, she may lose the family farm.
This is the story of the year after Jenny’s old life falls apart; of family and farming, pet lambs and geriatric dogs, choko-bearing tenants and Springsteen-esque neighbours. And of just perhaps a second chance at happiness.
I cannot get enough of this authors writing! (I am still looking for a copy of Dinner at Rosie’s if anyone has a copy on their shelf somewhere).
Danielle Hawkins writes rural fiction with charm, wit, humour and engaging contemporary issues. Take a peek at the lives reflected here and you will see situations, landscapes (albeit New Zealand landscapes but they do translate well to Australian settings), and characters that remind you of places and people you know.
Danielle’s books always light up my day. More please.
Friday 8th of May Give Away!
Today is Friday – the last day of the working week for most of us, and to celebrate this auspicious occasion I have teamed up with the lovely people at Simon & Schuster Australia who are offering one of my readers (of my blog or f/book page) the opportunity to win a copy of Jenn J McLeod’s latest release Season of Shadow and Light. This will be a random draw and all you need to do is leave me a message in the comments section of the post and tell me who your favourite female Aussie author is. This give away will be open until midnight Monday the 11th of May and winner notified on Tuesday the 12th of May and is open to residents of Australia and New Zealand.
A prefect holiday read.
Chocolate Cake for Breakfast
Allen & Unwin
Helen McNeil is a vet in the small rural town of Broadview. While taking evasive action from a dull girl at a party one night she falls over – and fails to recognise – national sporting hero, Mark Tipene. For some mysterious reason Helen never really grasps, Mark finds this charming and appears the next day at the front counter of the vet clinic to ask her out.
A whirlwind romance follows and everything is going swimmingly until one little hiccup changes everything…
Chocolate Cake for Breakfast is the funny and heart-warming story of the pros and cons of dating a man whose shirtless picture adorns a wall in every second lunchroom in the country, of calving cows and crazy cat ladies, and of doing your best when life takes an unexpected turn.
A delightful holiday read; charming, heart-warming, satisfying. This is pure escapism and I thoroughly enjoyed this read; it is written with a great sense of humour and the author’s passion for the care of animals is obvious and provides a lovely background to the narrative. The author successfully conjures up realistic settings and characters – don’t we all know some of the people/relatives described in this book? New Zealand farms, small towns, animal husbandry, the culture of sport and fame are well documented and open for discussion. I particular liked the ease of the conversations/dialogue in this novel, both spoken and in thoughts; the humour and sarcasm works well and helps provide an insight into the main character’s life.
The main character is appealing; smart, generally happy, easy going and resourceful without being saccharin sweet. Neither was she a victim. I liked this character and the story development.
Although this is not my usual genre of reading it provided the best salve for my soul after reading a particularly gruesome and confronting psychological thriller. This is a great holiday read and I look forward to reading more from this author.