April 2014: General Fiction

For the purposes of this challenge ‘general fiction’, is defined as fiction set post mid 1900′s, which does not fit neatly into a specific literary genre.

Five novels that debuted in April, reviewed by AWW participants

 

LosingKateKylieKaden

“I’m the most authentic version of myself when I’m around Jack. We’ve known each other since we were kids, and our relationship was always one of mudpies and mocking. Then everything changed. Beautiful Kate, my best friend, disappeared on a moonlit beach after Jack dumped her for me. Jack was a suspect and, sure of his innocence, I lied to protect him. I know Jack didn’t kill her. Our betrayal did. Thirteen years later, I am thirty, childless and single, attempting to renovate my life rescuing a rundown worker’s cottage. All is as it should be in my safe little world – until Jack buys the vacant lot behind my house… and the feelings that we buried all those years ago – the guilt, the love and the pain – resurface. We can’t keep running away from the past – and to move forward we have to know what really happened to Kate.” {Random House}

“Kylie Kaden’s compelling debut novel, Losing Kate, is an absorbing contemporary story of secrets, betrayal, love and redemption.” writes Shelleyrae of Book’d Out. “The suspense is tantalisingly crafted,” notes Sam Still Reading while Monique of Write Note Reviews praises,  Clever plotting, well-developed characters and multi-layered tension”.

*****

the-return-kwon“War ends and the world changes, as it always does. The enemy are no longer the enemy – just people living their lives. But hate is hard to extinguish. The scars of war are not always visible, and they don’t always fade. They haven’t for Merna Gibson and they definitely haven’t for her husband, Frank. He won’t ever forget what was done to him and his mates. The nightmares, the aches, the pain of seeing things a person should never see stay with him, always. The long-ago war colours their family life. For Merna, at home on the farm, Japan is very far away. For Frank, it isn’t far enough. But their son, Paul, doesn’t carry the same beliefs. For him, Japan is a place of possibility, a country to embrace. Father and son live worlds apart even when at the same table. Hate and prejudice has created a gulf between the two. When a woman comes into their son’s life, it is left to Merna to try to bridge the gap. Caught between the two men she loves she is determined to keep her family together, while still everything keeps changing” {Hachette}

“A thought provoking and fascinating exploration of family, identity and change. A brave debut novel by a talented Australian author.” suggests Lauren of The Australian Bookshelf

*****

DrivingUnderTheInfluenceJennaMartinChelsea has had a rough week. After a few great years of professional triumphs and personal stability, she suddenly finds herself—at the grand old age of 28—homeless, jobless and single. Cheating on her boyfriend with her boss probably wasn’t the brightest idea.  Salvation comes in the form of her father, Gary ‘Turbo’ Turbiton, a once major but now fading star of stage and screen, who offers her a job as his assistant while he travels Australia promoting his recent autobiography. Chelsea adores her Dad but she knows from years of family road trips just what this ‘job’ will entail: hours and hours of mindless bush trivia, pit stops to ridiculous local landmarks and pointed interrogations about what she’s doing with her life. All the while John Denver will warble endlessly on the CD player. Resigned to her fate—and without a better offer—she says yes.  The promo tour takes the two of them across Australia—from a family wedding in Darwin to a pig farm in Port Fairy, from a chance encounter in Tenterfield to an impromptu karaoke night in Yackandandah. Along the way there are unplanned detours—and people—they have to face as they both struggle with that eternal life question: what happens next?” {Random House}

“This is a delightful debut novel about one woman’s life changing journey during a road trip with her famous father, stopping to see various lunatic relatives and landmarks along the way; full of reminiscing, hope, love and laughter this book will hook you in and before you know it you will be smiling and laughing out loud. This read is so enjoyable!” Carol @ Reading, Writing and Reisling

*****

SimmeringSeasonJennMcLeodBack in Calingarry Crossing to sell the family pub, Maggie Lindeman has no idea a perfect storm is heading her way until her past and present collide with the unexpected.  Maggie once had a crush on Dan Ireland, now a work-weary police crash investigator, still hell-bent on punishing himself for his misspent youth. Dan has ample reason for not going home to Calingarry Crossing for the school reunion, but one very good reason why he should. Maggie is dealing with a restless seventeen-year-old son, a father with dementia, a fame-obsessed musician husband, a dwindling bank account and a country pub that just won’t sell.  The last thing she needs is a surprise houseguest for the summer. Fiona Bailey-Blair, daughter of an old friend and spoilt with everything but the truth, whips up a maelstrom of gossip when she blows into town.  This storm season, when a school reunion brings home more than memories, Maggie Lindeman will discover … there’s no keeping a lid on some secrets.” {Simon & Schuster}

“The plot was intriguing, with a couple of unexpected twists; the story was emotional and had me in tears a number of times – all in all a fabulous read,” writes Brenda.  Monique of Write Note Reviews says “McLeod is adept at infusing a distinct Australian atmosphere into her writing via characters and description”

*****

TheTeaChestJosephineMoonKate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she’d be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family’s future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down. Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again.
When Kate’s, Leila’s and Elizabeth’s paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate’s magical vision of London’s branch of the newest and most delectable tea shop, The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other. With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what’s important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?
” {Allen & Unwin}

“I really enjoyed this book and felt that the strengths were really in the way the four women came together and developed a working relationship and friendship” shares Bree of All the Books I Can Read. Monique of Write Note Reviews feels; “It’s cosy and heart-warming, plus filled with some gorgeous combinations of teas that I’ve never thought of. Tea lovers will definitely rejoice in this book and perhaps even be motivated to make some of their own blends.  Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out writes: ” A charming debut novel from Josephine Moon, The Tea Chest is a story about self belief, friendship, love and tea.”

****

Other April Releases

CrimsonDawnMcDonaldTimeWillTellFionaMcCallumTrackingNorthKerryMcGinnis

You can browse more general fiction titles reviewed by participants on the AWW review site

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About Me

My name is Shelleyrae Cusbert I am a mother of four children, aged 7 to 17, living in the mid north coast of NSW. I am an obsessive reader and publish my thoughts about what I read at my book blog,  Book’d Out.  In 2012 I read and reviewed a total of 109 books for the AWW Challenge and in 2013 a total of 117. I juggle caring for my family with a part time job and volunteer at both the town’s local library and the children’s school library.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out
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