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.
“′It is strange and fascinating to me to think of people — Avila in particular — praying me into existence.′
Sydney Peony Kent is nineteen years old. She was a longed-for IVF baby, ′product of an unknown egg and unknown sperm′ implanted in her mother, Avila. Avila not only used the latest scientific techniques to conceive Sydney, but also prayed to the Bambinello, a small carved and jewelled statue of the infant Jesus housed in the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome and said to have miraculous properties.
Avila′s distant relative Father Roland Bruccoli was conceived in a more conventional manner, but his mother too prayed to the Bambinello before his birth — and that of his twin sister Eleena. It is when the adult Roland is visiting the church of Santa Maria one evening that the Bambinello is stolen. Roland hopes that Father Cosimo, an archivist, poet and riddler said to speak in the ancient green language of the troubadours, can assist in discovering what has happened to the Bambinello. But when matters of belief are involved, nothing is straightforward, as Sydney discovers herself when she too becomes caught up in tracing the Bambinello′s fate. Deftly weaving together religion, science, pregnancies wanted and unwanted, love, loss and belief, Carmel Bird has created a luminous novel that both questions and celebrates the miraculous.”
Reviewed by Wayward Fancy “The constellation of characters past and present, living and dead, dance an intricate and whimsical tale of faith, magic, science, mystery, love and loss. The book delights at every turn. Read it. With Carmel Bird, you are in the hands of a masterful story teller.”
The Hum of Concrete is an evocative novel about a city and its people. Set in the multicultural city of Malmö, Sweden, The Hum of Concrete is the story of five people whose lives intersect.
Consumed with despair, Palestinian Nassrin walks into the ocean with her baby in her arms. Susanna dares to take a stand against gay-bashers. By starlight, Bodil sees the city from the roof of a church. Estella meets her tough little half-brother for the first time. Lonely Rhyme seeks shelter in a tree full of fairy lights. And all round them, the hum of concrete.
With photographic precision, Anna Solding captures both light and shadow found in the fleeting beauty of everyday life. From the silences between people and the ordinariness of places, she conjures narrative jewels of intelligence and pleasure.
“The Hum of Concrete is an evocative novel about a city and its people. Set in the multicultural city of Malmö, Sweden, The Hum of Concrete is the story of five people whose lives intersect. Consumed with despair, Palestinian Nassrin walks into the ocean with her baby in her arms. Susanna dares to take a stand against gay-bashers. By starlight, Bodil sees the city from the roof of a church. Estella meets her tough little half-brother for the first time. Lonely Rhyme seeks shelter in a tree full of fairy lights. And all round them, the hum of concrete. With photographic precision, Anna Solding captures both light and shadow found in the fleeting beauty of everyday life. From the silences between people and the ordinariness of places, she conjures narrative jewels of intelligence and pleasure.”
Reviewed by Monique @ Write Note Reviews “Anna Solding mixes intelligence and heart into The Hum of Concrete; it’s a surprising read that uses interesting and original literary techniques, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a book for those who like a little more literary in their fiction.”
“A piercing discussion of racial relationships, this powerful and sensual love story is about Cathy, a young woman from the country who moves away from home and has her beliefs and sense of identity challenged. As she falls for Jay, her friendship with Margie, a wild city girl always up for a good time, is confronted. Lively characters, deep emotion, and humor collide in a tough city in the harsh but beautiful landscape of central Australia. Emotionally charged and intense, this complex and important novel explores the blurred boundaries between black and white, city and country, lover and friend.”
Reviewed by Me, You and Books “Love like Water is an excellent novel, one I recommend strongly to a variety of readers. As a non-Australian, I learned a great deal about the continent and its racial tensions, somewhat unlike those I see in the USA. McDonald is a delightful writer, wise without ever being polemic. This is a novel to be read for strength and for hope.”
“Unforgivable is the story of a teenage girl and a young nun caught up in the great religious and social upheaval brought on by Vatican II, and a thriving adoption industry driven by society’s fierce disapproval of unmarried mothers. Seventeen-year-old Sylvia, like many unmarried teenage mothers across Australia in 1966, is forced to wait for the birth of her child in one of the homes and hospitals run by the Catholic Church. St Joseph’s Hospital, managed by the Sisters of St Anthony, has never had a girl walk out the front gate without first leaving behind her baby. But the sisters had never met Sylvia, defiant and headstrong and determined to keep her child.”
Reviewed by Brenda, “I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The anguish of the young women in the 60s and 70s is well documented; for those who wanted to keep their babies it was traumatic, for those who wanted to adopt them out, not so much. But the absolute shame and secrecy surrounding those “unwanted” pregnancies was heartwrenching – it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on.”
“Fran McMillan, a thirty-something chisel-wielding woman, is camped at Mount Clear in Namadgi National Park, escaping the heat of a Queensland summer, when she encounters Kelvin, one of a group of men from Canberra restoring a high-country hut. She inveigles her way into the work party — a weekend that changes her life.“
Reviewed by Helen McKenna “I really enjoyed Yenohan’s Legacy. Told in an easy to read way and skillfully constructed to connect past and present, it captured my interest right at the start and continued right until the end.”
You can browse more general fiction titles reviewed by participants on the AWW review site
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.