March was a solid month for the General Fiction category with a total of 90 reviews of 53 books. The Stella Prize longlist released in February, and the shortlist in early March, had a clear impact on this category:
- Little Gods by Jenny Ackland was reviewed by Kim Forrester @ Reading Matters(though this book has appeared each month I’ve been summarising General Fiction reviews) (Stella shortlist)
- Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop was reviewed by Bree @1girl2manybooks(Stella longlist)
- Bluebottle by Belinda Castles was reviewed by Kate @ Booksaremyfavouriteandbestand
Bree @1girl2manybooks (Stella longlist)
- The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo was reviewed by n@ncy, Theresa Smith Writesand Bree @1girl2manybooks (Stella shortlist)
- Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau was reviewed by n@ncy, Kim Forrester @ Reading Mattersand Kate @ Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (Stella shortlist)
- Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko was reviewed by Kim Forrester @ Reading Matters, n@ncy, Whispering Gums and Angharad Lodwick – Tinted Edges (Stella shortlist and one of my top reads from 2018!)
I’m sure these reviews will help readers pick their own must-reads from the Stella Prize line-up. The announcement of the winner will be next Tuesday 9 April.
The most-reviewed title in General Fiction in March is shared between two books. Firstly, Home Fires by Fiona Lowe, with five reviews, was a popular choice. I featured this book in February’s General Fiction Round Up.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the other most-reviewed book was Kelly Rimmer’s new release, The Things We Cannot Say, also reviewed five times.
Helen Sibbritt ‘absolutely loved this story’ of the descendents of Polish immigrants to America rediscovering their family history. Jennifer Cameron-smith also gave the book five stars as she describes being hooked into mysteries running through the generations. ‘As the two stories become one, the tension increases. What really happened to Alina and Tomasz in 1942? Can Alice find the answers she is looking for? Can her own family survive her absence?’
Amanda @ Mrs B’s Book Reviews loved the book, describing it as a departure for Kelly Rimmer, a bestselling contemporary fiction author, to write a dual time-line historical narrative. Amanda writes that ‘With two very separate and well composed threads, it may seem uncertain where the two timelines will converge…I did have complete faith in Kelly Rimmer’s writing and knew she would be able to pull off a spectacular crescendo of a conclusion, and she did.’
This sounds like a wonderful book and a must-read for contemporary and historical fiction lovers alike. Until next month, happy reading!
About me: I read and write across genres with a preference for smart, accessible fiction. The Australian Women Writers Challenge has opened my eyes to a whole new range of favourite authors who’ve been hiding right in front of me. You can find out more about me and my reading and writing at www.aislinnbatstone.com