The 2014 AWW Challenge  has attracted over 200 participants in its third year and during January, contributors have shared almost 150 review links. Of that number, around one fifth of books have been identified as general fiction, that is – fiction set post mid 1950′s, which do not fit neatly into a specific literary genre.

winter sea morrisseyBestselling author Di Morrisey attracted reviews for both her newest release and a backlist title. For Monique of Write Note Reviews,  ” the descriptions of the south coast were vivid and enticing” in The Winter Sea, “a sweeping saga of family, honour and secrets set on the beautiful NSW south coast”, published late last year, though she admits to being less impressed with Morrisey’s style of “telling [rather] than showing”. Jennifer Cameron Smith reviewed The Last Mile Home published in 2008. Set in the 1950’s in New South Wale’s New England district, it is a story of true love’s triumph about which  Jennifer wrote, ” Some parts made me sad, some aspects made me happy and certain elements of coincidence (or timing) caused me to remember that while in fiction, anything is possible, it doesn’t have to be probable.”

mr-wigg-simpsonWe have a handful of men participating in the challenge, one of whom is John @ Musings of a Literary Dilettante. He was completely charmed by Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson Mr Wigg is a little gem. A story with heart. Reading it makes you want to plant an orchard, preserve some fruit, and get baking while the cricket is playing on the radio….It makes you thankful for the little things, the slow things, the moments between you and those you love. And being reminded of these things is never a bad thing.”

beloved-faulknerMaureen Helen reviewed The Beloved by Anna Faulkner, a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Emerging Author (2011) winner, later shortlisted for the  2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award,with the prompting of her book club.  Maureen, “loved the way Annah Faulkner portrays her characters, even minor ones, giving them a distinctive life of their own. The author’s passion for, and knowledge about art is apparent throughout the book. But what impressed me most was the fascinating use of the voice of the child to tell this story in first person as she develops from a little girl a thirteen-year old.”

close-up-forsterAuthor Kate Forster released her fourth adult fiction novel in January, Close Up. Bree of 1girl2manybooks describes the writing as engaging, enjoying the characters and the dynamics between them. Monique of Write Note Reviews writes ,“secrets, illusions, ambition, desire, love and a glamorous Hollywood setting combine to create a glitzy, beachy, time-out read” , suggesting, “If pure escapism is what you’re after, then Close Up should be just the ticket.”

Other titles that were recommended during January include The Outside Story by Sylvia Lawson, a dance through the fraught and contested history of the Sydney Opera House, which Jennifer Cameron Smith enjoyed, Unforgivable by Sharon Robards was awarded five stars from Brenda for her “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”,  and Sea Dog Hotel by Marlish Glorie was reviewed by Louise Allan who wrote it was, a thoroughly enjoyable, quirky novel about a troubled woman in search of happiness but who cannot forgive herself for the past”


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



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 her children’s school library.