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.


The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop


“Cambridge 1963. Charlotte struggles to reconnect with the woman she was before children, and to find the time and energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, cannot face the thought of anotherEnglish winter. A brochure slipped through the letterbox gives him the answer: ‘Australia brings out the best in you’. Charlotte is too worn out to resist, and before she knows it is travelling to the other side of the world. But on their arrival in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs, and how far she’ll go to find her way home…”

“A sense of melancholy pervades The Other Side of the World, a beautifully written novel by Stephanie Bishop. Themes of motherhood, depression, belonging and identity are explored with insight, resulting in a moving and memorable tale that will leave readers pondering.” writes Monique of Write Note Reviews“The prose of The Other Side of the World is absolutely beautiful. It’s lyrical and evocative in the images and feelings it raises. Where is home? What is home? As the characters struggle to answer these questions, you’ll be carried along as part of the story.” says SamStillReading.


The Homestead Girls by Fiona McArthur


“After her teenage daughter Mia falls in with the wrong crowd, Dr Billy Green decides it’s time to leave the city and return home to far western NSW. So when an opportunity to pursue her childhood dream of joining the Flying Doctor Service comes along, she jumps at the chance. Flight nurse Daphne Prince – who is thrilled to have another woman join the otherwise male crew – and handsome new boss, Morgan Blake, instantly make her feel welcome. Just out of town, drought-stricken grazier Soretta Byrnes has been struggling to make ends meet and in desperation has opened her station house to boarders. Tempted by its faded splendour and beautiful outback setting, Billy, Mia and Daphne decide to move in and the four of them are soon joined by eccentric 80-year-old Lorna Lamerton. The unlikely housemates are cautious at first, but soon they are offering each other frank advice and staunch support as they tackle medical emergencies, romantic adventures and the challenges of growing up and getting older. But when one of their lives is threatened, the strong friendship they have forged will face the ultimate test . .”

” …a heartwarming story of friendship, courage and compassion set in the outback of NSW.” writes Shelleyrae of Book’d Out. “…if you’re after an insight into how medicine is dealt with in outback Australia combined with a great story about Aussie women, The Homestead Girls is well worth reading.” suggests SamStillReading. 


One Foot Wrong by Sophie Laguna


A child is imprisoned in a house by her reclusive religious parents. Hester has never seen the outside world. The story told by Hester is often dark and terrible, but the sheer blazing brilliance of her language and the imagery that illuminates the pages make this novel an exhilarating, enlightening and joyous act of faith.

Hannah Dudley’s review is succinct, “Very well written, and full of shocks that will keep you turning the pages. The writing style was a little unexpected but it added to the dark nature of the story. I did feel sick at times from some of the elements in this book, but I strangely enjoyed it. Great work from Sophie Laguna.” 


The Crushing Season by Peta Jo


“In the smoky haze of a small town’s cane harvesting season, May grew up as the silent bearer of her father’s vicious beatings. But four schoolmates save her with the simple act of their friendship.  Now in their thirties and busy with their own lives, the four friends are unaware how important they still are to May: Tate, a ballsy newspaper subeditor is struggling with her new role as mother; Alex, a bohemian soul has let his anxiety get in the way of his future happiness; Leah, the “boy mad” gal is one French backpacker away from her next heartbreak; and Benny, a die-hard romantic is about to give up his dreams and surrender the fantasy of being with the one girl he’s ever loved… Leah. But it’s May that holds their friendship together and she is up to something that will change their lives forever.”

Brenda writes, “A deeply emotional story, it was heartfelt and profound. The love and loyalty of friends; the friendships and how they were tested – it was all written with a perfect blend of compassion and strength. Parts were heartbreaking – parts were uplifting; but the overall result was an excellent story that I have no hesitation in recommending highly.” The setting appealed to Debbish, “The old adage suggests authors write what they know and it’s very obvious Peta Jo has done exactly that. Although some of her characters live in the state capital of Brisbane, most of the action takes place in Bundaberg and there are a lot of references to local landmarks and customs, like the burning of sugar cane. Her intimate knowledge of the area permeates the book, offering a great sense of ‘place’.”


In the Quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones


“Cate Carlton has recently died, yet she is able to linger on, watching her three young children and her husband as they come to terms with their life without her on their rural horse property. As the months pass and her children grow, they cope in different ways, drawn closer and pulled apart by their shared loss. And all Cate can do is watch on helplessly, seeing their grief, how much they miss her and how – heartbreakingly – they begin to heal. Gradually unfolding to reveal Cate’s life, her marriage, and the unhappy secret she shared with one of her children, In the Quiet is compelling, simple, tender, true – heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.”

Casey Hamer @ BookBirdy writes, “This is a beguiling book that reminds us that life is not a solely external experience; it doesn’t only exist in what we say and do, but in the many gaps in between.”


The Callahan Split by Lisa Heidke


The Callahan Split: No one knows you better than your sister. In tennis, as in life, nothing ever goes truly to plan. Samantha and Annie Callahan are successful doubles champions — the toast of the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Flushing Meadow.  But their winning partnership spirals out of control when Annie’s new boyfriend announces their engagement at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Bear, the sisters’ coach, guides Annie as much as she’ll allow. But when she insists on dropping Samantha in favour of a singles career, her game and rankings plummet. Samantha is left floundering. Disillusioned, her only sweet spot is the growing passion between her and Bear.  Amidst rising anger and betrayal, Samantha completely changes both their destinies when she does the unthinkable after a devastating Wimbledon loss. The sisters are driven to create new lives by confronting the past and taking control of the present.  But can Samantha and Annie both win?”

“The main theme takes Heidke’s protagonists on a journey of self discovery, but it also explores serious issues such as depression, anxiety, and abandonment….A tale of personal and professional adversity and triumph.” writes Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


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bookdout_squarebadge_webAbout Me

My name is Shelleyrae Cusbert I am a mother of four children, aged 9 to 19, 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 and 2014 a total of 102. 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.