Hello there everyone. Another great month of reading behind us and it’s been terrific looking through the range of titles that have been reviewed during June. We put together 58 reviews on 43 novels. There is a mix of old and new releases in this round up. Last month I mentioned that many authors, publishers, bookstores and libraries have taken to the online environment with promotions, interviews and launches which has been great. Thanks to all the authors that have signed up to the ALIA Authors list including many, many wonderful Australian Women Writers. So if you are looking for an author for an online event head to https://www.alia.org.au/online-author-events as I am sure the authors would love your additional support during these challenging times.
Onto the reviews! Last month Anna Downes The Safe Place received a number of reviews and it was popular again with two more positive reviews during June from Carolyn’s reviews and Jennifer’s (JC-S) Reviews
Jen Pritchard Writer reviewed Victoria Hannan’s Kokomo which won the 2019 Victorian Premiers Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. Jen was very impressed with this debut novel and felt it would be staying with her for a while “This book gave me something to think about. Two weeks after reaching ‘The End’ Kokomo is not yet done with me – I’m still holding onto hopes for Mina and Elaine’s future. If author Victoria Hannan wanted me to be invested in her characters, she certainly succeeded.”
Clairesreadsandreviews took quite a liking to the Erin Hortle’s The Octopus and I which was recently given a great wrap by Caroline Baum in the Sydney Morning Herald. Claire was keen to find the right read and she found it in this one “a heartfelt and emotional read, it was exactly what I was looking for.”
I know we shouldn’t judge a book by the cover but Sandie Docker always has beautiful bright happy covers on her books and then what you find inside is a real treat. Eleni Konstantines Reviews gave the Kookaburra Creek Cafe a five star review. “A book about second chances and finding one’s self a through a cafe in a country town – Hattie, Alice and Becca all find themselves at Kookaburra Creek during turbulent times in their lives. There are secrets and painful memories and we see the stories of Hattie and Alice unfold in the past and the effect it has to n the present. Full of hope initially, their worlds are turned upside down. Becca’s story is shown through first person thoughts. She’s a scared and angry teenager and doesn’t trust easily. The weaving of these stories is expertly done. I thoroughly enjoyed the emotional journey and my heart went out to all of them. I’m glad they all found each other and become a family unit. You’ll need some tissues”
Another five star review this time from Brenda’s reviews for Maggie Christensen’s fourth instalment in the Granite Springs Series The life she finds. Brenda felt that it is a “realistic and well written portrayal of family, loss, hope, love and all that comes with the dynamics of family life. Set in a small rural town in New South Wales not far from the nation’s capital, Canberra, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the stories of the men and women in their 60s and am looking forward very much to #5 in the series. Highly recommended.”
If you like detective novels this one might be your next read. Reviewed by Carolyn’s reviews she suggests that Rachel Amphlett’s Scared to Death might be a good introduction to this genre. Rachel has a new Detective Kaye Hunter Murder Mystery coming out in a couple of weeks time. Carolyn said in her review “this is a good introduction to a new crime series featuring Detective Kay Hunter of the Kent police. I like Kay’s character, she’s sensible, intuitive and hard working and has a loving partner who accepts her erratic working hours. She has suffered some personal trauma in the recent past that she hasn’t yet come to terms with and is also trying to get her career and reputation back on track after surviving an internal investigation, so these will most likely make for interesting ongoing stories in the series. I’m looking forward to catching up with her again soon! “
And we will finish off with a quirky title that was written a little while ago by Honey Brown and her Red Queen novel was reviewed by Jackie McMillan and as you will see her review has some familiar words and themes to what we are living through at the moment ” this book is less about the virus, its spread and the ensuing destruction of social order it causes, than it is the story of the ways men and women use what they have available to them in order to survive. How do you trust in a world where anyone can be infected? How do you love and form attachments? These are good questions to be asking right now during Covid-19, and some of the answers are hidden in the pages of this slightly obscure Australian psychological thriller released back in 2009.
Red Queen is a page-turning, easy-to-enjoy, read with a bit more quirky sex than I expected.”
On that note we will tie up the round up for this month. All the best to everyone as head into the second month of winter and as we continue facing the challenges of what 2020 has delivered.
About me : Ever since my year nine English teacher placed My Brilliant Career, Harp in the South, Coonardoo and The Timeless Land in my hand Australian Women Writers who pen historical fiction and contemporary fiction has been my favourite genre. Managing a rural library service in Northern Victoria I am surrounded by books all day and it is hard to remain on the task-in-hand rather than be amongst the shelves. But no, librarians do not read all day but I certainly try and make up for it any time I can!