Welcome to Spring, 4 days in and it feels good!  We have received 55 reviews this month covering 43 books.  Have really enjoyed reading through your reviews to put this month’s round-up together.  Keep inspiring us all with your reading efforts and reflections.

One of Australia’s favourite and long-standing columnists Frances Whiting has put pen to paper and published her second novel The Best Kind of Beautiful.  Cass Moriarty absolutely adored this one and gave it a five star recommendation, her comments were “Best Kind of Beautiful is the best kind of book, especially for these weird times we’re living through, with readers often searching out novels that are light-hearted, funny, warm, poignant and uplifting. This is a book about ordinary people living ordinary lives and yet from amidst the banal, Whiting sifts the magical and the poetic, the wise and the wonderful, and transports both the characters and the reader onto a different level.  This is a perfect holiday read; an ideal gift for your mother or your sister or your best friend. Whiting is a superb writer of the human experience, and this is demonstrated in her witty dialogue and her sharp observations of the foibles and fallibilities we all experience. You are guaranteed to recognise some aspect of your parents, your children, your neighbours or perhaps even yourself.”

Melbourne based author and life coach Vanessa Carnevale has just released her third novel My life for yours and we will feature it again this month.  it certainly hit the mark with  Brenda’s reviews who stated in her review “My Life For Yours by Aussie author Vanessa Carnevale is an amazing, emotional, heartfelt and absolutely brilliant book. This is my third by Ms Carnevale and I’ve loved each one. But this one, I have to say, is her best yet! My Life For Yours brought me to tears a number of times; I can’t imagine what the characters of the book were going through! I can’t recommend this one highly enough – I still have goosebumps!”  

Sara Foster’s You don’t know me has been very popular since its release last October.  It’s worth considering as a good book club read and Sara has provided a downloadable set of book club questions on her website.  Tracy at Carpelibrum  loved this and thought You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster is a great Australian mystery thriller and she enjoyed the dual settings in Thailand and the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney in addition to the relatability of the characters.

The girl she was by Rebecca Freeborn struck a chord with Veronica @ The BurgeoningBookshelf and felt it covered “themes of facing your past, manipulation, consent, power abuse, gas-lighting and self hate really well. There are also uplifting themes of forgiveness, hope, moving forward and female friendships making The Girl She Was a compelling read.”

Barbara Hannay has a new website to celebrate the release of her new novel The Sister’s Gift which was the most popular title this month with three reviews.  Theresa Smith Writes enjoyed her first Barbara Hannay novel “This was a lovely book to settle into mid-week, one of those easy reads that sweep you up for the duration and give you a total brain break from your day to day life. It’s uncomplicated, engaging, and atmospheric, with a satisfying end for all of the characters. If you are seeking a bit of escapism at the moment, then this one is ideal.”  

Mrs B’s Book Reviews loooved it “The Sister’s Gift is a story of sisterhood, motherhood, parenting, relationships, domestic relations, personal strains, life choices and secrets. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Magnetic Island in Queensland, Barbara’s Hannay’s latest offering in the contemporary life literature genre is relatable, engaging and intriguing.  The Sister’s Gift represents a wonderful addition to the Barbara Hannay collection. A new Barbara Hannay title is always a must read. I consider myself a long standing fan of Barbara Hannay’s work. Over the years I have enjoyed Hannay’s work in the rural romance genre, the Australian historical fiction category and the life literature area. The Sister’s Gift is a very good example of a solid Australian based contemporary fiction novel and it comes with a hint of romance and a dash of intrigue. All these elements seemed to compound together positively to ensure that The Sister’s Gift is both highly readable and connective.”

Our third review for The Sister’s Gift comes from Shelleyrae @Book’d out enjoyed it and thought  “The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay is a story of motherhood, secrets, and second chances.  The Sister’s Gift is an engaging and pleasant read, and those who enjoy family drama with a happy ending will surely find it gratifying.”

Katherine Kovacic writes intriguing novels and so far they have been part of the Alex Clayton Art Mysteries.  Painting in the shadows was the second one in the set and it looks like there will be another book by Katherine out early next year called The Schoolgirl Strangler – this time it will be a true crime book.  Jennifer (JC-S) reviews gave it a terrific review and enjoys reading the third novel in the series The Shifting Landscape. I enjoyed this novel. “The story and the setting held my attention, as did the working relationship and history between Alex and John. I especially liked Alex’s Irish wolfhound Hogarth.
I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series shortly.”

And our last but by no means least and I am sure we are going to hear more about this novel in the days to come is Petronella McGovern’s latest release The Good Teacher after the huge success of Six Minutes.  Marianne’s Reviews had been keen to read Petronella’s new novel and wasn’t disappointed. “With a narrative from four perspectives, McGovern’s second novel is definitely starts at a slow burn, but the reader’s patience is amply rewarded with a cleverly plotted tale, one that initially keeps the reader guessing, and later, enthralled, as the story races to an exciting climax.
McGovern easily evokes her setting and her characters are very believable for all their flaws and foibles. Without including spoilers, it is safe to say that this is a cautionary tale warning us that not everything we see or read will be what it seems, nor is everyone we meet, in real life or online, quite who or what they say they are. Brilliant Australian contemporary fiction.”

I think that we might finish on that note, some terrific new releases out there and I know we are all looking forward to Jane Harper’s The Survivors this month and it certainly was a shame that the movie release of The Dry had to be delayed due to the restrictions at the moment. Something to look forward to.  Another new release equally exciting is Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker’s Secret which will be released in November.

Until next time happy reading.

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 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!