It’s wonderful to read through all the reviews this month and thank you to everyone who is busily reading and reviewing general fiction titles.  Whether they were read at home, by the beach, by the river or in another favourite reading space it’s fabulous to have thoughtful reviews being submitted by AWW members.  If you are new to the challenge this year welcome to you and thanks for joining us.

During January there were 46 reviews covering 36 titles.  Some newly released and some have been on the shelves for a little while waiting to be discovered.  It’s wonderful to see so many libraries across Australia now open and welcoming back their readers and our beautiful bookshops enjoying increased trade from tourists and visitors to their locations.

Up first is Esther Campion’s third novel A Week to Remember which was reviewed by Marianne’s Reviews and I absolutely love her description of the novel “In amongst the beach rambles, the baking lessons, the spa pampering sessions, the coastal foraging tour, the pub poetry slam night, the hiking, the seaweed vodka tasting, the incidental interactions with other guests and with the locals, there are accusations and epiphanies, shocks and surprises, confessions and confrontations, revelations, realisations and reconciliations. Not everyone emerges totally unscathed, but the ending is a feel-good one. A very enjoyable read.”

Carla Caruso has written a beautiful novel called The Right Place and Helen’s Reviews rated it very highly with a five star review “This book has been languishing on my ever growing TBR pile and I decided it was time I read it and I am so very glad I did, what a beautiful warm hearted story of finding yourself and what you really want by going back to the place that has always been in your heart, along with the beautiful recipes and fabulous characters Nella Martini found herself and the love of her life in her childhood friend.I savoured every word, there were tears and lots of smiles. This is a book I would highly recommend, it is a fabulous story.”

Pamela Cook’s All we Dream appealed to Brenda’s Reviews and she explains how this book is a re-worked version of an earlier novel released by Pamela.  “All we dream is a re-do of the 2013 publication of Essie’s Way, with extensive revision and more scenes, mainly toward the end. Aussie author Pamela Cook has been a long time favourite writer and although I’d read Essie’s Way many years ago, I wanted to read All We Dream – I wasn’t disappointed. It’s like a new novel, all over again. Set in two time frames, both were done exceptionally well. There was heartbreak, forgiveness, love and hope – but mostly it showed how following your heart and not doing what everyone says you should, is the way to go. An excellent read, All We Dream is one I recommend highly, and I have to mention the fabulous cover – it works well with the story.”

The latest release by Jessica Dettman is This has been absolutely lovely and it received this glowing review from Shelleyrae@Bookdout’s which was her first book for the year and she was happy that she chose it, “Dettmann’s writing is perceptive, tender and poignant, deftly portraying the complexities of the modern family, and exploring themes of choice, resentment, expectation, freedom, and creativity. An absolutely lovely read.”

An author that I haven’t read before is Jacquie Underdown but I am certainly keen to do so after reading this recommendation from Carolyn Scott. When you read her comments “This was a very enjoyable read. Three struggling families with one common problem that they set out to resolve. Wicked and fun!” it certainly sounds intriguing!

And the last book in this month’s round up sounds just delightful.  It is by emerging WA writer Emma Young who wrote The last bookshop and it was reviewed by Ebony Bryant who noted that “despite being Young’s debut novel, her experience as an award-winning journalist truly shines in the development of atmosphere and the nuances of conflict that play into the struggles and dedication of local businesses.  Emma Young does a great job of bringing attention to the finer details of what it takes to make a relationship—whether it be between a romantic partner or a profession—truly work. Full of love, resilience, and a call to support the local businesses that bring life and character to our cities, this story will have you anticipating your next visit to your local bookshop.”

And that seems a good note to finish on and don’t you just love that book cover!

About me : Have enjoyed reading historical and contemporary women’s writing for over 45 years and I look fondly back to the classics that initially sparked my interest when I was 13 and then to the many amazing novels since then written by wonderful Australian Women Writers.  And there is so many more to come…..