Welcome to Autumn!  During February there were 48 reviews of General Fiction which is a top effort.  I was hoping to add to the tally but didn’t quite finish my latest read Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason who is up amongst the longlist nominees in the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year.  Some great contenders, 6 out of the 8 are Australian Women Writers.  Congratulations to all the writers in each of the categories.  And a shout out to the 2021 Stella Prize Longlist nominees which is literally hot off the press 2021 Stella Prize Longlist announced online on Thursday 4 March.

Our first novel for this round up is Kavita Bedford’s Friends and dark shapes which was reviewed by Jennifer Cameron Smith who found herself pondering “This is a novel which invites an older reader to reflect on their own experiences and a younger reader to wonder about their own future. Time elapses, life experiences accrue, what once seems important might change. The novel ends, and I wonder what might happen next both in the lives of the people we meet and in the suburb of Redfern.
Is that true: is a feeling about a city also a feeling about oneself?’
I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect.”

Janet Gover’s Close to home was given some lovely attention by mrsbbookreviews who shared a gorgeous interview with Janet.  One of the questions she poses is “What is one thing you would like your audience to take away from the experience of reading Close to Home?  JG Hope – that no matter what mistakes you made in the past, what opportunities you missed, or how you were hurt, you never know what good things are waiting for you if you just open yourself to them.  Well worth heading over to the website and reading the full interview.

The third book in this round up is Kelli Hawkin’s Other People’s houses which was also reviewed by Jennifer Cameron Smith who suggests that this one was hard to review without giving too much away but certainly worth the read.   “To write more about this story could spoil the impact of it. There were a couple of twists I didn’t anticipate, and one I did. I kept reading, wanting to know how it would end and hoping Kate would find renewed purpose.”  Sounds pretty intriguing to me and will be adding it to the TBR pile.

There is definitely a theme happening here as our next novel is the third one that has home/house in the title.  The much loved Fiona Lowe has just released her latest which is called A Home Like Ours.  Marianne’s Reviews gave it a five star rating and states “Lowe’s story touches on many topical themes, including racist attitudes towards refugees, poverty, chronic illness, and local council corruption, as well as the age-old subjects of prejudice, friendship, loyalty and betrayal. She easily evokes her setting and the small-town mindset.”

Highly regarded author and screenwriter Debra Oswald has penned another gripping novel titled The Family Doctor and again we have a highly rated review from Marianne’s Reviews. “Her characters are believably flawed, their reactions entirely credible and their dialogue natural, if sometimes blackly funny. Oswald’s descriptive prose is wonderfully evocative: “A papery version of herself”, and she gives the reader a bit of romance, an exciting climax and a wholly realistic ending.
Good advice is to have some tissues ready for parts of this brilliantly-written tale. Powerful, topical and extremely relevant, this is an outstanding read.”

That’s a wrap for this month, looking forward to reading the next round of reviews during March.

About me : Have always enjoyed reading Australian Women Writers.  My love began as a young student fortunate enough to have teachers that fostered my love of reading by offering an elective subject  Australian Literature in year Nine.  Discovering the classics back then and continuing to read contemporary fiction throughout the years is one of my greatest interests and love being able to read and share a common interest through the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge.