General fiction

Teen’s life turned upside-down

March 16, 2017
By
Teen’s life turned upside-down

Word Ghost, by Christine Paice (Allen & Unwin, RRP $37): Rebecca Budde is nearly 16, the middle of three daughters belonging to a C of E vicar, John, and his wife, Ruth. Rebecca’s life is turned upside down when her father transfers parishes to a small, hidden away country village. She takes it the...

Read more »

Loveable heroine concludes her story

February 20, 2017
By
Loveable heroine concludes her story

The Taming of the Tights, by Louise Rennison (HarperCollins, RRP $26): This completes a trilogy about the narrator Tallulah Casey, following Withering Tights and A Midsummer Tights Dream. Lullah attends some sort of drama school in the small village of Heckmondwike near Skipley in Yorkshire. I’m not sure about the significance of the name...

Read more »

Bleak but still excellent reading

February 19, 2017
By
Bleak but still excellent reading

Enon, by Paul Harding (Random House, RRP $30): This was the second novel for Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding, and was published near the end of 2104. His debut novel is called Tinkers and, if this story is anything to go by, it is not surprising that it’s an award-winner. The praise for it includes...

Read more »

Familiarity offers well-written Aussie fiction

October 20, 2016
By
Familiarity offers well-written Aussie fiction

Coal Creek, by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin): Write about what you know about is a long held maxim – and so Australian author Alex Miller has. As a younger man he spent time in the Queensland highlands working as a stockman. He conjures up a time and place and brings it to life:...

Read more »

Brutality enjoyed in Oz re-imagining

May 21, 2016
By
Brutality enjoyed in Oz re-imagining

Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige (HarperCollins, RRP $20): The Dorothy that landed in Oz and met the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion must be killed. But why would anyone want to kill Dorothy? She’s good right? Well, no, she’s not. At least not in the world that Danielle Paige has...

Read more »

Fresh feline perspective

April 5, 2016
By
Fresh feline perspective

Molly and the Cat Cafe, by Melissa Daley (Macmillan Publishers, RRP $25) Cutsie animal stories are nothing new, but this little tale of love, loss and new beginnings is told from the point of view of the cutsie animal concerned, giving it a fresh take and and an unusual angle. Molly the cat has...

Read more »

Post tale a stylish debut

March 31, 2016
By
Post tale a stylish debut

Wake By Anna Hope (Random House, RRP $37): This incredible debut novel from author Anna Hope weaves together the tales of three extraordinary women, Hettie, Evelyn and Ada. Hettie spends her nights at Hammersmith Palais, dancing for a nickel with gentlemen, Evelyn works at the pensions office, helping soldiers who are struggling since the...

Read more »

Harrowing and heartbreaking

March 17, 2016
By
Harrowing and heartbreaking

The Road Between Us, by Nigel Farndale (Random House, RRP $38): In 1939, two young men in a Picadilly Circus hotel are unaware that their lives are about to change in drastic and unforseen ways. Charles and Anselm are arrested for homosexuality. Charles is discharged from the RAF, and Anselm is sent to a...

Read more »

Quirky debut mixes drama, mystery to good effect

December 3, 2015
By
Quirky debut mixes drama, mystery to good effect

Terms and Conditions, by Robert Glancy (Bloomsbury, RRP $30): I’m not usually a fan of the books that insist on footnotes. I avoid them or make a slow decision about whether they are actually needed and what they could possibly add to the book. Why not just include those moments in the main text...

Read more »

Not a page-turner but good enough

November 23, 2015
By
Not a page-turner but good enough

All Change, by Elizabeth Jane Howard (Pan Macmillan, RRP $30): The fact that this is No 5 in family saga The Cazalet Chronicles probably speaks for itself. In fact, Elizabeth Jane Howard was awarded a CBE in 2002, the same year her autobiography was published, and is the author of 14 highly acclaimed novels....

Read more »

Currently reading

Want You Dead: A Roy Grace Novel 10