General fiction

REVIEW Everybody’s Fool

October 20, 2017
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REVIEW Everybody’s Fool

A decade after Nobody’s Fool, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo’s returns to the same characters for a new novel: Everybody’s Fool. Set in the not-so-salubrious American town of North Bath and taking place over a weekend, this new novel has all the heart, grittiness and quirkiness of the first book. The good-hearted but stroppy...

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REVIEW Word Ghost

March 16, 2017
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REVIEW Word Ghost

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 hardest, having to leave her home town, her friends and,...

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REVIEW The Taming of the Tights

February 20, 2017
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REVIEW The Taming of the Tights

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 of the school, Dother Hall, but it does sound rather Dickensian....

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REVIEW Enon

February 19, 2017
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REVIEW Enon

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 such words as wonderful, remarkable, captivating, hypnotic ....

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REVIEW Coal Creek

October 20, 2016
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REVIEW Coal Creek

027672 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: hard, hot and dry, low scrub and...

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A positive? It’s better than 50 Shades

May 22, 2016
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A positive? It’s better than 50 Shades

Maestra, by L S Hilton (Zaffre, RRP $32.99): Judith Raleigh leads something of a double life, working as an auction house assistant in London during the day, and as a hostess in a somewhat unsavoury bar by night. She knows how to play the game: she knows how to act and interact with me...

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Brutality enjoyed in Oz re-imagining

May 21, 2016
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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...

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Fresh feline perspective

April 5, 2016
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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...

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Post tale a stylish debut

March 31, 2016
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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...

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Harrowing and heartbreaking

March 17, 2016
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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...

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