May 2017

The Beachcomber’s Wife by Adrian Mitchell

Reviewed by E. B. Heath An elderly deaf woman is alone on Dunk Island, North Queensland.  It is 1923, her husband has just died, and she has no means of contacting the main land.   She waits for three days before a passing boat comes to her aid.   This is fact. The woman is Bertha Banfield,

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These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

  Reviewed by E. B. Heath A building, the people who live in it, a society anxious about immigration and unemployment, and the over arching summer heat of Paris.   Such are the elements of Fran Cooper’s first novel, These Dividing Walls, successfully fusing character study and commentary on current social problems in Europe. Fran Cooper

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New York Nights by C.J. Duggan

  Reviewed by E. B. Heath New York Nights is reminiscent of a sexy fairy tale – with complications – a fun romantic comedy; it is the latest story in C.J. Duggan’s the ‘Heart of the City’ series. Now I was worried.  From the moment Dr Liebenberg had spoken of helping with a ‘situation’ it

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Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is the story of two friends who grow up on neighbouring properties in the Kimberley region of northern Australia. At age 15 they make a pact that neither will ever screw up their friendship. However at age eighteen, on the offer of places in a university, Tom Forrest kisses Willow

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The Student by Iain Ryan

  Reviewed by E. B. Heath The Student is a wild read!  Iain Ryan has written this adrenalin-fuelled novel in the hard-boiled noir genre.  However, there is more to this novel than the rush of testosterone driven, drugs, sex and violence, all of which is portrayed unflinchingly.   A nuance of vulnerability associated with a coming-of-age

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A Crime in the Family by Sacha Batthyány

  Reviewed by Norrie Sanders “It was the massacre of 180 Jews that brought me closer to my family” The last few days of the Second World War were congested with events that have become synonymous with human suffering and destruction. Gratuitous violence by retreating German troops, Adolf Hitler’s suicide, liberation of death camps and

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Jungle without Water and other stories by Sreedhevi Iyer

Reviewed by E.B. Heath This little book, of ten short narratives, is a refreshing read. The author, Sreedhevi Iyer, writes from the perspective of multiple ethnicities and as such the reader enters into diverse cultural spaces and enjoys a literary holiday.  Iyer’s cultural heritage is Indian-Malaysian-Australian; she wrote her PhD at City University Hong Kong

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Those Wild Rabbits: How they Shaped Australia by Bruce Munday

  Reviewed by Ian Lipke For older Australians the great rabbit plagues of the first half of the twentieth century are remembered as vividly as if they were just a short time ago. Older readers will recall, as children, watching Uncle Jack sending his team of ferrets down a rabbit hole. They remember the heart

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In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

  Reviewed by E. B. Heath A feral dog streaks across his path, going for a gobbet of offal near the wheel of a cart.    . . .  Scavenging opportunist, Niccolò thinks, not without a certain admiration.  Stick a feathered hat on him and give him a sword and you’ve got half the country.  No

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Datsunland by Stephen Orr

Reviewed by Sue McFadyen Ah suburbia! A fair dinkum place where people look out for each other, a safe and dependable haven to grow up in and spend your life? None of that anymore, according to Stephen Orr in his short story collection Datsunland, where suburban life has a dark side, often more hell than

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WHO I AM by Charlotte Rampling with Christophe Bataille

  Reviewed by Mike Clarke This is a slight book (in more ways than one). Tessa Charlotte Rampling OBE, the daughter of a British Olympic gold medallist, is a model and actor famous for her roles in films such as Georgy Girl (1966), The Dammed (1969) and The Night Porter (1974). In 2015 she was

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Time To Die by Rodney Syme

  Reviewed by Dr Kathleen Huxley Rodney Syme has been a doctor and surgeon since 1964. Additionally, he is the president of Dying With Dignity Victoria, has a specialist and extensive experience in urology and an in-depth knowledge of, and acquaintance with, people who are experiencing terminal illness and suffering.  In this moving account of

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The New Neotropical Companion by John Kricher

  Reviewed by Ian Lipke Travellers through tropical rain forest in Australia would give their eye teeth for a book as comprehensive and scholarly as the text by John Kricher, aptly named The New Neotropical Companion . To be a useful companion a book must be sturdily bound, it must have clear and concise information,

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