General Fiction

General Fiction

Red by Felicity McLean

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Felicity McLean must have had a lot of fun, reviving the story of the Kelly Gang and applying it loosely to the story of Red McCoy. Take a girl whom we meet as a preadolescent but who, over the course of the story, reaches the age of fifteen. This is Red

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General Fiction

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Sutanto

Reviewed by Clare Brook Jesse Sutanto’s debut novel Dial A for Aunties was such a hilarious success that its sequel – Four Aunties and a Wedding – has been keenly anticipated.  Aside from the riotous comedy Sutanto provides the reader with interesting cross culture experiences in both novels. In Dial A for Aunties, Sutanto explores

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General Fiction

A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Karly Lane‘s latest book, A Stone’s Throw Away, according to the cover, is poignant, heart-warming and suspenseful – a compelling story of never giving up on your dreams. I cannot argue with this. The title does not reveal what the storyline is all about, unlike her original title – Bones in

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General Fiction

One Good Thing by Alexandra Potter

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve There are occasional times when a book provides a heartening antidote to the horrors that bombard us in the news. Such a novel is Alexandra Potter’s latest, One Good Thing. There is much to divert and engage a reader as the main character Olivia (Liv) adjusts from being a shattered divorcée

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General Fiction

A Solitary Walk on the Moon by Hilde Hinton

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Most laundromats in large cities are unattended but there are some that offer a service of careful washing and ironing. One such business In Melbourne is the unglamorous setting of ‘A Solitary Walk on the Moon’. It is operated by Evelyn, the chief character, and she is dedicated to giving a

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General Fiction

Dinner with the Schnabels by Toni Jordan

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In our post pandemic world, it is a challenge to find reasons to laugh or smile. Thankfully there are authors with the ability to write a novel that is a pure delight to read. Toni Jordan received international recognition for her brilliant debut novel Addition.  Since then, she has published four

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General Fiction

The Girls of Lake Evelyn by Averil Kenny

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke I enjoyed reading Averil Kenny’s first novel, Those Hamilton Sisters, but I think I enjoyed The Girls of Lake Evelyn even more.  While her first novel was more about exclusion where the three girls were shunned by the town, her second was about how a newcomer to an area was readily

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General Fiction

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The term ‘portrait’ is a term often used when talking about art. It can be a painting, a photograph, an ink drawing, a sculpture — or even a description in words or in a film. Portrait of a Thief is a lyrical novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art

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General Fiction

Metronome by Tom Watson

Reviewed by Rod McLary In this debut novel, Tom Watson has crafted a dystopian view of a country where government approval to be pregnant is mandated; and the penalty for childbirth without approval is exile.  This is the fate of Aina and Whitney – a twelve-year exile to what appears to be an island, isolation

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General Fiction

Mother’s Boy by Patrick Gale

Reviewed by Rod McLary Keep yourself to yourself [Charles Causley]. This line of poetry, quoted in the epigraph to Mother’s Boy, was written by Charles Causley – a poet born in the small town of Launceston in Cornwall – and is indicative of his life in that he was a very private person.  The line

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General Fiction

Goodnight, Vivienne, Goodnight by Steven Carroll

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Steven Carroll has taken fragments from the facts concerning the tortured life of TS Eliot’s first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood, to weave a masterly restructuring of her life. Until the publication of her diaries this year, it was maintained that she suffered serious mental illness all her life, inflicted damage to her

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General Fiction

My Pen is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Although Afghanistan has a rich literary tradition, life there is a struggle to survive in the twenty-first century, to the degree that writing is almost a luxury, especially for the women. My Pen is the Wing of a Bird is an unusual title but strikingly conveys that, by writing, these women

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General Fiction

Loveland by Robert Lukins

Reviewed by Rod McLary Robert Lukins is an Australian author – his first book The Everlasting Sunday was published in 2018 and received positive reviews.  Loveland is his second novel and is largely set in Nebraska in a small town called Loveland. There are two parallel stories but chronologically they take place sixty odd years

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General Fiction

The Teeth of a Slow Machine by Andrew Roff

Reviewed by Rod McLary The author of this varied and entertaining collection of short stories is the award-winning Australian writer Andrew Roff.  The intriguing title of the collection perhaps has its origins in a quote from a Greek philosopher – ‘the mills of the gods grind exceeding slow’ – meaning one’s destiny may not come

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General Fiction

A Great Hope by Jessica Stanley

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Anyone interested in Australian politics would find this book interesting as it encompasses the time in Australia when a long entrenched political party was defeated. What followed was a time of musical chairs as the leadership of political parties changed quite frequently. The book reveals some of the workings of the

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