General Fiction

General Fiction

Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Lionel Shriver’s many admirers will eagerly acquire her latest work, Should We Stay or Should We Go.  She has the reputation for courageously and powerfully examining important issues; for instance, the Columbine massacre was the impetus to write We Need to Talk About Kevin and population control in Game Control. Now

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General Fiction

Still by Matt Nable

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Anyone reading and thinking about the image of Darwin presented through the characters in Matt Nable’s book is sure to claim that the author has exaggerated. Here we read of a town awash in drink, where men soak up alcohol as rapidly as they can because the hot sun is guaranteed

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General Fiction

We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson

Reviewed by Rod McLary The author of this new novel – Campbell Mattinson – has said that it is ‘the only story I ever really wanted to write’ and sets out in the Acknowledgements [341] the real-life story which inspired him.  While not autobiographical in intent, the content of We Were Not Men does suggest

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General Fiction

Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is a beautiful book. Through the magic of Michelle Wright’s mind, I was entranced once again by the beauty of Paris as I first witnessed it a few years ago. So many of the sights that are Paris surface with renewed vigour in my memory when I take up Michelle

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General Fiction

Now That I See You by Emma Batchelor

Reviewed by Rod McLary Now That I See You is drawn from the lived experience of the narrator as she traverses through the process of her male partner’s transitioning to female. ‘Transitioning’ from one gender to the other [the term encompasses both male-to-female and female-to-male] is a challenging concept to grasp.  Our sexuality and gender

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General Fiction

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke As one would expect, this novel deals with that terrible period in European history when the Nazis overran Poland and locked many of Warsaw’s Jewish population behind a wall. The novel tells the story of brave individuals who withstood German might in ways that seemed insignificant but had an effect more

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General Fiction

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve A trip that should have taken seven hours, lasts almost a day – time to reveal relationships in turmoil, minor dramas involving wrists and ankles, an unlikely hero and a mystery lurking around one of the five passengers. The Road Trip is a romance writ large. The characters, mostly twenty-somethings, are

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General Fiction

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend It is rare that one embarks on a review by advising readers where and how to sit while reading the novel in question.   However, in the case of Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto, I feel obliged to impart exactly that information. Do not read while on a train, bus,

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General Fiction

Second Place by Rachel Cusk

Reviewed by Rod McLary In early 1922, the English writer DH Lawrence and his wife Frieda visited Mabel Dodge Luhan – a wealthy American patron of the arts – at her home in Taos New Mexico.  By all accounts, the visit was a ‘fraught’ one.  Both Lawrence and Luhan later and separately wrote about the

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General Fiction

The Ripping Tree by Nikki Gemmell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Nikki Gemmell is the author of fourteen works of fiction and seven non-fiction books, and her novels have been translated into 22 languages. Many will know this writer from her weekly, often controversial, column in The Weekend Australian newspaper. In 2007, the French literary magazine Lire included her in a list

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General Fiction

Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

Reviewed by Rod McLary The town of Nowhere River is a small town in the Central Highlands of Tasmania not too far from Hobart – it has suffered and continues to suffer from a long drought.  Like many other small country towns across Australia, Nowhere River is slowly dying. This heart-warming and affectionate story centres

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General Fiction

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Readers seeking a diverting, laughter-filled few hours will pounce on Second First Impressions. This book is in fairytale territory with its unspectacular heroine, Ruthie, discovered and transformed by a ridiculously nearly perfect man, Teddy (Theodore). Ruthie is temporarily managing Providence, a retirement home for excessively wealthy ladies.  Into her life comes

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General Fiction

Trick of the Light by Fiona McCallum

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is the story of a woman named Erica whose mother had recently died and whose husband Stuart had passed away soon after. Erica and her daughters Mackenzie and Issy are trying to put their lives back together. Erica is devastated when her financial advisers inform her that her venture capitalist

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General Fiction

Legends of the Lost Lilies by Jackie French

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Apparently, this book is the fifth and last in a series about a group of ‘lovely ladies’ from Europe’s royal and most influential families and their less privileged sisters who played such a pivotal role in both World Wars and whose involvement has been omitted from the annals of history. The

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General Fiction

Sisters of Freedom by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Reviewed by Ian Lipke No doubt exists in my mind that Australia needs to wake to the fact that living within its shores is a major talent, a young woman whose Sisters of Freedom captures truly the spirit of the dawn of a federated nation. Society of the time led the way by drafting laws

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