General Fiction

General Fiction

Maror by Lavie Tidhar

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve From its arresting title Maror – bitter herbs – to its final pages, this is an unforgettably powerful saga of life in Israel in the last four decades of the twentieth century. It is a sweeping portrayal of violence, corruption and chaos threaded through by veins of humanity. Lavie Tidhar has

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General Fiction

Electric and Mad and Brave by Tom Pitts

Reviewed by Rod McLary The debut novel by Tom Pitts has its origin in two songs he wrote [Tom is a musician as well as a writer] which is reflected in the lyricism which imbues the novel.  Narrated in the first person by twenty-eight-year-old Matt Lacey while recovering in a mental health facility from a

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General Fiction

The Bellbird River Country Choir by Sophie Green

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke For a novel of this type, the beginning of the book has to be chapters which for a while seem totally unconnected. At first what begins to connect the characters and their stories, is the location, a small country town in New South Wales not far from Tamworth. But even so,

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General Fiction

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Reviewed by E. B. Heath Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley was the subject of a bidding war between publishers both in America and Europe.  This is unusual, particularly for a debut novel, and for one written by a seventeen-year-old.  Leila Mottley is also a poet of some note, awarded the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate.  With

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General Fiction

The Registrar by Neela Janakiramanan

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend The Registrar reads like a report from the trenches of an unremitting war. Thinly disguised as a novel, Dr. Neela Janakiramanan has written about her experiences as a trainee surgeon. Dr Neela Janakiramanan is a reconstructive plastic surgeon with expertise in hand and wrist surgery.  She has worked extensively in both

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General Fiction

It All Comes Down To This by Therese Anne Fowler

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Therese Anne Fowler is a contemporary American author, best known for her novels about strong women from history whose stories either have been mistold or are largely untold. She took advantage of the shutdowns during the pandemic to try her hand at something different; and tells the reader at the beginning

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General Fiction

Galatea by Madeline Miller

Reviewed by Rod McLary Madeline Miller’s Galatea is a re-telling of the Greek myth in which the king Pygmalion has fallen in love with a statue he made with his own hands.  In answer to his prayers, the goddess Aphrodite brought the statue Galatea to life and she and Pygmalion married.  Subsequently, they have a

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General Fiction

Random Acts of Unkindness by Anna Mandoki

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Melbourne in 2030 has changed into a city which many had predicted earlier in the century. Climate extremes, war, poverty and loneliness bring intense heat, frequent torrential rain, abandoned buildings; and, to the north, Indonesia in the grip of civil war. No longer does it qualify as “the world’s most liveable

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General Fiction

Things We Bury by Matthew Ryan Davies

Reviewed by Rod McLary It is a common trope in stories about families that the matriarch or patriarch is on his/her death bed and the family gathers around and all the unresolved tensions and undisclosed secrets are exposed for good or bad.  Think of Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm and what flows from

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General Fiction

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Books about war tend to focus on battles and those who were in the thick of fighting them. Kate Thompson’s novel The Little Wartime Library is therefore refreshing because it focuses on those who are left at home trying to live their lives as best they can. In this case, it

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General Fiction

The Lessons by John Purcell

Reviewed by Gail McDonald The Lessons is the second novel by John Purcell with his debut novel The Girl on the Page being acclaimed as a best seller. John Purcell is an Australian author whose novels also include The Secret Lives of Emma. He is also the Director of Books at Booktopia and Angus &

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General Fiction

Nightwork by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Ian Lipke If ever a writer had a fertile and creative mind that writer would have to be Nora Roberts. Since as recent as 2014 this writer has investigated scenarios of considerable difference. In 2014 she entertained us with a house-sitter who enjoys looking after the homes of the glamorous while their owners

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General Fiction

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Reviewed by Clare Brook In her latest novel, The Candy House, Jennifer Egan explores ways in which the internet and social media has, and might, change us and our experience of life, both individually and socially. The Candy House provides readers with many perspectives from the point of view of a large cast of characters,

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General Fiction

Trust by Hernán Diaz

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Trust, the second novel by celebrated Hernán Diaz, is a dazzling example of a writer who is brilliantly in control of a complicated narrative which portrays the life of an immensely wealthy and successful magnate, introduced as Benjamin Rash in a novel by Harold Vanner, called ‘Bonds’. The book needs its

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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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