General Fiction

General Fiction

The White Cockatoo Flowers: Stories by Ouyang Yu

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Ouyang Yu’s view of the modern world is humorously summed up when he suggests that if Shakespeare wrote the famous quote “To be or….”, it would become “To be or not to be entertained”….  The general population is obsessed with money, sex, distractions, food and are merely ‘animals with clothes’. Poetry,

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General Fiction

Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Fleur McDonald first introduced readers to Detective Dave Burrows in the early 2000s when he was the main character in her novel. Since then, he has appeared as a secondary character in sixteen contemporary novels. In this story, Shock Waves, he is the main character but at a time when he

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General Fiction

All the Beautiful Things You Love by Jonathan Seidler

Reviewed by Rod McLary The Walker Brothers once sang ‘breaking up is so very hard to do’ and those of us who have broken up with a loved one will know exactly what the Brothers mean. In his debut fiction novel, Jonathan Seidler explores the break-up of a marriage.  As with much else in life,

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General Fiction

Shining Like the Sun by Stephen Orr

Reviewed by Rod McLary An epigraph to this new novel by Stephen Orr is a quote from the esteemed Australian author Patrick White.  He says: The mystery of life is not salved by success, which is an end in itself, but in failure, in perpetual struggle, in becoming.  Epigraphs by definition point to the theme

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General Fiction

Thunderhead by Miranda Darling

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve By today’s standards, Thunderhead is unusually brief in length. This belies the fact that here is a book that must not be overlooked or dismissed. It encompasses writing that is poetic, lively and very clever in its portrayal of a woman trying desperately to master ‘how to be’ in her ordinary

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General Fiction

The Rivertown Vet by Jennifer Scoullar

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Australia is fortunate in the 2020s to have so many talented writers who celebrate the Australian landscape while at the same time presenting heartwarming human stories. Jennifer Scoullar is one such author. Her latest Australian rural fiction, The Rivertown Vet, which is her thirteenth offering, is set in rural South Australia.

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General Fiction

Looking Out by Fiona McCallum

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke When reading the latest book by Fiona McCallum called Looking Out it took me some time to see the significance of the title. The story focusses on one family and a couple of close friends set in the post pandemic years. Natasha and Mitchell have two bright daughters. Natasha is striving

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General Fiction

The Rewilding by Donna M Cameron

Reviewed by Rod McLary The Rewilding is an intriguing and engaging novel – part romance, part thriller and part polemic – with two attractive protagonists who at least initially are at loggerheads with each other. Jagger [named by his mother after the lead singer of the Rolling Stones] Eckerman and Nia [meaning ‘resolve’ or ‘brilliance’

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General Fiction

Greater City Shadows by Laurie Steed

Reviewed by Rod McLary William Boyd – an English author and an excellent short story writer – once said [in A Short History of the Short Story in Prospect 17 April 2018]: [a short story] seem[s] to answer something very deep in our nature as if, for the duration of its telling, something special has

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General Fiction

Darkness Runs Deep by Claire McNeel

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Claire McNeel is a fifth-generation football supporter who believes that women belong in the action not just on the sidelines. A former registered nurse and researcher, with a PhD in Neuroscience, she was a finalist for Best Screenplay at the Byron Bay International Film Festival, and this screenplay formed the basis

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General Fiction

Someone Else’s Bucket List by Amy T. Matthews

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This story by Amy T. Matthews takes the reader into the mayhem of social media. This is a new world for some readers and although it seems very artificial and invasive at times this story shows how all this hoopla can be used to achieve good if one is strong enough

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General Fiction

Peppercorn House by Nicole Hurley-Moore

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Peppercorn House is the title of the latest novel by Nicole Hurley-Moore. Out of curiosity I looked up this name and discovered that there is indeed a “Peppercorn House” at 13 Hawthorn Street Northcote which was built around 1910. This house bridges the gap between Victorian and Edwardian architecture, combining the

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General Fiction

Things She Would Have Said Herself by Catherine Therese

Reviewed by E B Heath Poppycock, I most definitely am my thoughts, Leslie countered silently, as one by one her truths blazed. And what’s more, the whole world would ignite if it knew what women were really thinking. Wallace and Lesley Bird are exhausting.  According to their daughter Caroline, they are bigots, bogons and racists. 

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General Fiction

The Blue Gum Camp by Léonie Kelsall

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke I love Léonie Kelsall’s writing style. She provides a very human narrative while at the same time highlights the beauty of the flora and fauna of her beloved South Australia. Through her tales the reader becomes privy to historical and geological facts that blend naturally into the flow of the story.

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General Fiction

The Porcelain Maker by Sarah Freethy

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Sarah Freethy worked as a television producer, script consultant and screenwriter before turning her hand to fiction with her first novel, The Porcelain Maker. Although this work is a story of fiction, many of the things written about did really happen and have been well documented. The Allach Porcelain and the

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