General Fiction

General Fiction

Pilgrims by Matthew Kneale

Reviewed by Rod McLary The golden age for pilgrimages from what we now call Britain to Rome was the thirteenth century.  The reasons for persons undertaking a long and onerous – and sometimes unsafe – journey to Rome were multi-fold ranging from the personal to the public.  The most common reason was to do penance

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General Fiction

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A huge book of 800+ pages, The Evening and the Morning appears to be a useful source of information relating to the pre-1000 CE period. Having read general knowledge books in the history of this era as well as some specialist tomes, I am comfortable in asserting that the author’s research

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General Fiction

Lionhearts by Nathan Makaryk

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Lionhearts opens with England in dire need of a king. But Richard 1, the Lionheart, has been captured while on Crusade and is held fast in Austria pending payment of a ransom. To raise the money needed to bring him home, every lord has increased taxes and the common people are

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General Fiction

Bluebird by Malcolm Knox

Reviewed by Rod McLary Bluebird is a sprawling novel set in the fictitious small town of Bluebird located just across the bay from Ocean City.  It could be anywhere but the descriptions of the town’s characters place it squarely in Australia.  Most readers would recognise – and perhaps some may even know – many of

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General Fiction

The Wreck by Meg Keneally

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This second novel by Meg Keneally has much in common with her first solo novel Fled. The early part of both novels is set in Britain at a time when the common people felt powerless, exploited by those with money and where survival was all a matter of chance. The second

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General Fiction

Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan

Reviewed by Rod McLary Mayflies is written in two parts: part one is set in Summer 1986 and part two is set in Autumn 2017.  The seasons selected for the titles of the parts suggest the mood of what is contained within them. The protagonists are Tully and his best friend James [or Noodles as

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General Fiction

The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The Tolstoy estate is the setting for this novel.  It is where the revered Russian writer is buried, in a glade in his lands west of Moscow and where he lived most of his later years. Estate can also mean legacy and this book surely is a valued indication of that.

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General Fiction

Poly by Paul Dalgarno

Reviewed by Rod McLary The rather intriguing title of Poly – the first work of fiction by Melbourne writer Paul Dalgarno – comes from the word ‘polyamory’.  The word means ‘the practice of intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved. It has been described as consensual, ethical,

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General Fiction

Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Ordinary Matter is the second publication of Brisbane writer, Laura Elvery. Her first collection of short stories, Trick of the Light, a finalist in the Queensland Literary Awards, was published in 2018. Her 2020 publication consists of short stories in honour of women who have been recipients of Nobel Prizes between

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General Fiction

State Highway One by Sam Coley

Reviewed by Rod McLary It is always exciting to read the first published book of a new author.  Sam Coley is the author of this book describing a road trip undertaken by Alex and his twin sister Amy following the sudden death of their parents.  The circumstances which lead to the road trip and the

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General Fiction

The River Home by Hannah Richell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke ‘Lost in slumber, all the scents, the sounds, the colours of her past rise up, all that she has buried – the secrets, the darkness – return to her.’ What have you done? What on earth have you done? (Prologue) The main storyline of The River Home, by Hannah Richell, takes

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General Fiction

The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke For many readers, it is a mystery how individual writers can continue to come up with their many and varied storylines. Some writers believe that the stories find them. Kayte Nunn was a magazine and book editor, then freelance feature writer and project editor, before she had her first book published

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General Fiction

An Alice Girl by Tanya Heaslip

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Bond Springs Station, north of Alice Springs, was first settled in the 1870s by a Mr Willoughby and Mr Youl, after a daunting twelve-month wagon trek through central Australia. Australia’s Cattle King, Sydney Kidman, became the property owner in 1910, from whom Grant Heaslip purchased it in 1964. The original houses,

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General Fiction

Finding Eadie by Caroline Beecham

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Finding Eadie is the third historical novel by Caroline Beecham. This author provides a well-researched backdrop for her stories. In this case, it is World War Two in London and focusses on how many of those left behind struggled to carry on their normal lives. This is not a story about

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General Fiction

Croc Country by Kerry McGinnis

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This novel is another interesting read from the pen of Kerry McGinnis. Using her vast experience of the outback, she has opened up this part of Australia to her readers. Kerry McGinnis is the oldest sister in a family who run a vast station out near Lawn Hill, in North-west Queensland

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