General Fiction

General Fiction

The Breaking by Irma Gold

Reviewed by Rod McLary The Breaking is the debut adult novel by Irma Gold who has previously written a number of short stories and three children’s books.  For her first foray into adult fiction, she has crafted an intriguing and moving story which focusses on two young Australian women – Hannah and Deven.  They meet

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General Fiction

The Family Doctor by Debra Oswald

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Few can be unaware of the debates and proposals raging currently concerning the scourge of domestic violence that ravages our society. It is widespread and occurs in all strata of the community. Toxic masculinity is, sadly, a commonly used phrase and is a serious factor involved in the attacks on women.

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General Fiction

Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson

Reviewed by Rod McLary Hold Your Fire is a collection of short stories – each offering an insight into our inner desires and fears.  In this excellent collection of contemporary short stories, the author challenges our perceptions and certainties. As well as the more conventional style of short story, the collection also contains examples of

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General Fiction

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Reviewed by Rod McLary American Dirt, when first published in the United States, attracted some controversy because of its subject matter and because it was written by an author who has identified as white.  The controversy centred on the fact that the book chronicles the escape of a mother and her eight-year-old son from Mexico

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General Fiction

A Week to Remember by Esther Campion

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The title of Esther Campion’s latest offering, A Week to Remember, is most appropriate to the story within the covers of this book. The setting is a renovated holiday destination in West Cork, Ireland. To this place come several parties each with their own stories. Mick’s mother, Lilian Fitzgerald, has gifted

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General Fiction

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Amy, the leading character in this book, is a compulsive hoarder.  When a shocking episode shatters her life shared by a boyfriend she loved and a girlfriend she was deeply attached to, she begins to collect objects that reminded her of happier times.  They offered a constancy that her friend and

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General Fiction

The Shaman by Roland Perry

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Roland Perry has been a regular figure on both the fiction and non-fiction landscapes for many, many years. I remember reviewing his non-fiction book The Changi Brownlow when it came out in 2010. That book, like the present volume, was thoroughly researched and particularly well told. It was short-listed for the

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General Fiction

Dreams They Forgot by Emma Ashmere

Reviewed by Rod McLary Henry David Thoreau – in his series of essays Walden – said ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation’.  Sometimes – and incorrectly – the words ‘and die with their song still inside them’ are added.  If ‘men’ is replaced with ‘women’, then this quote and its addendum is

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General Fiction

The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The Paris Affair is the third novel by Pip Drysdale. Her two earlier books The Sunday Girl and The Strangers We Know were both best sellers, sold worldwide with the second being developed for television. Her latest contribution, The Paris Affair, is a novel about modern society with much reference to

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General Fiction

Outlawed by Anna North

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Outlawed is set in 1894 in an unidentified State of the USA. Ada lives under a law that requires young women marry and have children. Failure to produce a child in a reasonable time carries the consequence of divorce and social disfavour. Rumour is sufficient for a charge of practising witchcraft,

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General Fiction

When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders At the height of Saddam Hussein’s sinister rule, three women form an unlikely alliance that is born of deception.  Two of the women are Iraqi from different social classes whose childhood friendship was severed by an act of betrayal and resultant tragedy. Brought together a generation later by a fear of

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General Fiction

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

Reviewed by Rod McLary With a somewhat ambiguous title, People Like Her opens up the world of Instagrammers and sets out what it takes to be a successful one with in excess of one million followers.  Does the ambiguous ‘like’ of the title mean ‘similar to’ or ‘have affection for’?  Well – both actually and

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General Fiction

Memorial by Bryan Washington

Reviewed by Rod McLary Michael and Benson are two young men in Houston Texas and are struggling still to understand their relationship.  Are they a couple?  Should they even be together?  Mike and Ben don’t know the answers to these questions but before they can work them out, their world is turned upside down.  Mike

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General Fiction

The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In her latest novel, The Shearer’s Wife, Fleur McDonald has once again given her readers an insight into life in Australia outside the big cities. First the readers are taken back to the 1980s where Rose and her Irish shearer husband Ian pull up at the Golden Fleece roadhouse in their

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General Fiction

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr

 Reviewed by Rod McLary The Prophets is the debut novel by Robert Jones, Jr – a novel which at the same time explores the joy and the vicissitudes of love, the harsh cruelty of slavery and the significance of the wisdom and folk lore of ancestors. Set in Mississippi on a cotton plantation during the

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