General Fiction

General Fiction

I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava

Reviewed by Clare Brook I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava resonates like poetry, her writing is spare, economical and yet so meticulous in imageries of place and sentiment. LaCava describes psychological suffering and estrangement in her protagonist who cannot feel physical pain.  A real condition, apparently, known as congenital analgesia.  Given that

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General Fiction

Kookaburra Cottage by Maya Linnell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kookaburra Cottage is the fifth novel by Australian writer Maya Linnell, a former country journalist and radio host. Maya also blogs for Romance Writers Australia, loves baking up a storm, tending to her rambling garden and raising her three children. These aspects of her life are clearly reflected in her novels.

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General Fiction

Identity by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Identity is by well-known American writer Nora Roberts. I have read many of her 225 romance novels, those set in a world of magic, as well as her ‘In Death Series’ written under the name J. D. Robb and enjoyed them.  She has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and

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General Fiction

The Therapist by Hugh Mackay

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Hugh Mackay is an Australian psychologist, social researcher, and author of 21 books. He was a weekly newspaper columnist for 25 years and a regular commentator on radio and television. He has made a lifelong study of the attitudes and behaviour of Australians. The Therapist is the story of Martha Elliott,

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General Fiction

Faded Yellow by the Winter by Scott Pearce

Reviewed by Rod McLary Faded Yellow by the Winter is the first novel by Melbourne writer Scott Pearce.  It is the story of Vic Whelan a farmer living in Henrithvale in northern Victoria with his wife Jane and their two young children.  The family lives on the farm once owned by Vic’s father and before

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General Fiction

Time After Time by Karly Lane

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Time After Time is the twenty-first novel by Karly Lane to be published by Allen & Unwin. Her novels range from romantic suspense to family saga, and she is passionate about writing stories that embrace rural Australia and the vast communities within it. Most of her stories are a blending of

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General Fiction

The Summer Place by Janette Paul

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This internationally published author, writing under the pen name Janette Paul, has once again provided an enjoyable read for those looking for contemporary women’s fiction and romantic comedy which she writes. She is a former news and sports journalist who also writes suspense novels under the name Jaye Ford. The story,

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General Fiction

The Albatross by Nina Wan

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The pandemic had varied and profound effects on the world, many were tragic. However, there are reasons to smooth the horrific memories that flooded our screens, daily. One is that creativity flourished as people were forced into long lockdowns. Nina Wan’s book, The Albatross, is a splendid example of this. Her

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General Fiction

The Stolen Hours by Karen Swan

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Karen Swan’s five part historical series, identified as the Wild Isle series, is based upon the dramatic evacuation of the Scottish island St Kilda in the summer of 1930. This may be the reason for the air of authenticity that accompanies the book. It is the summer of 1929 and Mhairi

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General Fiction

Dust Child by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Thousands of Australians visit Vietnam each year, and many do so repeatedly. They are charmed by the beauty of the people and the landscape. Many would recall the horror of the Vietnam war, perhaps were demonstrating in the 70s to end the senseless carnage. Few are aware of the enduring plight

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General Fiction

The Last Days of Joy by Anne Tiernan

Reviewed by Gail McDonald The Last Days of Joy is Anne Tiernan’s debut novel. Anne centred the book in Tauranga in New Zealand where she lives with her husband. Anne was born in Zambia and grew up in a small town near Dublin. She studied English Literature and Psychology at Trinity College. This was a

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General Fiction

Stolen by Ann-Helén Laestadius

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Occasionally, in some popular Scandinavian television series, the  Nordic indigenous minority, the Sami, appear.  Stolen is a gripping account of life in the tundra of northern Sweden, where a group of Sami live in a small village. Reindeer are an integral part of their lives; their knowledge of the herds’ ways,

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General Fiction

Crushing by Genevieve Novak

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend It is said of Genevieve Novak that she writes character-led romantic comedies, perhaps the genre needs expanding, the first category being unlikely fantasy in-a-perfect-world- romcom, or, in the case of Novak’s Crushing, truth-revealing, the-thinking-person’s-romcom.  Novak’s writing is insightful and witty, her characters messy, fun, and, finally, brave, as they realise that

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General Fiction

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This is not the first book that I have read with a similar plot. A small group of people finds themselves in an out-of-the-way place, isolated when something unexpected happens. It is what happens to them that makes this story different. For me this story was overly seasoned with sexual innuendo,

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General Fiction

The Anniversary by Stephanie Bishop

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Stephanie Bishop is a well-known writer according to the critiques I’ve read. The critics, to a woman, are fulsome in their praise, yet when I review her latest book The Anniversary, I’m thrown into doubt. She begins by telling us that novelist JB Blackwood has taken a holiday with her husband

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