General Fiction

General Fiction

Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard by Alison Weir

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The story of Katheryn Howard is the fifth in the Six Tudor Queens series that Alison Weir seems to turn out so effortlessly. While the contents of the books are fiction, they are so carefully researched as to persuade the reader that the events are factual and the characters true revelations

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General Fiction

Jack by Marilynne Robinson

Reviewed by Rod McLary Marilynne Robinson is reputed to be one of America’s finest contemporary writers – a reputation with which I would wholeheartedly agree. Jack – her most recent novel – is a prequel of sorts to her series of novels comprising Gilead, Home and Lila.  The story is set just after World War

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General Fiction

Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I wonder if Kathleen Jennings, growing to adulthood among the scrublands of rural Australia ever wondered, as a child, what influence her environment was having on her. Her novella breathes the atmosphere of the bush. Just as she describes, I have felt its call, heard the birds waking at dawn and

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General Fiction

Love, Clancy by Richard Glover

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve After the success of The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover has brought us another treat to relish. This is a hilarious series of letters by Clancy, a clever Kelpie, to his previous home and reviewed by his new owner, Man.  He is an asset to any family, the perfect pet (he

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General Fiction

Honeybee by Craig Silvey

Reviewed by Rod McLary Sam Watson is fourteen years old and very troubled.  From a young age, he always felt most comfortable and most in tune with his real self when he dressed in his mother’s clothes.  In his first year of school, Sam ‘took a pleated skirt out of the lost property box and

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General Fiction

The Return by Nicholas Sparks

Reviewed by Ian Lipke That Nicholas Sparks would write in any genre other than the one he has chosen is unimaginable. He writes so well that the reader expects a masterpiece each time a new book appears. This is a tough expectation of the writer, but Sparks seems to maintain a high standard. But if

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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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