I had a slow reading month and didn’t get as many books read as I would have liked, but those I did read were excellent. Some made me cry. Always good! Unless it’s on public transport…
Here’s what I’ve read this month:
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I’m a total Ruiz Zafón fan girl. I thought nothing would overtake The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game as my favourite Zafóns but Marina has. The moment I finished all I wanted was to read it again. Set it a wonderfully evoked Barcelona, Marina tells the story of young Oscar Drai and his relationship with the mysterious and beautiful Marina. Together they uncover one of the city’s darkest secrets. With Gothic horror, love, adventure and truly gorgeous writing, this held me captive from the opening page. Brilliant.
by Rachael Johns
Johns has done it again with another delightful tale from Bunyip Bay. Her knack for detailing the warmth and bonds (and sometimes failings) of small rural communities has been proven in previous tales like Jilted, Man Drought and Outback Dreams, but in Outback Blaze the Bay and its workings are drawn even more vividly. Nothing like a mysterious fire to bring a town together and the gossipmongers out! Drew, the local policeman with a secret, and Ruby, a woman carrying her own heavy past, are adorable characters that I loved from the get-go and it was huge fun to follow them on their journey to happiness. Heart-warming rural romance with a nice touch of mystery.
by Kate Belle
I was fortunate enough to score an advance review copy of Being Jade and am so thrilled I did. What a book!
I thoroughly enjoyed Belle’s debut, The Yearning, but this is even more accomplished. The story is cleverly written from alternating point of views, swapping between poor, dead Banjo and his daughter Lissy as they try to unravel the truth behind Banjo and Jade’s marriage. A riveting, complex and beautifully written tale of love, betrayal, tragedy, and the difference between love and sex. This book made me think. A lot. And snivel embarrassingly on the train. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
by Katherine Scholes
Another author whose books are an auto-buy for me and The Perfect Wife didn’t disappoint.
Set in the late 40s in Tanganyika in East Africa, it follows young Australian woman Kitty Hamilton as she tries to live up to her husband Theo’s expectations of a proper wife. Scandal has forced Theo to take a government post in its groundnut scheme, far from his aristocratic roots, with the hope this new life will rebuild their marriage.
There is so much going on in The Perfect Wife: the power of art, the affects of war, class snobbery, the loss of dreams, colonialism, a subtle love story. All combining to create another sweeping Scholes read. Great stuff.
Cathryn Hein was born in South Australia’s rural south-east. With three generations of jockeys in the family it was little wonder she grew up horse mad, finally obtaining her first horse at age 10. So began years of pony club, eventing, dressage and showjumping until university beckoned.
Armed with a shiny Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from Roseworthy College she moved to Melbourne and later Newcastle, working in the agricultural and turf seeds industry. Her partner’s posting to France took Cathryn overseas for three years in Provence where she finally gave in to her life-long desire to write. Her short fiction has been recognised in numerous contests, and published in Woman’s Day.
Now living in Melbourne, Cathryn writes full-time.
Rocking Horse Hill
Who do you trust when a stranger threatens to tear your family apart?
Ever since she was a little girl, Emily Wallace-Jones has loved Rocking Horse Hill. The beautiful family property is steeped in history. Everything important in Em’s life has happened there. And even though Em’s brother Digby has inherited the property, he has promised Em it will be her home for as long as she wishes.
When Digby falls in love with sweet Felicity Townsend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Em worries about the future. But she is determined not to treat Felicity with the same teenage snobbery that tore apart her relationship with her first love, Josh Sinclair. A man who has now sauntered sexily back into Em’s life and given her a chance for redemption.
But as Felicity settles in, the once tightly knitted Wallace-Jones family begins to fray. Suspicions are raised, Josh voices his distrust, and even Em’s closest friends question where Felicity’s motives lie. Conflicted but determined to make up for the damage caused by her past prejudices, Em sides with her brother and his fiancée until a near tragedy sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.
Rocking Horse Hill is a moving family drama and passionate love story from the author of Heartland.