General Fiction

The subtitle, Forbidden Love in a Hostile World, is a good summary of Mandy Hager’s new book. It is a dense work of historical fiction, rich with actual quotes from the main characters and a deep understanding of the history of the time. The story is a familiar one, that of Heloise and Abelard, lovers… Read More

Imagine waking up from a coma with 10 years of memory missing. This is what confronts Rebecca, the principal character of Brushstrokes Of Memory upon waking up in hospital after suffering a head injury. Apart from the missing ten years of her life, Rebecca also has to deal with a number of changes in the… Read More

Although at first this historical novel appears to be about land owner Matthew Fenchurch, in reality Jarulan by the River is the story of Rufina, who arrives as a German maid to the northern New South Wales property, Jarulan, a beautiful home of grandeur that is now decaying. Spanning from 1917 until the modern day… Read More

Sometime when you read a book it will make you feel completely inadequate as a writer. That was how I felt after reading the first few chapters of Sarah Quigley’s new book, The Suicide Club. The characters are so beautifully drawn, the writing is alive with wonderful language and the plot has you on the… Read More

A novel with the Vietnam War at its core, The Nam Legacy follows the love affair between Evelyn Hallet and Jack Coles. Set mostly in New Zealand during the 60s and 70s, the novel moves between rural life and the city lights of Auckland, before the action moves to Vietnam. Evelyn is a beautiful girl… Read More

Last year Elizabeth Strout’s novel My Name is Lucy Barton was one of the long list nominations for the Man Booker Prize. It is a hugely enjoyable novel about a young woman who leaves behind a poverty-stricken rural upbringing to move to New York, where she becomes a successful writer. Forced to spend some weeks… Read More

Award-winning novelist Paddy Richardson latest novel Through the Lonesome Dark is a departure from her previous crime novels. In this compelling historical novel, she looks at a dark time in the past.  Set on the West Coast of New Zealand before the First World War, it follows the story of Pansy, Clem and Otto from… Read More

Reading a proof copy of this novel, all four sides of the cover are full of praise for Helen Dunmore. Picked out for particular note are her gift for human observation and her ability to portray the horrors of history. Sadly I reached the end of this novel and shrugged my shoulders. True it was… Read More

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