Review: Keeping Up Appearances by Tricia Stringer


Title: Keeping Up Appearances

Author: Tricia Stringer

Published: 5th October 2022, HQ Fiction

Status: Read October 2022 courtesy Harlequin Australia


My Thoughts:

Keeping Up Appearances is an engaging contemporary rural fiction drama from bestselling Australian author, Tricia Stringer.

In the small South Australian town of Badara the suggestion to raise money to repair the community hall. Home to several local groups, including a new fitness class, the decision is made to stage a ‘Celebrate Badara’ event to include a fair, local tours, a formal dinner and the opening of a time capsule buried fifty years before.

Life-long resident and retired schoolteacher Marion Addicot is happy to take charge of the event, until the memory of the spiteful contribution she and her best friend made to the time capsule as sixteen year olds comes back to her.

Though she wouldn’t dream of refusing to help, Marion’s wealthy sister-in-law, Briony Hensley is exhausted at the thought of taking on yet another responsibility, but that concern is eclipsed when her adult children return home with revelations that threaten her well ordered world.

Town newcomer and single mother of three, Paige Radcliffe, isn’t at all interested in the celebration, or the women involved, whom she fears will judge her, but when the fitness class needs a space during the renovations to the hall, and the old store premises attached to her rented home are commandeered, Paige realises she may have misjudged them.

Each woman grapples with their own personal issues over the course of a few months, though there is a common thread, all are desperate to keep up appearances to protect themselves, and others, from real and imagined consequences. But the truth has a way of coming out. Stringer thoughtfully explores their worries and fears and the ways in which they handle the aftermath. Marion, Briony and Paige all exhibit personal growth

Stringer is excellent at creating authentic communities for her main characters to inhabit. I enjoyed the small town setting which is populated with ordinary people at different ages and stages of life, all of whom are well-drawn, and further enrich the story.

An engaging novel about secrets, charades and community, Keeping Up Appearances is a warm-hearted, satisfying read.



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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 10:33:39

    Great review, Shelleyrae. I really enjoyed this as well.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Mystica
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 12:48:26

    Sounds very real.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Kathryn
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 14:48:51

    Enjoyed the short video and hearing Tricia S speak. I enjoyed this one as well and thought it explored issues very well.

    Liked by 2 people


  4. sandysbookaday
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 16:50:14

    Great review Shelleyrae. I also enjoyed this, but not as much as A Family Inheritance. I am currently reading Table for Eight by the same author. ❤📚

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  6. 1girl2manybooks
    Nov 28, 2022 @ 10:26:09

    I just picked up a copy of this one, hoping to get to it over the summer

    Liked by 1 person


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