Review: Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane

 

Title: Mad About You

Author: Mhairi McFarlane

Published: 14th April 2022, HarperCollins UK

Read: April 2022 courtesy HarperCollins UK/ Netgalley UK

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My Thoughts:

 

Mhairi McFarlane’s publisher seems determined to market her books as romantic comedy’s, even when they are not. Sure, Mad About You includes humour and romance, but I feel this is a disingenuous description of the book.

In fact the romance, that comes about after thirty-four year old Harriet Hatley ends a relationship with her boyfriend of two years, Jon, and needs somewhere else to live in Mad About You, feels almost incidental. The meat of the plot revolves around Harriet’s toxic history with a previous long term boyfriend, Scott.

During their four years together, Harriet was a victim of psychological and emotional abuse, Scott’s charming public veneer belying a pattern of coercive control within their relationship. She’s forced to confront that legacy, firstly when she realises, with some help from her best friend Lorna, that Jon also employed manipulative tactics during their liaison, and secondly when Harriet learns through a chance encounter that Scott is getting married, and she reaches out to his fiancée.

As part of that journey, Harriet must also come to terms with the loss of her parents as a child, a friend’s betrayal, and the sabotage of her business, so there is a lot of strong emotion in play which I think McFarlane handles sensitively. There are realistic consequences for decisions, and Harriet’s self reflections feel honest.

Though I didn’t find the romance to be as convincing as I’ve come to expect from the author, it’s enough to satisfy the conventions of the genre with its mild ‘enemies to lovers’ trope. Harriet gets her happy ending, but more importantly she is finally happy within herself, having come to terms with her past.

If you are looking for a light, breezy romcom, you won’t find it with Mad About You, but you will discover a thoughtful and engaging read.

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Available from HarperCollins UK

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Review: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

 

Title: Lessons in Chemistry

Author: Bonnie Garmus

Published: 5th April 2022, Doubleday

Status: Read April 2022 courtesy Doubleday/Netgalley UK

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My Thoughts:

 

Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant scientist, but as a woman in the mid 20th century she struggles to be taken seriously. Denied the opportunity for a PhD after stabbing her professor with a pencil, she takes a job as a research assistant at the Hastings Research Institute. Refusing to fetch coffee for her colleagues, or flirt with her boss, Elizabeth finds her career stalled, until an unexpected meeting with the institute’s wonder boy, Calvin Evans.

“When it came to equality, 1952 was a real disappointment.”

Shifting between past and present, Lessons in Chemistry is a lively and thought-provoking story of ambition, love, motherhood, and science, featuring a heroine with an empowering message for women, still relevant today.

“Once a research chemist, Elizabeth Zott was a woman with flawless skin and an unmistakable demeanor of someone who was not average and never would be.”

It’s clear, though never confirmed, that Elizabeth is on the autism spectrum, candid and artless, she’s frustrated by the social conventions that attempt to constrain her both personally and professionally. I found it easy to empathise with her, given the struggle for equality in both spheres lingers, and cheered her refusal to capitulate to expectations.

“Cooking is chemistry….And chemistry is life. Your ability to change everything—including yourself—starts here.”

Though repeatedly thwarted in her career ambitions, largely by men determined to either subjugate or exploit her, Elizabeth will not be denied. Accepting the role as a hostess of an afternoon television cooking show is a rare compromise for the sake of practically, but Elizabeth doesn’t have it in her to adhere to convention, much to the dismay and ire of her immediate boss, and his boss. That her unusual approach strikes a chord with her audience of housewives surprises everyone, except Elizabeth.

“Imagine if all men took women seriously.”

Though Garmus explores a range of serious issues that disproportionately affect women such as workplace harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, and gender discrimination, her wry humour offsets many of the story’s painful moments. It helps too, that few of the men who treat Elizabeth badly remain unpunished.

“Family is far more than biology.”

I loved the found family Elizabeth attracts. Her relationship with Calvin is a charming surprise, a true connection of soulmates. Elizabeth’s daughter, Madeline, is a delight, as is the equally precocious family dog, Six-Thirty. I quickly warmed to Elizabeth’s across-the-way neighbour, Harriet, her obstetrician and fellow rower, Dr Mason, her stressed out show boss, Walter Pine, and even the disillusioned Reverend Wakely.

“Children, set the table. Your mother needs a moment to herself.”

Lessons in Chemistry is witty, provocative, poignant and uplifting story of a woman who refuses to be anything other than who she is.

++++++++

Available from Penguin UK

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Review: Dinner with the Schnabels by Toni Jordan

 

Title: Dinner With the Schnabels

Author: Toni Jordan

Published: 30th March 2022, Hachette Australia

Status: Read April courtesy Hachette Australia

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My Thoughts:

 

“Dinner with the Schnabels. It could be the title of a horror movie.”

A contemporary domestic drama, Dinner With the Schnabels is a novel about love, marriage and family from Australian author Toni Jordan.

Simon Larsen is an architect, or rather he was. Unemployed since the pandemic bankrupted his business, he’s now a reluctant house husband of sorts in the cramped 2 bedroom flat he and his family of four were forced to move into after also losing their home. With his beloved wife, Tansy (née Schnabel), working as a real estate agent to support their family, Simon feels useless and so when she asks that he landscapes a friends back yard in preparation for her estranged father’s memorial in a week, Simon is determined to prove himself capable.

What follows is a comedy of errors of a sort as Simon is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to work on the project by a range of situations including an unexpected houseguest, a tardy tradie, an errant sock and an enterprising 8 year old. Yet at its heart this is a story about errant priorities and the quest for happiness.

Earnest and well-intentioned, if generally also a bit neurotic and hapless, Simon is a surprisingly endearing character. His perspective is both amusing, and thought-provoking, revealing a man bewildered by the unexpected route his life has taken, and floundering to find a new direction. As Simon attempts to navigate the gauntlet of everyday tribulations, his intimidating in-laws, particularly fractious matriarch Gloria, and his own emotional inertia, he’s challenged by some uncomfortable and surprising insights.

Witty, perceptive and moving, Dinner With the Schnabels is a well-written, entertaining read.

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Available from Hachette Australia

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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It was inevitable I guess. My youngest son tested positive for CoVid on Sunday night.

The timing is absolutely lousy though. Not only is it the first week of school holidays, and Easter is this coming weekend, but it’s my birthday on Thursday!

The rest of us have tested negative, and while we will do our best to stay that way, it’s a small house so I’m a little pessimistic about our chances. We are all triple vaxxed, so hopefully any infection will just be mild.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Dinner With the Schnabels by Toni Jordan

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

The Tricky Art of Forgiveness by Meredith Jaffe

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

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New Posts…

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Review: Daughters of Eve by Nina D Campbell

Review: The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

Review: Her Fierce Creatures by Maria Lewis

Review: The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

Two reluctant housemates.

Two broken promises.

One crazy plan…

Harriet Hatley may be one of the most in-demand wedding photographers in Leeds, but she hates the idea of marriage.

Cal Clarke is used to the world falling in line with his plans – apart from his own love-life, which has gone hopelessly wrong.

When they become unlikely housemates, it’s clear they’re both running away from something bigger.

Can they take a crazy risk to face the past and change everything?

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When Jason Riley goes missing, feared killed by a shark, his family – make that families – have many questions.

Hearing a news report that a man on his morning swim has been taken by a Great White, teacher Gwen races to the beach, and finds all that remains of Jason Riley, her husband, is his swimming cap and a piece of torn, blood-stained wetsuit.

Her shock and heartbreak are soon interrupted by a woman screeching to a halt on a motorbike. Tish screams for information, convinced it’s her husband who’s been taken by the man-eater. Gwen reassures her that Jason Riley is the man who’s perished. ‘I know! Jason Riley’s my husband!’ Tish sobs.

Needless to say, their grief is somewhat blighted by the realisation they’ve both been married to a bigamist. And their mutual animosity is not assuaged when they learn that Jason recently sent all his – make that their – money to a mysterious ‘business partner’ in Egypt, Skye.

They fly to Cairo, confront Skye, and discover that not only did Jason marry her last year, but he’s stolen her life savings too.

Till Death, or a Little Light Maiming, Do Us Part is a revenge caper that propels our double-crossed threesome through continents on the trail of truth and retribution. As they embark on a chase for their money, they build new friendships, discover much about themselves, and when closure is had they are bursting with energy for the next phase of their life.

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They never found Leah Parata. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie. After she left me that day, she vanished off the face of the earth.

A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman’s disappearance twenty-five years ago.

After years of living overseas, Emily Kirkland returns to New Zealand to care for her father, Felix, who suffers from dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past. Truths she’d rather were kept buried.

From the author shortlisted for Best Crime Novel in the Ngaio Marsh Awards for Crime Fiction, and for Best International Crime Fiction in the Ned Kelly Awards

A heartfelt, page-turning suspense novel from the bestselling author of The Secrets of Strangers – ideal reading-group fiction, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty.

 

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In 1915, as World War 1 rages in Europe and the numbers of dead and injured continue to grow, Australian nurse, Sister Cora Barker, leaves her home in Australia for England, determined to use her skills for King and country. When she arrives at Harefield House – donated to the Australian Army by its expatriate Australian owners – she helps transform it into a hospital that is also a little piece of home for recuperating Australian soldiers.

As the months pass, her mission to save diggers lives becomes more urgent as the darkest months of the war see injured soldiers from the battlefields of France and Belgium flood into Harefield in the thousands. When the hospital sends out a desperate call for help, a quiet young seamstress from the village, Jessie Chester, steps up as a volunteer. At the hospital she meets Private Bert Mott, a recovering Australian soldier, but the looming threat of his return to the Front hangs over them. Could her first love be her first heartbreak?

Cora’s and Jessie’s futures, their hearts and their lives hang in the balance as the never-ending wave of injured and dying soldiers threatens to overwhelm the hospital and the hopes of a nation rest on a knife edge. The nurses war is a war against despair and death, fought with science and love rather than mustard gas and fear – but can they possibly win it? And what will be the cost?

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #MadAboutYou #TilDeathoraLittleLightMaimingDoUsPart #RememberMe #TheNursesWar

Review: The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

 

Title: The Diamond Eye

Author: Kate Quinn

Published: 29th March 2022, William Morrow

Status: Read April 2022 courtesy William Morrow /Edelweiss

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My Thoughts:

 

Inspired by the remarkable story of World War II Russian sniper known as ‘Lady Death’, The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn is a fascinating novel of historical fiction.

On the same day that the Germans invade Russia, Mila Pavlichenko (Lyudmila Mikhailovna), a 24 year old PhD student working at the Odessa public library as a senior research assistant enlists in the army. Goaded into completing an Advanced Markmanship course several years earlier by her husband, from whom she’s been separated for several years, she feels compelled to contribute to the protection of her young son, Slavka, who remains in the care of his grandparents. Sent to the Russian front, Mila quickly proves skilled with a rifle, and over the course of the next year, earns the nickname ‘Lady Death’ as a sniper credited with 309 ‘official’ kills of Nazi soldiers.

Unfolding over two timelines, much of the story moves between Mila’s experiences on the frontline, and her time in Washington, 18 months later.

Though The Diamond Eye is a fictionalised account of Mila’s life, in her Author’s Note Quinn explains much of the detail is factual – from Mila’s ‘shotgun’ wedding at age fifteen after being seduced by a much older man, to the friendship she formed with (former) First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during Mila’s tour of the United States. Drawing from Mila’s official memoir, and other records, Quinn has crafted a rich portrait of the woman that exists beyond the legend of ‘Lady Death’.

I think Quinn ably communicated the chaos and stress of the frontline from Mila’s unique perspective, both as a woman and a sniper. I was engrossed by Mila’s experiences, admiring of her bravery and her commitment to her role, one I could never imagine taking on. There is an extra layer of poignancy too that Quinn did not foresee, given the recent outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine.

I enjoyed the development of Mila’s relationship with her sniper partner, Kostia, and with the lieutenant, Lyonya, with whom she had an ill-fated romance on the frontlines.   Though Quinn has taken some liberties, both men are based on real people, as are most of the characters she encounters, their names taken from historical record, including her comrades in arms, and her fellow Soviet delegates.

It was after Mila’s fourth near-fatal injury, that she was sent to Washington DC, representing the Soviet Union at an international student conference hosted by (former) First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, tasked with convincing the President to provide assistance to Russia. Despite her reluctance to participate, Mila proved to be a capable, if somewhat controversial, advocate (footage of the real Mila speaking with the US press can be seen on YouTube). It’s in this timeline that Quinn strays most notably from history, concocting an assassin who stalks Mila, planning to frame her for the murder of FDR. To be honest I’m not sure it was necessary, though it does add another level of drama and tension, and speaks to the political landscape of the time.

The Diamond Eye is a compelling narrative, enriched by the blending of fact and fiction, and a reminder of the human face of war.

++++++++

Available from HarperCollins

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Review: Her Fierce Creatures by Maria Lewis

 

Title: Her Fierce Creatures {Supernatural Sisters #8}

Author: Maria Lewis

Published: 8th March 2022, Hachette Australia

Status: Read March 2022 courtesy Hachette Australia

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My Thoughts:

 

Her Fierce Creatures is the breathtaking conclusion of Maria Lewis’s award-winning Supernatural Sisters urban fantasy series.

Since my very late introduction to this series with The Rose Daughter, I’ve tracked down the earlier instalments but regrettably not had the time to read them, so I was hesitant to jump into the finale. I was relieved to find my lack of familiarity with the series overall proved not to be a hindrance, and I quickly found myself absorbed in Her Fierce Creatures.

After centuries of oppression and increasing cruelty by the Trieze, the ruling class of the supernatural that live hidden among modern society, the time has come to revolt. The balance of power hinges on the safe delivery of banshee Sadie Burke’s triplets, and the best way to protect them is to disrupt and divide the forces of the Praetorian Guard, uniting races and clans in the fight.

Supernatural emissaries from all over the world gather in the Australian dessert to plan their rebellion. Vankila, the Scottish underground prison from which sprite Dreckly Jones is the only one to have ever escaped, is a priority target and they devise a risky plan in which werewolf Tommi Grayson gets herself arrested, to stage a break out, rather than a break in.

There’s lots of fast paced, high tension action as Tommi enacts the plan with plenty of help, while groups of volunteers simultaneously attack other Trieze facilities around the world. Dreckly Jones and Corvossier ‘Casper’ von Klitzing, also play major roles in the battle. The clashes are dangerous and violent, and there are losses that will weigh heavily on them all.

Meanwhile Sadie is hidden from the Trieze in a remote New Zealand stronghold, guarded by her family and Tommi’s Māori werewolf relatives. Sadie is struggling with both the physical and emotional pressures of her pregnancy, and her anxiety grows after a vision suggests that the Trieze will come for her. Werewolf Simon is tasked as Sadie’s personal guard, and I was surprised and delighted by the heartwarming romance that developed between the two.

Her Fierce Creatures is a must read for fans of the series, those familiar with the Supernatural Sisters will appreciate the elements of closure for the characters they’ve grown to know and love, and the ending is as dramatic and climatic as could be hoped for.

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Available from Hachette Australia

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Review: The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

 

Title: The Recovery Agent {Gabriela Rose #1}

Author: Janet Evanovich

Published: 22nd March 2022, Atria Books

Status: Read March 2022, Atria/Edelweiss

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My Thoughts:

 

As a long time fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to read The Recovery Agent, the first book in a new series featuring Insurance Fraud Investigator Gabriela Rose.

Gabriela Rose, who made her debut in Fortune and Glory (book #27 of the Stephanie Plum series) makes a living by recovering assets and items for individuals or companies, but her latest case is personal. With her hometown of Scoon on the verge of collapse after damage wreaked by Category 4 storm, Gabriela’s grandmother Fanny believes that all their problems can be solved if Gabriela finds the lost Treasure of Lima, or more specifically The Seal of Solomon.

I wanted to love The Recovery Agent, but unfortunately I didn’t. I’m not exactly sure where the failure lies though.

There is plenty of entertaining adventure and action as Gabriela follows a trail into the South American jungle to the territory of the God of Death, guided by a drug dealer, and in the company of her ex-husband. Her search pits her against El Dragon,  a drug dealer and a fanatical disciple of Supay, the God of Death, who also wants the Seal of Solomon, which is purported to allow the bearer to raise and enslave the dead. There are stand-offs and gun battles, explosions and collisions. Gabriela is variously nearly drowned, tasered, shot and drugged but refuses to give up.

I’d describe Gabriela as a less sophisticated version of Lara Croft. She’s definitely tough, smart and resourceful, an expert in martial arts and weapons, I just can’t quite imagine how a girl from a fishing village who married her childhood sweetheart became such a bad-ass though. I wasn’t entirely convinced of the chemistry between Gabriela and her ex-husband, Rafer either. Lust, sure, there are regular references to how ‘hot’ Rafer is, and the pair have a long history, but i didn’t really feel the tension between them.

There is plenty of humour in The Recovery Agent. Gabriela and Rafer banter their entire way through the book, and Evanovich, as always, has a great sense of comic timing.

While all the elements of a story I enjoy seem to be there, I still feel there is something lacking overall, it’s like an itch I can’t quite reach. I’d be willing to give the sequel a shot though, in the hopes of recovery.

++++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster US

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Review: Daughters of Eve by Nina D Campbell

 

Title: Daughters of Eve

Author: Nina D. Campbell

Published: 1st March 2022, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read March 2022 courtesy Allen & Unwin

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My Thoughts:

 

Daughters of Eve is a spectacularly provocative thriller from debut author Nina D. Campbell.

When a high profile defence barrister is shot dead by a sniper on the courthouse steps in front of her, Detective Sergeant Emilia Hart is eager to take the lead on the investigation, but instead finds herself sidelined, and assigned a ‘floater’ discovered in the Sydney Harbour. It surprises everyone when an autopsy reveals the man in the water was shot by the same weapon that killed the barrister. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious connection between the two, but as a third, and then a fourth man are killed, each from a sniper shot with the same grouping, Emilia sees a pattern her colleagues prefer to ignore, until the Daughters of Eve, and their manifesto, makes it impossible.

A thrilling tale of revenge, I raced through Daughters of Eve. The mystery is intriguing as Emilia tries to piece together the motive and the identity of the vigilante sniper, chasing leads that seem to go nowhere. It’s Emilia who identifies the link between the victims, all too familiar with the violence men wreak on women and children, like that she, the two girls she claims as daughters, and the names listed on her refrigerator, have endured. Emilia is painfully aware as to how rarely these men are held accountable for their behaviour, but as a police officer she can’t condone vigilantism and commits herself to solving the case, no matter where it leads.

I can’t deny that it was somewhat satisfying to imagine the tables turned, for abusive men to be afraid as the Daughters of Eve reveal themselves, launching an app that invites women to name their unpunished tormentors, sparking a wave of copycat murders across the nation. Campbell imagines a response that seems infuriatingly plausible-of a government mobilising every resource available to put an end to the killings, despite its failures to provide even the bare minimum to ensure the protection women and children victimised by domestic abusers and rapists. Exploring themes such as justice vs vengeance, prevention vs protection, the plot is as thought-provoking as it is sensational.

I thought the author deftly balanced the professional and personal aspects of Emilia’s life, ensuring a well rounded character who engenders both affection and respect.  As rabidly anti-male as the story may seem to be, Campbell acknowledges good men too. Emilia’s investigative partner, Robbo, is, by and large, a decent guy. So too is Melbourne detective Matt Hayes with whom Emilia becomes involved despite her wariness.

Gripping, bold and sharp, I’ve rarely been so impressed by a debut novel, and recommend Daughters of Eve without hesitation.

++++++++

Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$32.99

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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There were so many distractions throughout March for me, so I’m hoping April will allow me to be much more productive.

You may have noticed the links to Booktopia I’ve been adding to my posts. I’m now an affiliate and will gain a small commission if you buy using the purchase link. Like everybody else, the rising costs of petrol and groceries is really putting pressure on the budget, so every little thing helps, I appreciate any support.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Her Fierce Creatures by Maria Lewis

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

Dinner With the Schnabels by Toni Jordan

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New Posts…

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Review: A Family of Strangers by Fiona Lowe

Review: Those Who Perish by Emma Viskic

Review: The Language of Food Annabel Abbs

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #3

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Diana Forsyth is in the midst of planning the Big Party, a combined celebration of her husband Will’s 60th and their 30th wedding anniversary. The whole family is flying in and unbeknownst to Will, Diana is planning a Big Surprise.

But then she finds a torn scrap of paper hidden inside the folds of one of his cashmere sweaters, with the words, I forgive you. And all of a sudden, Diana realises she’s not the only one keeping Big Secrets.

As empty nesters who have just downsized from the family home, she and Will are supposed to be embracing a new promise of glorious freedom – not revisiting a past that Diana has worked very hard to leave behind.

A witty, poignant and insightful exploration of marriage: the choices we make – or don’t make, the resentments we hold, the lies we tell and what forgiveness really means.

+++++++

 

In 1915, as World War 1 rages in Europe and the numbers of dead and injured continue to grow, Australian nurse, Sister Cora Barker, leaves her home in Australia for England, determined to use her skills for King and country. When she arrives at Harefield House – donated to the Australian Army by its expatriate Australian owners – she helps transform it into a hospital that is also a little piece of home for recuperating Australian soldiers.

As the months pass, her mission to save diggers lives becomes more urgent as the darkest months of the war see injured soldiers from the battlefields of France and Belgium flood into Harefield in the thousands. When the hospital sends out a desperate call for help, a quiet young seamstress from the village, Jessie Chester, steps up as a volunteer. At the hospital she meets Private Bert Mott, a recovering Australian soldier, but the looming threat of his return to the Front hangs over them. Could her first love be her first heartbreak?

Cora’s and Jessie’s futures, their hearts and their lives hang in the balance as the never-ending wave of injured and dying soldiers threatens to overwhelm the hospital and the hopes of a nation rest on a knife edge. The nurses war is a war against despair and death, fought with science and love rather than mustard gas and fear – but can they possibly win it? And what will be the cost?

++++++

 

1979

After being bullied at school, Jane Kelly dreads spending the summer holidays alone, friendless. So, when Acacia Miller moves in next door, Jane imagines carefree days of trading secrets and pinky promises with a new best friend. But as their friendship grows, Acacia remains stubbornly guarded about her home life, and Jane becomes caught up in a sinister situation she doesn’t understand. When Acacia’s secret becomes one too many for Jane to carry, she must choose whether to challenge the status quo and risk losing her only friend. Or stay silent, knowing the danger it hides.

1999

An abused woman flees to a refuge and bumps into someone from her childhood. Haunted by her past but grappling with a desire to reconnect and rebuild her life, she realises there are wounds that time alone cannot heal. Can she find the courage to confront the darkest secrets of all: her own?

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Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the 1960s, and despite the fact that she is a scientist, her male peers are very unscientific when it comes to equality. The only good thing to happen on her road to professional fulfilment is a run-in with famous colleague Calvin Evans, legend and Nobel nominee. He’s also awkward, kind and tenacious. Theirs is true chemistry.

But life is never predictable and three years later Elizabeth Zott is an unwed, single mother and star of America’s best loved cooking show Supper at Six. Her singular approach to cooking – ‘take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride’ – and empowering message prove revolutionary. Because Elizabeth isn’t just teaching housewives how to cook, but how to change their lives.

Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott

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Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle meet Knives Out and The Thursday Murder Club in this fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery.

I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder.

Before the storm stranded us at the mountain resort, snow and bodies piling up.

The thing is, us Cunninghams don’t really get along. We’ve only got one thing in common- we’ve all killed someone.

My brother.

My step-sister

My wife

My father

My mother

My sister-in-law

My uncle

My stepfather

My aunt

Me

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m still reading #TheTrickyArtofForgiveness #Wildflower #TheNursesWar plus #LessonsInChemistry #EveryoneinMyFamilyHasKilledSomeone

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #3

 

Welcome to the Monthly Spotlight for the

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge!

Each month I’m highlighting some of the reviews shared for the challenge in the linky

Don’t forget to link each book you read as you read during the year!

I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they are reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on Facebook, twitter, or instagram #ReadNonFicChal

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IN MARCH…


[REFERENCE]

At the Book Stop, Curly Girl has this to say about Laundry Love by Patric Richardson and Karin Miller, “Richardson’s goal is to help us care for our clothing better, but in the process to also help the environment, save time and money, and love our clothes more. That’s a pretty tall order! I’ve already tried a few of his suggestions and the upshot is I’m doing laundry less often and using products with less chemicals, so both of those things make me really happy.”

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[GEOGRAPHY]

Janette of the Wicked Witch’s Blog writes enthusiastically about Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flynn, “I was engrossed by this book and fascinated by the author’s findings. It was quite an easy read, there is some Scientific background but this is perfectly understandable by a non-scientist such as myself. The text is enhanced by photographs of most of the sites but in actual fact, her descriptions are so vivid that you could easily manage without them. The writing is often almost poetic as she wanders around those derelict and abandoned sites.”

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[SOCIAL HISTORY]

I loved Sheilas: Bad Ass Women of Australian History by Eliza Reilly, describing it as, “…a fascinating, inspiring, irreverent celebration of some of Australia’s women who refused to accept the status quo throughout history.  Not content to simply regurgitate the dry facts and figures which are the hallmarks of many history books, Sheilas has a conversational tone, complete with expletives for emphasis. Reilly incorporates on point, funny and occasionally savage personal commentary, tweets and pieces of trivia.”. You can read my review in full here at Book’d Out

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[POPULAR SCIENCE]

“Forget Stephen King.”, writes Sue at Book by Book, “In Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom, author and investigative journalist Katherine Eban writes about real-life horror scarier than any of King’s novels! As sometimes happens, my book group chose this book that I wasn’t interested in reading, and as almost always happens, I ended up being glad I’d read it! This engrossing, terrifying nonfiction book opens the door to the generic drug industry’s dirty secrets.”

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[LINKED TO A PODCAST]

Though Carol of Carol’s Notebook first listened to Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes with It by, from the creator and host of the popular podcast Wine for Normal People, Elizabeth Schneider on audio, she ended up buying a print copy too. She says, it’s one I can see myself referring back to.

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What will you be reading in April?

Looking for something to suit the Celebrity category?

Check out Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*


Need some inspiration? Check out these posts

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REFERENCE and GEOGRAPHY

LINKED TO A PODCAST and WILD ANIMALS

ECONOMICS and PUBLISHED IN 2022

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #1

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #2

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