BOOK REVIEW: BETOOTA’S AUSTRALIA

  When you’re a kid from a small, country town, the prospect of leaving home and moving to the big smoke can be scary. The guys from The Betoota Advocate know all about this so they’ve written Betoota’s Australia – A Guide to the Great Southern Land by Australia’s Oldest Newspaper (although in truth, it’s actually by…

DVD REVIEW: REBEL IN THE RYE

  There is a line in Rebel In The Rye where famous author, J.D. Salinger declares that fiction is “More truthful than reality.” The same can also be said of this bio-pic. The plot is all about the notoriously private and reclusive author of the classic novel, The Catcher In The Rye, and while much has…

BOOK REVIEW: SOPHIA NASH – WHISPERING IN FRENCH

  At university, a friend casually observed that those studying psychology tended to be people who seemed the most neurotic personalities themselves. The same rings true for the main protagonist in the novel, Whispering in French. Kate Hamilton is a French-American therapist who is trained to help her clients through their problems, but her own life is…

BOOK REVIEW: NICOLE ALEXANDER – AN UNCOMMON WOMAN

  Nicole Alexander’s eighth novel, An Uncommon Woman is about a determined and ambitious girl who defies the conventions of her time. Alexander in good company because the idea of an independent woman living and making her own way in a man’s world is not a new one. Authors like Pamela Hart and Natasha Lester have explored…

BOOK REVIEW: J.D. BARRETT – THE SONG OF US

  In popular music your sophomore album is often labelled the “difficult” one because you’ve had a lifetime to write and record the first and are under pressure for the follow-up. This is not the case for J.D. Barrett’s second novel, The Song of Us. This sunny slice of chick-lit deftly weaves together the power…

BOOK REVIEW: NATASHA LESTER – HER MOTHER’S SECRET

  Her Mother’s Secret is a story about a strong female heroine, written by a woman for female readers. Natasha Lester, the author of the best-selling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, brings us another historical fiction novel, once again telling the story of female protagonist making good in the man’s world, set in New York City in…

BOOK REVIEW: SARAH SCHMIDT – SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE

See What I Have Done adds a unique perspective to a famous unsolved murder case and, while it is intriguing, it is let down by some issues with its structure and characterisation. Regardless of this, it will no doubt appeal to some readers as it gives a new take on the case but allows them to…

BOOK REVIEW: TEA COOPER – THE CURRENCY LASS

  The Currency Lass is a dramatic story about a young woman who runs away to join the circus. The eponymous character is Catherine Cottingham, an independent young woman who is orphaned on the verge of her 21st birthday. Her philanthropist father has passed away and left her riddled with a saddlebag of debt. This…

BOOK REVIEW: PAMELA HART – A LETTER FROM ITALY

  A Letter from Italy is a romantic story that isn’t just ruled by its heart. It’s a novel inspired by Louise Mack, the first female war correspondent who worked during the First World War. It’s a book that shows how a determined and strong journalist negotiates the trials and tribulations of being a woman…

BOOK REVIEW: PETER POLITES – DOWN THE HUME

  When we think of an “Australian story” the ones that typically spring to mind are predominantly about the country, bush or the past. So what is a reader to do when they want something that reflects their own modern life in the Western suburbs of Sydney? Thankfully, Peter Polites has answered this in his…

BOOK REVIEW: J.C. GREY – LOST GIRL

  Lost Girl is like a gift wrapped up in an enigma, topped off by a riddle. The novel is a wistful romance by J.C. Grey. It is a first person narrative where the titular character is the narrator. What ensues is a dark and mysterious novel filled with love, loss and heartbreak. To outsiders,…

BOOK REVIEW: BEATRICE COLIN – TO CAPTURE WHAT WE CANNOT KEEP

  If you’re looking for a wonderful romance novel to consume on Valentine’s Day then To Capture What We Cannot Keep is a worthy candidate. This historic fiction book by Beatrice Colin is a good, old-fashioned love story set in the 19th century in Paris after building has commenced on the Eiffel Tower. Some of…