Category Archives: Australian Literature

The Lake House by Kate Morton

I really, really wanted to love The Lake House by Kate Morton the way I loved the first book of hers I ever read, The Forgotten Garden, which still stands as one of the finest contemporary Gothic mysteries I’ve ever read. I wasn’t as thrilled by The Distant Hours (which I couldn’t finish) or The House at Riverton (which I don’t really remember), but her skill with structure will always keep me coming back. The Lake House definitely kept me turning pages, but overall I…

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis: When Alice falls off a bike during spin class, she hits her head and promptly forgets the last 10 years–including her three kids and her ongoing divorce from the husband she believes she still madly loves. Review: I loved the premise of What Alice Forgot but unfortunately didn’t enjoy Alice. I found myself getting annoyed with amnesiac Alice, who seemed like a bit of a drip, and wanting to see more of the bitch she supposedly turned into. Share on Facebook

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Foxybaby and The Sugar Mother by Elizabeth Jolley

With reading time at a premium due to an active 3-year-old and a high needs 4-month-old, I’m not able to dive into all the worthy books that are sent my way for review. So this will be a bit out of form for the Superfast Reader, more of an endorsement than a review, since I was only able to give these books a perusal instead of a read. But they are absolutely worth recommending, for their literary merit and sheer originality. Foxybaby follows a writer…

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Synopsis: A bereft Australian woman travels to Cornwall to uncover the mystery behind her grandmother’s mysterious appearance on a dock in Maryborough at the age of 4, her identity completely unknown. Review: While I had some minor quibbles with some of the stock characterizations in The Forgotten Garden, on the whole I was absolutely riveted by the storytelling. Morton expertly weaves together the stories of three women: Cassandra, a contemporary Australian woman who has received an unusual bequest from her grandmother Nell; that of Nell,…

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My Father’s Moon by Elizabeth Jolley

Synopsis: An unwed mother tries working in an impoverished boarding school and finds herself yearning for the nurse she fell in love with back when both were working in a military hospital in England during WWII. Review: My Father’s Moon is the first of three books in The Vera Wright Trilogy, an autobiographical series that has long been out-of-print. Highly praised in its time, Elizabeth Jolley‘s work wasn’t widely known outside of her native Australia until now. Based on My Father’s Moon, I daresay Ms.…

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Homework by Margot Livesey

Synopsis: Celia’s relationship would be perfect, if it weren’t for her boyfriend’s troublesome young daughter, and when she moves in with them, Celia finds herself caught in the middle. Review: Sort of a chick lit version of The Bad Seed, Homework combines splendid prose with a lackluster plot. I could see where it was headed a million miles out, and it didn’t surprise me at all. I was hoping for more, with such strong characterizations and enjoyable writing. Share on Facebook

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The Crow by Alison Croggon (The Third Book of Pellinor)

Synopsis: Young Bard-in-training Hem finds himself in the midst of a war, recruited into a vicious army of children enslaved by evil magic. Review: The Crow got off to a very slow start, but once it got going I was enthralled by the uniqueness of the world and the beauty of the writing. I fell in love with Hem, a deep thinker whose life has been marred by tragedy, and his friend Zelika, an impetuous girl who is the last of her family. The war…

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The Riddle by Alison Croggon (The Second Book of Pellinor)

Synopsis: Maerad of Pellinor heads north in pursuit of the Treesong as the Winter King threatens her at every turn. Review: I was so glad to see Alison Croggon leave her Tolkien influences behind in The Riddle, the second book in her well-told story of Pellinor, which started out as just your typical fantasy country beseiged by the coming of the dark. Fortunately, Croggon brings in some non-medieval elements in her construction of the mythology of her world. I really liked some of the harsher…

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The Naming by Alison Croggon (The First Book of Pellinor)

Synopsis: A slave discovers that she is The One prophesied by the mystical race of Bards. Review: It really is all about execution when it comes to epic fantasy. I mean, that one sentence synopsis of The Gift could pretty much describe about a zillion other books, many of them truly dreadful. In fact, I was listening the audiobook of Mistborn at the same time, which has basically the same premise! So far, Alison Croggon is delivering a fine, fine tale. She admits to being…

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The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

Synopsis: At night, the demons rise, terrorizing humanity for centuries until three grown orphans dare to fight back. Review: Warning: freak-out coming… THE WARDED MAN ROCKED ROCKED ROCKED. I mean, seriously. I am losing my mind over how good this book was. Why oh why oh why am I going to have to wait all the way until the end of the year to read the next book? I haven’t been this insane about a book since I read Assassin’s Apprentice. I was so sucked…

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