‘Honeybee’ by Craig Silvey – a review

Honeybee by Craig Silvey, best-selling author of Jasper Jones, is a big, beautiful coming-of-age novel. Like Hope Farm, by Peggy Frew, which I reviewed recently, it tells a story of a childhood with an immature, addicted mother. Tender, compassionate and at the same time gritty, Honeybee confronted and challenged me.

Appreciation for people who inspire us

My morning pages (four pages, written long-hand first thing) often turn into lists of gripes about the world and my place in it. Sometimes, though, they fill with little songs of appreciation. Often, I forget to tell people I’m grateful for the inspiration they provide. So here, off the top of my head, in no […]

Recovery and the magic of Lake Mere

The lovely Mere Lake, less than half a kilometre from here on the Subiaco Common, might just as well have been on the other side of the moon. Bursitis of the hip has kept me home for many weeks, or at best walking only short essential distances. Swimming, even many laps, on the other hand, […]

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew – a review

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew, my accidental library pick last week, drew me in from the beginning. I’d planned to borrow Frew’s Islands, longlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award. All copies were on loan. I’m glad Hope Farm sat in a pile of returned books waiting to be shelved. Otherwise I might have […]

New shoes challenge old knowledge

Buying new shoes challenged me. At best the activity bored and, at worst, depressed me. Once or twice, a pair of shoes captivated my imagination. An orange pair, the year I turned 39. They matched, perfectly, an oversized pumpkin-coloured jumper I wore that winter. Forty years later, a blue pair made my feet twitch with […]

Wildflower Festival in Kings Park a winner

The 2020 Kings Park Wildflower Festival, on now until the end of September, won my heart again this year. I’m a year-round fan of this park, which is almost on my doorstep. But some spectacular events like this Wildflower Festival take my breath away.

Holiday in the Swan Valley in springtime

The Swan Valley, less than twenty-five kilometres from home, seemed an unlikely destination for a holiday. But it turned out to be a wonderful place to spend three nights at the beginning of September. It felt a bit like cheating, to holiday so close to Perth at a destination most Western Australians would think of […]

Melting Moments delicious Australian delicacies

Melting Moments, the debut novel of Anna Goldsworthy, deserves to be widely read. It provides both an intimate picture of domestic life and an entertaining social history of women’s lives in Australia during the 20th century. Anna Goldsworthy has written several acclaimed non-fiction books, and has published widely in journals. She is also a concert […]

The night guest by Fiona McFarlane – a thriller

The night guest, by Fiona McFarlane, tells a chilling story of ageing, dementia – and elder abuse. The author’s debut novel, published in 2013 leads the reader on thrilling roller-coaster ride. I discovered The night guest in a second-hand bookshop recently. I’m glad I did because it mesmerised me from beginning to end.

COVID-19 complacency – Is it time to regroup?

COVID-19 complacency has overtaken some of Western Australia. How could we so quickly forget our lessons learnt about hygiene and social distancing? I’m disappointed and edgy because I think we’ve become soft inside our hard borders. I’ve turned into a grumpy old woman, anxious for my own and other people’s safety.

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