The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey – Miles Franklin Award

The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey won Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award, (2021). The award was well-deserved. It’s one of the best books I’ve read for a long time. The Labyrinth tells the story of loss and grief experienced by a middle-aged woman, as well as her path to recovery. Beautifully written, the …

Illustrated Nature Poetry: An Anthology – a review

Illustrated Nature Poetry: An Anthology captured my attention the minute I saw the attractive cover. Sadly, my photography skills didn’t quite capture the glossiness or quality of the book. Always on the lookout for things to share with my great-grandchildren, this book seemed to fit the bill.

Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore – a review

Metal Fish, Falling Snow, Cath Moore’s poignant, beautifully-written debut novel, touched me deeply. This so-called ‘young adult’ novel kept me, an old woman, reading avidly from start to finish. Not only that, several times I went back to reread a particularly moving passage or to savour the language. The novel was awarded the 2021 Victorian …

The Smokehouse by Melissa Manning – a review

In The Smokehouse, Melissa Manning provides eleven short stories. This debut collection of intertwined stories showcases the skills of the author. A lawyer, Manning grew up in Tasmania and now lives in Victoria. Each of the stories reads well, either alone or as part of the whole. In addition, the first and last can be …

The Children, a play by Lucy Kirkwood – review

The Children, by playwright Lucy Kirkwood, entertains and provokes serious thought. On one hand, it can be viewed as witty and endearing. But The Children also carries a powerful message. It challenges the audience to think about responsibility between generations, and restitution for wrongs.

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan – book review

With The Good Turn, award-winning author Dervla McTiernan demonstrates once more her considerable skills as story-teller and writer. As in her two previous books, The RĂșin and The Scholar (reviewed here), characters Detective Cormac Reilly and Garda Peter Fisher encounter crime and police corruption. Important aspects of their personal lives emerge to intrigue the reader. …

Witness by Louise Milligan – a review

Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice by Louise Milligan deserves its place on the Stella short-list (2021). Witness provides a frightening account of what it can mean to be the complainant in a sexual assault case. Few people report sexual assault to the police. Fewer still take their case to court. …

Songlines: The Power and Promise – a review

Songlines: The Power and Promise by Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly provides a compelling and in-depth discussion about part of the culture of Indigenous Australians. The authors point to a way forward in which all Australians can benefit from an increased understanding of Indigenous culture. See below for more about the Margo Neale and Lynne …

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth – a review

The Good Sister: Everyone has a Dark Side kept me turning the pages until way past my bedtime. The sixth book by best-selling Australian author Sally Hepworth, it boasts plenty of plot twists and big themes. Mystery and psychological intrigue abound as we learn about the family dramas that surround the sisters and their mother.

Book review challenge that preferences women writers

A book review challenge that preferences women writers guarantees my interest. And, as it turned out, my participation also over a number of years. This is the tenth year of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Here’s a quote f rom their website. It explains this book review challenge better than I can. ‘The AWW challenge …

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