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 …

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020 completed

The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020 completed itself, or so it seemed. It took very little effort on my part this year. Most years, I commit to review a certain number of books by Australian women. Then I struggle to review the number of books to which I’ve committed. So, at the beginning of this …

‘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. Honeybee by Craig Silvey, best-selling author of Jasper Jones, is a big, beautiful coming-of-age novel. Like Hope Farm, …

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 …

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