With such a vast number of characters to choose from, Drewe has sly fun commenting on family, society and history. Sometimes a little stretched with so many characters, and occasionally veering towards stereotype, this is nonetheless an entertaining read, the family dynamics leading to many humorous set pieces, and Drewe’s descriptive powers perfectly capturing the landscape.
It's almost impossible to describe this book without giving away the plot, such as it is, but it is about a man who has lost everything he valued. Ellis works in an automotive factory, going through the motions after the two loves of his life died five years previously. He is haunted by grief and regret and the sheer weariness of keeping going when there seems to be nothing left to live for. The reader learns what he has lost, but we also see the first shoots of regrowth… An entirely believable and truly moving story, one you can go back to and read again and again. I have - four times now. I suspect I will keep this one close!
Appearances deceive, because Meghan is not having quite so perfect a life as Agatha believes. Both Agatha and Meghan are hiding secrets, and as they come closer to delivering their babies, the story starts to become very gripping indeed… Told through both characters' voices, this is a compelling thriller, and as Robotham can do so easily, there are always more surprises even when you think everything is revealed!
They do everything together but Ben starts to become distant, and as they grow older they grow apart. As the narrative switches in time, the reader starts to see what has happened and a chilling story is revealed. Atmospheric and gripping, with a veracity to place only someone who has grown up in a small town can convey, it is the sort of book you read in one sitting, but stays with you for much longer.
This book interleaves natural science and personal story, description and reflection. Many chapters start with a particular tree found on the block - its growth and habit, the fauna it supports and its human usage - before flowing into Simpson’s life and labours. She learns to look, to see, and finally to recognise not only the trees on her property, but also her own possibilities and strengths. While each of her novels (Mr Wigg; Nest; Where the Trees Were) has shown a strong connection to land and nature, this book allows her to expand her concerns and observations, and to preserve and celebrate her trees in words - a fine addition to the genre of Australian nature writing.
CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
But then she gets an invitation from the golden boy Henry de Warlencourt, embossed with the words: Huntin' Shootin' Fishin.' Thinking this is her entrée into the school's hierarchy, led on by Henry to think she is specially chosen, she accepts. It doesn't take long for her to realise that she and two others (also misfits in the school - the nouveau riche daughter of a tech king and the son of an Indian principality) are especially chosen, and that the hunting, shooting and fishing is for entirely different quarry than the animals on the isolated estate... A gripping, sometimes genuinely terrifying, novel - one that was hard to put down! Ages 14+
Before he has time to blink, Gabe is swept up into a grand adventure, unable to return to the monastery, not knowing who to trust and on the run. Fortunately for him he falls into the hands of a notorious band of robbers - who happen to be girls with a mission of their own. A swift-paced adventure for readers 9-12.
Jonah is determined to help Esther surmount her fears, and challenges her to confront them - filming them as they go through the list. Unbeknownst to her, she is becoming a social media star… A likable and imaginative young adult novel, with interesting characters (including Death, who has a world-weary line of snappy but almost-compassionate rejoinders) and the stirrings of first love.
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