The Good Wife of Bath: A (Mostly) True Story 

reviewed by Wendy Tucker

The Good Wife of Bath: A (Mostly) True Story

Karen Brooks 

This is Karen Brooks’s fourteenth novel of historical fiction with a focus on women’s work, ranging from chocolate makers to brewers and bawds. Her novels have often been assigned to the romance genre and this does both the author and the novels a disservice and has excluded the wider readership they deserve. 

But not so with The Good Wife of Bath that has been widely reviewed and … Read more »

Sea of Tranquility

Emily St. John Mandel
Reviewed by Wendy Tucker

Emily St. John Mandel is a Canadian novelist and essayist now living in New York. She has written six novels and came to fame in 2014 with her post-pandemic, prize-winning novel Station 11, published and widely acclaimed well before the real COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. It has now been translated into thirty-three languages and made into a mini-series by HBO (available on Stan in Australia). Both the novel and … Read more »

Black Cake                                     

review by Wendy Tucker

Black Cake

Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake is a delicious debut novel that shows how history and chance can change a family.

The actual black cake has a complicated history, as does Eleanor Bennett the main protagonist. The cake is dense with fruit soaked in rum for many weeks and finished with burnt sugar and is a Caribbean tradition for all celebrations. For many immigrants from the Caribbean, it is a continual reminder of home and culture. But, … Read more »

The Quest for Eden-Monaro: A Core Sample of Australian Democracy

review by Angela Marshall

by Eleanor Robin 

There are several aspects of Eden-Monaro, our federal electorate, that many know about it, or think they do. It is one of the original Federation electorates – it was established in 1901 and, although its boundaries have changed many times in keeping with changing population numbers, it is still recognisably the same electorate that it was 121 years ago. It encompasses the high plains of the … Read more »

Rock Paper Scissors 

by Alice Feeney
Harper Collins Australia

Reviewed by Wendy Tucker 

I often read crime fiction as a break from more challenging literary fiction. Crime, suspense, thriller, psychological thriller … whatever they were once listed as, they now seem to have merged under the general title of crime or thriller. 

There seems to be an increased appetite for crime fiction and it now outsells most other genres. Bestselling thriller writer, David Baldacci, says that when times are more stressful (and they … Read more »

Devotion        

Review by Wendy Tucker

Devotion 

Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent’s eagerly-awaited third novel is a departure from her earlier two although it continues with her themes of women on the fringes of their society, women who evoke suspicion.

The novel is divided into three sections: Before, After and Then.

It begins in 1836 in Prussia, where Hanne is part of an Old Lutheran community, now banned from the practice of their religion. Hanne is fifteen years old and dreading the responsibilities of … Read more »