The Dark Flood Rises

Margaret Drabble, The Dark Flood Rises, $29.99

I haven’t read any book by Margaret Drabble for years, so this was a bit of trip down memory lane. I can’t remember her being quite so “earnest” – I’ll have to re-read some of her earlier works. One reviewer of this, her nineteenth novel, remarked that people under 60 might not get much out of this book, but for … Read more »


Ian McEwan                     

Reviewed by Heather O’Connorbook

I think I have mentioned before how excited I get when my favourite authors bring out a new book: here we go again! Ian McEwan has surpassed himself this time: the novel is short (200 pages) and can easily be read in one sitting—which I did. The narrator is his youngest ever—in fact, a third-term foetus. He’s described as a modern day Hamlet, who lies helpless in his mother’s womb, listening to her plot to kill her husband, the … Read more »

Incest: Shhh, Keep it in the family

Yasmine Bonner
Incest: Shhh, Keep it in the family

Reviewed by Sarah Gardiner

Stories of family dysfunction are, for some, new information. For others, reading Yasmine’s story will give the feeling of not being alone. Even the cover of this book contributes to its meaning: the face of a young girl with the title printed over her mouth. Silenced. The young girl is in fact Yasmine, herself, at eighteen years of age when she started writing … Read more »

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, $29.99 (reviewed October 2016)

Chris Cleave in his notes at the conclusion of the book tells us that he was inspired to write this book as a tribute to his maternal grandfather, Captain David Hill of the Royal Artillery. Captain Hill served on the island of Malta, where near starvation was as challenging as the almost daily bombing raids by the Germans. Some of the facts of his service are reproduced in the novel, but otherwise, the plot is as imagined by the author. The first few chapters didn’t grab me, mainly because … Read more »

The Natural Way of Things

Charlotte Wood, The Natural Way of Things, $29.99 (August 2016)

BookpicI’ve made a vow to always the buy the book which wins the Stella Prize for women’s fiction, because it’s such a terrific addition to Australia’s literary life. The 2016 prize went to well-known author, Charlotte Woode, and the book is causing the same arguments amongst my reading friends as The Slap did a few years ago.

Two friends said is was the best and the most important book they had read for years; two couldn’t finish it, one commenting that it was taking … Read more »

The Neapolitan Novels

Elana Ferrante,  The Neapolitan Novels Text Publishing $22.99 (July 2016) 

BOOK1There are four books in this series: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child. The publication caused something of a literary sensation and jettisoned the author (who remains anonymous) into international fame. Each book traces a period of time in the lives of two women who maintained a friendship stretching from their childhood days in Napoli. I read the first … Read more »