Carolyn’s Books of the Month – November

Best Read: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison but soon becomes her refuge. 2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.

Crime: The Rumour by Lesley Kara

Careless talk wrecks lives… When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back… Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

Australian Author: The Homestead on the River by Rosie Mackenzie 

In stark contrast to her own childhood during the last days of the Raj in India, the spectacular beauty surrounding their home, Rathgarven in Ireland has proven to be a happy place for Kathleen O’Sullivan and her husband, James, to raise their four children. But Kathleen is no stranger to heartbreak, and when the family is faced with losing everything, she knows they will need to adapt to survive. Even if that means leaving their beloved home and moving to Australia to start afresh. Lillie O’Sullivan knows that her mother and father haven’t been entirely truthful about the reasons for their move to Australia. But as they settle into their new home in rural New South Wales she is willing to give it a chance. That is, until the secrets her parents have kept for so long finally catch up with them. Secrets that have the power to destroy their family and ruin their future. From the vibrant colours of India to the meadows of Ireland to the harsh but beautiful Australian land, a family fight for their future.

General: At the Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino

Forced to risk her life every day as a taster at Hitler’s secret headquarters, Rosa and a growing sisterhood of involuntary women conscripts navigate Nazi fanatics, an SS guard’s unwanted attentions, and the escalating war.

Thriller: Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied follows a young woman as she returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago. Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips. Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends. Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

Thriller: Judgement by Joseph Finder

It was nothing more than a one-night stand. Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and in a moment of weakness has an unforgettable night with him. They part with an explicit understanding that this must never happen again. But back home in Boston, it becomes clear that this was no random encounter. The man from Chicago proves to have an integral role in a case she’s presiding over–a sex-discrimination case that’s received national attention. Juliana discovers that she’s been entrapped, her night of infidelity captured on video. Strings are being pulled in high places, a terrifying unfolding conspiracy that will turn her life upside down. But soon it becomes clear that personal humiliation, even the possible destruction of her career, are the least of her concerns, as her own life and the lives of her family are put in mortal jeopardy. In the end, turning the tables on her adversaries will require her to be as ruthless as they are”–

Saga/Romance: The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa

Based on the true story of the Nazi massacre of a French village in 1944, a tale of love and redemption from the bestselling author of The German Girl. New York City, 2015: Elise Duval, eighty years old, receives a phone call from a woman recently arrived from Cuba bearing messages from a time and country that she’s long forgotten. A French Catholic who arrived in new York after World War II, Elise and her world are forever changed when the woman arrives with letters written to Elise from her mother in German during the war, unravelling more than seven decades of secrets. Berlin, 1939: Bookstore owner and recent widow Amanda Sternberg is fleeing Nazi Germany with her two young daughters, heading towards unoccupied France. She arrives in Haute-Vienne with only one of her girls. Their freedom is short-lived and soon they are taken to a labour camp. Inspired by one of the most shocking atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, the 1944 massacre of all the inhabitants of the village of Oradour-Sur-Glane in the south of France, The Daughter’s Tale is a family saga of love, survival and hope against all odds.

eAudio Books

BorrowBox: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.

Afra has lost her sight, and so they embark on a periluosjourney towards an uncertain future in Britain. As they travel, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is his beekeeper cousin Mustafa, who is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

Nuri and Afra set off through a broken world, on a dangerous journey in which they will confront the pain of their unfathomable loss, and in doing so find a way back to each other again.

‘This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes.’ Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

RBDigital:  The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell 

 Two summers, decades apart. Two women whose lives are forever entwined. And a house that holds the secrets that could free them both. Lillian’s marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she thought it would. To her it seems she is just another beautiful object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband’s Chilterns manor house. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and her world is turned on its head. Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget. But when her grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, she learns that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed. An utterly compelling story of secrets, betrayals and the consequences of a long-ago summer.

 

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Good Reading Magazine – November 2019

The November issue of Good Reading magazine is ready for you to enjoy through Blue Mountains Library!

This Month

You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster

He’s hiding a dark secret … But so is she.
Lizzie Burdett was eighteen when she vanished, and Noah Carruso has never forgotten her. She was his first crush, his unrequited love. She was also his brother’s girlfriend. Tom Carruso hasn’t been home in over a decade. He left soon after Lizzie disappeared under a darkening cloud of suspicion, and now he’s back for the inquest into Lizzie’s death – intent on telling his side of the story. As the inquest looms, Noah meets Alice Pryce on holiday. They fall for each other fast and hard, but Noah can’t bear to tell Alice his deepest fears. And Alice is equally stricken – she carries a terrible secret of her own. Is the truth worth telling if it will destroy everything?

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?

They are Jude, a former restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed academic, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. The grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold. Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas’ stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope. Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided – it’s all here, the contemporary and urgent questions, perennial concerns made vivid and visceral.

True West by David Whish-Wilson

Western Australia, 1988. After betraying the Knights bikie gang, 17-year-old Lee Southern flees to the city with nothing left to lose.
Working as a rogue tow truck driver in Perth, he is captured by right-wing extremists whose combination of seduction and blackmail keeps him on the wrong side of the law and under their control. As the true nature of what drives his captors unfolds, Lee becomes an unwilling participant in a breathtakingly ambitious plot – and a cold-blooded crime that will show just how much he, and everyone else, still has to lose.

The Last Paradise by Di Morrissey

Grace has the perfect life: a job she loves, a beautiful daughter and a rich, successful husband. But one night, when their world falls apart in a shocking disaster, Grace suddenly sees what she couldn’t admit – her marriage and her husband are a fraud.

With the life she knew in tatters, she takes an assignment promoting the launch of a unique luxury hotel, hidden in a stunning, untouched oasis in the heart of tourist-crazed Bali.Here, in this last paradise, Grace gathers the strength to take charge of her world. And, inspired by a woman’s story from long ago, she discovers a path to a future she’d never dared to imagine . . .

Latest podcasts

Best-selling author and former Los Angeles times reporter Michael Connelly has a soft spot for Hollywood. In this episode, Gregg Dobbs talks with Connelly about the history of LA crime fiction, and how it inspired his latest Ballard & Bosch tale The Night Fire.

Award-winning author of The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose, is a sixth-generation Tasmanian. In this episode, Emma Harvey sits down with Heather to talk about the importance of engaging with those we disagree with, how she learned to rid ego and romanticism from her craft, and why her explosive new satire Bruny is proving more prophetic by the day.

Invisible Boys is the debut novel of WA author Holden Sheppard, which draws upon his adolescence growing up as a gay man in the regional town of Geraldton. In this episode, Holden chats to Max Lewis about the trials and tribulations of writing such a personal book, looking back on the same-sex marriage plebiscite two years on, and what he would say to a young man struggling with his sexuality.

You can borrow Good Reading from the library or access the digital subscription right here, right now, with your library card.

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What Library Staff are Reading – November

Marguerite Gérard – Lady Reading in an Interior

The erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie – this is a misery memoir with a difference.  It’s a misery memoir with humour and I awarded it a rare 5 stars.  This is the story of the author’s relationship with her very difficult mother.  The style might  not be to everyone’s taste with the story not necessarily told linearly but, a product of a very difficult mother myself, I could both relate and thank my lucky stars my mother wasn’t quite THAT difficult.

Everybody died, so I got a dog by Emily Dean – another misery memoir with humour, although not as much as I’d anticipated.  Emily Dean has a very interesting podcast called Walking the dog where she interviews British celebs, mostly comedians, as they walk a dog (either their own, or a borrowed on).  4 stars

Another 4 stars for Too much lip by Melissa Lucashenko.  This is a book group read and we are still to discuss it.  I was involved in the story from the get-go.  This is a story of an aboriginal family in northern NSW and their fights and dramas between each other, and with the wider and white community around them.  The book is peppered with aboriginal language which I loved.  It reminded me of Hannah Kent’s The good people in that the language is used without a glossary to slow you up, you just have to intuit what the word might mean.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – continuing the Outlander saga – this is book three in the series.  Set mostly in the Americas, we get to catch up with the great love affair of Claire and Jamie.  Not as exciting as previous volumes but still a great book all the same.  3 stars

Tin Man by Sarah Winman – another book group read which I absolutely loved.  It’s about the relationship between two boys as they grow into men, told by each of the men in turn. I sobbed at the end and held the book to my heart.  That doesn’t happen often (the heart bit, I sob copiously at the slightest provocation). 5 stars

The body: a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson – as he did in his book, Home, Bryson takes a tour round the body giving fascinating snippets of history of medicine.  4 stars

Moving by Jenny Éclair – Jenny Éclair is a British comedian and was in the Grumpy Old Women series.  I listen to her and Judith Holder in their podcast Older and Wider and thought I’d give her fiction a go.  This is a story about family relationships told with a long, wide story arc. Not at all funny but very enjoyable. 4 stars

The Lebs by Michael Mohammed – I listened to this audiobook on the RBDigital app.  It’s a fictionalised account of life for a Lebanese-Australian schoolboy.  Gritty and fascinating and beautifully read by Hazem Shammas. 4 stars

Beekeeping for beginners by Laurie R King – a short story really, lasting just over an hour on RBDigital.  Mary Russell, a young girl, meets Sherlock Holmes on a cliff top just as he is preparing to commit suicide.  Mary is in danger and Holmes comes to the rescue. 3 ½ stars

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I got in early with this one, and snagged a copy before the Booker was announced. I enjoyed it, and polished it off in a couple of days, but I am surprised by the Booker win. It feels like receiving a present from the author, with a largely happy ending; a gift for putting up with the brutality of the first book, and the even worse TV series (which I could not continue with, despite thinking it was good.) Offred’s story is indirectly wrapped up, being told through 3 voices, two of whom at least we know will make it to the end, as they were there to tell their own stories. This isn’t a spoiler by the way! Very readable, with a suspiciously fairy tale like ending. I am waiting for the next installment that reveals all of these documents are false. 4/5

 I also read Just one damn thing after another by Jodi Taylor. This is a light and vaguely comic time travel series recommended by a patron. 2.5/5 stars, as I am not in a hurry to read the next one.

I listened to The road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson on rbDigital. Perhaps a little disjointed compared to some of his other travel books, but enjoyable nonetheless. It was suitable road trip fodder. 3/5

What do our scores mean?

1 star – I hated it / Don’t bother / It felt more like homework than reading for pleasure
2 stars – I didn’t like it / Not for me but worth trying / This book needed something different to make me like it
3 stars – I liked it / Recommended / This book was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad.
4 stars – I really liked it / One of the best books I’ve read this year / I’m glad I read it
5 stars – I loved it / One of the best books I’ve ever read / I will probably read it again

What do our scores mean?

1 star – I hated it / Don’t bother / It felt more like homework than reading for pleasure
2 stars – I didn’t like it / Not for me but worth trying / This book needed something different to make me like it
3 stars – I liked it / Recommended / This book was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad.
4 stars – I really liked it / One of the best books I’ve read this year / I’m glad I read it
5 stars – I loved it / One of the best books I’ve ever read / I will probably read it again

 

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Alison’s Picks – November

 

See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill. In 2014, young Luke Batty was bashed to death, in broad daylight, by his father. The nation was shocked into having a closer look at domestic abuse, which had tended to be relegated to the too-hard basket. Jess Hill made the courageous decision to examine as much factual material as she could find on this subject, to better understand what was actually going on.

Okay, nobody reads about domestic abuse for fun. So buckle up and be prepared, if you read this one, to find out about these things:

  • The various acts that constitute abuse
  • The nature of the abusive mind
  • The central importance in male lives of shame, as a motivating factor
  • How children are impacted by domestic abuse
  • When women use violence
  • Fixing it.

The book is impressive in that it looks dispassionately at evidence across a broad front, so the conclusions it draws can be trusted. I also think that it will give clarity and recognition to the many who are currently suffering under a regime of abuse.

The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers. And it’s odd, how sometimes the books you are reading align themselves on an axis you weren’t aware was there. Seventeen-year-old Miki lives with her older brother Kurt, in a small Tasmanian town on the edge of old-growth forest. The house they had lived in with their orchardist parents had accidentally burned down, taking the parents with it; so now Miki and Kurt run a takeaway café in town. Miki has never had the opportunity to go to school; she was home-schooled by ultra-religious parents who thought she should be ‘protected’ from the world at large. This virtual imprisonment continues, with Kurt (surly, controlling and secretive) as her jailer. But she reads, and thinks, and strives not to be the victim that her life so far has set her up to be. Meanwhile, town politics is dominated by the loggers-versus-Greenies conflict, sadly a constant theme in Tasmania. People in the community find their lives skewed by it, but as in any town, there are cross-currents, as everyone looks for ways to negotiate their lives. I like the way Viggers manages the several thematic threads interweaving here. And I like the compassion that links all together.

 

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Halloween Horror!

In the mood for a good scare? Safety is just a matter of putting your book down when you choose to get your thrills and chills from reading. Halloween is a great excuse to dip into a bit of horror, and the library has everything you could need. Check out these recent titles for something that goes bump in the night.

Platform seven by Louise Doughty  (4 stars on goodreads)

Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge. Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected? No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.

The Institute by Stephen King (4.5 stars on goodreads)

Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a dark state facility where kids, abducted from across the United States, are incarcerated. In the Institute they are subjected to a series of tests and procedures meant to combine their exceptional gifts – telepathy, telekinesis – for concentrated effect. Luke Ellis is the latest recruit. He’s just a regular 12-year-old, except he’s not just smart, he’s super-smart. And he has another gift which the Institute wants to use… Far away in a small town in South Carolina, former cop Tim Jamieson has taken a job working for the local sheriff. He’s basically just walking the beat. But he’s about to take on the biggest case of his career. Back in the Institute’s downtrodden playground and corridors where posters advertise ‘just another day in paradise’, Luke, his friend Kalisha and the other kids are in no doubt that they are prisoners, not guests. And there is no hope of escape. But great events can turn on small hinges and Luke is about to team up with a new, even younger recruit, Avery Dixon, whose ability to read minds is off the scale. While the Institute may want to harness their powers for covert ends, the combined intelligence of Luke and Avery is beyond anything that even those who run the experiments – even the infamous Mrs Sigsby – suspect.

Echoes : the Saga anthology of ghost stories (4 stars on goodreads)

Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially Ellen Datlow–the most lauded editor in short works of supernatural suspense and dark fantasy. The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories is her definitive collection of ghost stories. These twenty-nine stories, including all new works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, span from the traditional to the eclectic, from the mainstream to the literary, from pure fantasy to the bizarrely supernatural. Whether you’re reading alone under the covers with a flashlight, or around a campfire with a circle of friends, there’s something here to please–and spook–everyone.

His hideous heart : thirteen of Edgar Allan Poe’s most unsettling tales reimagined edited by Dahlia Adler (3.7 stars on goodreads)

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

 

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Booker Prize 2019 – Two for the Price of One!

The 2019 Booker Prize has been announced, and, despite it being against the rules, there are two winners this year. In what is being describes as a shock announcement, Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo are sharing the prize this year for their wonderful books. The Guardian has the background story of how this rule flouting came about.

For readers it simply means we have two must-have titles to get our hands on. The Testaments and Girl, Woman, Other are both available from Blue Mountains Library, but you may have a bit of a wait, so head to the catalogue and reserve your copies now.

 

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Carolyn’s Books of the Month – October

Best Read: The French Photographer by Natasha Lester

Inspired by the incredible true story of Lee Miller, Vogue model turned one of the first female war photojournalists. Manhattan, Paris, 1942: When Jessica May’s successful modelling career is abruptly cut short, she is assigned to the war in Europe as a photojournalist for Vogue. But when she arrives the army men make her life as difficult as possible. Three friendships change that: journalist Martha Gellhorn encourages Jess to bend the rules, paratrooper Dan Hallworth takes her to places to shoot pictures and write stories that matter, and a little girl, Victorine, who has grown up in a field hospital, shows her love. But success comes at a price. France, 2005: Australian curator D’Arcy Hallworth arrives at a beautiful chateau to manage a famous collection of photographs. What begins as just another job becomes far more disquieting as D’Arcy uncovers the true identity of the mysterious photographer — and realises that she is connected to D’Arcy’s own mother, Victorine.

Crime: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Australian Author: The Loyal Wife by Natalie Barelli

She thought they had the perfect marriage…She was wrong.Tamra never dreamed she would marry someone like Mike Mitchell: handsome, rich, a wonderful husband. Until she finds out that Mike is having an affair.Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Mike Mitchell should have remembered that before he made a fool of her. To make matters worse, Mike’s daughter Madison has come to stay for a few days, and Madison doesn’t like Tamra. Well, that’s too bad, because Tamra doesn’t have time for petty arguments. She’s too busy ruining Mike’s life while remaining-on the surface, at least-the perfect, loyal wife. Because Tamra knows something about Mike. Something he did. Something evil. And she was prepared to carry the secret to her grave. Not anymore. But when Tamra’s plan spirals out of control, she finds that things are not what they seem.And now, it’s too late.

General: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens. In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps”–

Thriller: Leave No Trace by Mandy Mejia

Ten years after a boy and his father went missing in the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, the boy – who is no longer a boy – walks back out of the forest. He is violent and uncommunicative. The authorities take him to Congdon Mental Institution in Duluth, on the edge of mighty Lake Superior. There, language therapist Maya Stark is given the task of making a connection with this boy/man who came back from the dead. But their celebrity patient tries to escape and refuses to answer any questions about his father or the last ten years of his life. In many ways he is old far beyond his years; in others, still a child. But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world – but at what cost to herself?

Thriller: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain. Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought. And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth? The Silent Patient is a heart-stopping debut thriller about a woman’s brutal and random act of violence against her husband – and the man obsessed with discovering why.

Saga/Romance: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

From the author of the Lilac Girls comes Lost Roses, which once again celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship during the darkest days of history. It is 1914, and New York socialite Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and now Eliza is embarking on the trip of a lifetime to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya and Varinka will intersect in profound ways.

EAudio Books

Gallipoli Street by Mary Anne O’Connor (Borrowbox)

At 17, Veronica O’Shay is happier running wild on the family farm than behaving in the ladylike manner her mother requires, and she despairs both of her secret passion for her brother’s friend Jack Murphy and what promises to be a future of restraint and compliance.

But this is 1913 and the genteel tranquillity of rural Beecroft is about to change forever as the O’Shay and Murphy families, along with their friends the Dwyers, are caught up in the theatre of war and their fates become intertwined.

From the horrors of Gallipoli to the bloody battles of the Somme, through love lost and found, the Great Depression and the desperate jungle war along the Kokoda Track, this sprawling family drama brings to life a time long past … a time of desperate love born in desperate times and acts of friendship against impossible odds.

A love letter to Australian landscape and character, Gallipoli Street celebrates both mateship and the enduring quality of real love. But more than that, this book shows us where we have come from as a nation, by revealing the adversity and passions that forged us.

Relentless by Simon Kernick (rbDigital)

John Meron, a happily married father of two who’s never been in trouble, receives a phone call that will change his life for ever: his friend Jack Galley, a high-flying City lawyer, is screaming; down the phone for help. As Meron listens, Galley is murdered. His last words, spoken to his killer, are the first two lines of Meron’s address. Confused and terrified, Meron scoops up his children and hurries out of the house. Just in time. Within minutes, a car pulls up outside, and three men get out. It’s clear that they’re coming for him. He’s being hunted and has no idea why. And with his wife missing, an unidentified corpse in her office and the police after him for murder, his life, is about to get one hell of a lot worse…

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