The Opal Desert – Di Morrissey

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Kerrie, in her 40s, has just lost her famous sculptor husband who had been the centre of her existence and for whom she sacrificed her own art career. Now she needs to find the courage to rekindle her dreams.

Shirley, approaching 80, believes she was betrayed by her former lover many years ago and has retreated from the world, becoming a recluse living in an underground dugout. Her new friends cause her to reassess what she’s done with her life.

Anna, 20, has a promising athletic career but is torn between the commitment to her sport, which could carry her to the Olympics, and the other challenges in her life. Will running away solve her problems?

The friendship that develops between these three women who meet in the strangely beautiful but desolate landscape of Opal Lake helps them deal with the next stage of their lives.

This book focused more on Kerrie than Shirley or Anna, and we don’t meet Anna until towards the end of the novel. I found it to be quite intruiguing. It made me realise how important it is to do what we need to do, and what we want to do, to be happy. This book actually inspired me to get back into painting! I really enjoyed this novel, and can’t wait to read another of Di’s books in the near future.

4/5

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At Seventeen – Celeste Walters

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Forced to board in her final years of school, Catherine struggles to fit in and feels awkward and different. But then a collection of words and pictures left by her grandmother helps her to piece together a tragic family secret. The more she learns about the past, the more she learns about herself.

This novel was quite intense. I read it in only a few hours. I felt like I was in Catherine’s shoes, experiencing what she did, and sharing the same feelings and emotions. I really felt for Catherine when she discovered how alike she is to her grandmother. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure that all teenagers and young adults could relate to this novel, but I’m sure there are some out there that would, and to those people, I would highly recommend this book.

4/5

People of the book – Geraldine Brooks

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When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime.

A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah – one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illustrated with images – to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival over five centuries of history. But the trip will also set in motion a series of events that threaten to rock Hanna’s orderly life, including her encounter with Ozren Karamen, the young librarian who risked his life to save the book.

I did have a bit of trouble getting into this book. I like the idea of the plot, but I think what actually happened in this novel was at times, a bit difficult for me to grasp. I liked that I got to read about the history of the Haggadah – it made the book more interesting for me, even if I did confuse myself when I got to the next chapter and it was a different character! There wasn’t as much about Hanna’s experiences as I was expecting, but I felt a bit of what she was doing and going through.

3/5

Falling Forward – David Metzenthen

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Bruce’s life is finally on track. He’s got a place to live and a job he likes, working on a high-rise building site in the middle of Melbourne. Then he meets Troy. And as his carefully constructed life starts to fall apart, Bruce finds himself falling forward, once again lost and out of control.

This book had me gripped from the start. It felt like the quintessential Aussie novel. Bruce is such a loveable character. Things aren’t always easy for him – he loses his home and his job, but things work out for him in the end. The ending wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I loved every bit of it. This is the first novel that I have read by David Metzenthen, and I hope to read more of his works.

5/5

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. This is the first blog that I have made.

The purpose of this blog is for book reviews. I started this blog as part of the Aussie Author Challenge. I plan on continuing this blog, even after I complete the challenge.

I will be attempting the Kangaroo level of this challenge. This involves reading 12 novels by Australian authors – 4 males, 4 females and 4 authors that are new to me, covering 3 different genres.

I am an extremely avid reader and love finding new authors and books, so I am really looking forward to this challenge! I hope this blog will encourage you to try new authors and books.

This is the link to the challenge: http://bookloverbookreviews.com/reading-challenges/aussie-author-challenge-2016

Enjoy reading!

 

Mel