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Fiction

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearance and realises right from the start that there is something strange about the family that lives in the beautiful house by the sea. While investigating Zoe’s life, Tony is swept into the stories of the history of the family, from hundreds of years ago, up until now. And some of it is a bit beyond belief. Will he be able to find Zoe? Is she really dead, or is there something extraordinary happening?

The story is told from four perspectives. Tony, the investigator carries the weight of the plot in his search for the missing girl. Zoe’s aunt Sadie and her parents John and Eva have the remaining narratives, and fill in the story with important history, leading certain things to come together, and others that create even more mystery.

The writing of this novel is absolutely beautiful. It didn’t take me long at all to get engrossed in the story and just when I was getting into a nice groove, the tales within the story BLEW ME AWAY. I was utterly captivated by the stories of love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice. And the romance! There were a few romances weaved into the story and they were all sweet, one especially. However, with so many back stories I sometimes became confused with who was who and where I was in the story. I think this is my issue more than the writing though, I am a very fast reader, and I have baby brain! I’m not surprised I got a bit lost – I am surprised I can remember my name most days at the moment!

My only other criticism was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It was good, and I got it, I really did. But personally I didn’t find it ultimately satisfying. However, it didn’t diminish the rest of the story for me at all!

Would I recommend To The Sea?

Absolutely. If my ramblings have even remotely sparked your interest, then I have no doubt you will enjoy it. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of To The Sea to read in exchange for an honest review.

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | Kindle AU | Kindle US


If you enjoy To The Sea, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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Daintree – Annie Seaton

Daintree – Annie Seaton (The Porter Sisters #2)

Daintree

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 Another quality rural romance by Australian author Annie Seaton! Around this time last year the first of the Porter sisters novels was released “Kakadu Sunset” and I fell in love with the writing, the romance, and the setting. It wasn’t until after my review was up, and I had a chat with the author that I discovered she actually lived in the same town as me when I was growing up, and actually taught at my high school! Small world!

In this instalment, Emma Porter is living up in the Daintree rain forest. She is an emergency doctor who is happily living her life working and taking care of the community, when new doctor Jeremy enters the scene. He is an old flame and their relationship had ended abruptly and confusingly. As well as the old romance, Emma is trying to deal with some strange events that are occurring in the rain forest, ones which have put her life in danger.

Firstly, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. Absolutely beautiful! Great choice! I think it was a perfect cover for the atmosphere of this book. The setting was fabulous! I thought Emma was a great character and I really enjoyed the mystery and adventure. And of course, the romance was lovely.

There are not may negatives! The only things were I felt that a few things in Daintree were a tiny bit rushed, and I was a bit disappointed about the way it went with Jeremy’s family. It felt a bit unresolved to me. I also figured out the final twist and the identity of the bad guys very early on, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the thoroughly wonderful story! So much more positive than negative! I thought it was just wonderful!

Would I recommend Daintree?

Absolutely! For any romance fan, and who doesn’t love an Aussie rural romance to get away from life for a few hours! I can’t wait to read the next one!

Many thanks to author Annie Seaton and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW of Kakadu Sunset | Q&A with Author

PURCHASE:

PAN MACMILLAN AUS | KINDLE US | KINDLE AU


If you enjoy Daintree, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   The Peppercorn Project

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, this one is a MAJOR contender for my favourite book of the year! This book was right up my alley, I love nerdy science stuff, and the concept of this book really appealed to me. I was trying not to expect too much as it is very hyped. But in the end, I was totally swept away by this fabulous sci-fi adventure.

Think Schrodinger’s cat as a novel if you can… Jason Dessen is a brilliant scientist, leading a very happy, yet average life as a science professor, wondering what would have happened if his life led him on a different path. He is abducted by a masked man at gunpoint, drugged, and awakens in a world that is not his own. His house isn’t his own, his wife isn’t married to him, and his son doesn’t exist. What the hell is going on?

This is all the plot I am going to give you. It gets strange, then weird, then weirdER, then FREAKING CRAZY!

I listened to the audio version of dark matter and i LOVED IT! Jon Lindstrom was the absolute PERFECT narrator for this book, he made every minute of listening to it extremely enjoyable.

This book made me think, it made me laugh, it made me go WHOA!!!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

Its not often i’m finished talking about a book in only 200 words, but I’m done. I don’t want to ruin anything else for you, read it or listen to it. ASAP! Its absolutely fantastic!

Would I recommend Dark Matter?

YES! Even my friends who HATE sci-fi absolutely LOVE this book, and that’s saying something! Highly recommend the audio version, but I am sure it would be just as good with words!

 I listened to Dark Matter through audible.com, at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AUPanMacmillan AU


If you enjoy Dark Matter, you may enjoy:

The Fold   14   Ready Player One

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Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was a lot of fun! I listened to the audio version of this as I was unable to read actual words due to debilitating morning sickness, and the narrator was absolutely fantastic!

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Brought up as a child in the “Orphan Program”, Evan has some killer James Bond/Jason Bourne skills. Since the orphan program was disbanded, he uses these skills to help people in need. People in extremely desperate situations. Unfortunately someone is tracking him… Someone as dangerous as he is.

Well, this one certainly sucked me in. Perhaps it was the fact I was so sick and needed another world to escape to, but it was exactly what I needed to listen to at the time. I was completely hooked. I loved the story, I loved the narrator, the romance, the action, the violence… Loved it all.

But… The reason I give this 4.5 and not a full perfect score, is the predictability aspect. Of course I’m fairly sure that 99.9 % of people figured out who the boss was, and at least 50% could also guess the big twist right at the end. There was only one or two people it could have POSSIBLY been right!? It was so extremely predictable I was BEGGING for there to be some other spin or twist which would make it less obvious, but alas – I was disappointed. For me to deduct only 0.5 Stars however is saying something, because I usually deduct a lot more for something as major as that. But I just liked it so darn much, so it didn’t really take much away from the story for me. There were also a few minor twists that also held me.

The narrator Scott Brick was a FANTASTIC choice. And there is a sequel coming out! I may have to listen to the audio of that one too and hope that Scott is doing the sequel!

Would I recommend Orphan X?

YES YES YES Lots of fun! I can easily see it being made into some sort of blockbuster action flick which I would happily pay to see at the movies. Thoroughly enjoyed!

I listened to the audio version of Orphan X on audible.com, purchased at my own expense. Well worth the credit!

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE |


If you enjoy Orphan X, you may also enjoy:

Yeagers Law  The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson   Zero World

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The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Yes, this is a book for book-lovers! If I see that phrase in one more review of this one I think I’m going to scream! So just to be fun, I decided to LISTEN to this book on audio (because I’m a rebel like that… and I had severe morning sickness which rendered me unable to read 3 lines in a book without puking for over three months). It wasn’t the 5 screaming stars that I was almost expecting from reading some of my friends reviews, but I did like it a lot.

Our story begins when Margaret Lea, a biographer, is sent a letter from one of the most famous authors in Britain, Vida Winter. She is dying and wants Margaret to write her life story. Confused, as Margaret usually only writes biographies of long dead people, and also because Ms Winter is well known for her secrecy, Margaret decides to travel to Ms Winters estate and talk with her. Of course she agrees to write the book, and thus the tale of Vida Winter beings.

And it is quite a tale. Twists and turns and more twists and some more turns, and then a MASSIVE twist which I never saw coming. But when it did come, it was a little bit too unbelievable for me. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t stop the story from being fabulous, but it was just a little bit much.

I found the story of the girls at Angelfield so fascinating. What a life! I really enjoyed the gothic atmosphere and all the drama.

I thought Margaret’s obsession with her dead sister was extremely well written and quite unnerving. It keep the tone of the novel quite brooding and dark.

I didn’t mind the shifts back and forth in time, and enjoyed the somewhat slow unravel of the truth.

The audio version was really well done. I love when audiobooks have more than one narrator. It really helps keep the characters separate, which I believe is really important. Often when listening to audiobooks, I can get a bit lost if the narrator is a monotone and is reading all the characters in a similar voice. Different actors really enhances my listening experience! And the two women in this one were fantastic. They really differentiated the characters completely and made it extremely easy to follow.

Would I recommend The Thirteenth Tale?

Yes, it was well worth reading. A touch slow in parts but overall it was a gripping novel with lots of twists and turns and sometimes had unnerving subject matter.

I read The Thirteenth Tale with a local book club, purchased on audible at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU |Book depository | AUDIO


If you enjoy The Thirteenth Tale, you may enjoy:

The Muse

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The Summer That Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything

5 Stars (5 / 5)

This was a GREAT read! It totally caught me off guard how absolutely unique and fabulous this book was.

In the summer of 1984, Fielding’s father Autopsy Bliss wrote an invitation to the devil in the newspaper. And the devil accepted. Or did he? A young boy called Sal arrives claiming he is the devil. At first the townspeople think its a joke, that he is a runaway. But as Sal begins to get involved with some of the people from the small town, strange things begin to happen and darkness seems to follow Sal wherever he goes.

I was just so taken aback by the complexity and brilliance of this novel. It is told from Fielding’s point of view in large flashbacks and flash forwards to the the future, when Fielding is a old man. And this back and forward alternating perspective really worked. You get glimpses of what he is like in the future, and slowly start to understand why he is the way he is, and what exactly happened that summer.

It wasn’t so much the story that captivated me (although it was in itself, captivating), it was the writing. The powerful atmosphere and the emotional, resonating quotes and dialogues throughout the book were hauntingly beautiful and incredibly moving. There were numerous occasions where I had to stop reading and sit in wonder at what I just read. At times it was utterly depressing, but not in a bad way!

The characters are all so deep and powerful. They all have their own unique stories and a darkness about them. Fielding was probably the most innocent and naive of the lot. His brother, mother and father were fascinating

Would I recommend The Summer that Melted Everything?

Absolutely! I am surprised that more people don’t know about this novel and I have a feeling that its going to be huge! And I can’t believe that this is a debut!! I can’t wait to see what else the author has up her sleeve for the future!

Many thanks to author Tiffany McDaniel and the publisher for an advanced copy of The Summer that Melted Everything to read and review.

ADD TO GOODREADS


If you enjoy The Summer that Melted Everything, you may enjoy:

The Muse

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Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Alright, before I begin my review of this book I need to admit something. A secret shame. This is my very first Liane Moriarty book! Yes I know, I know! I can hear you SHARPLY GASP! Her books seem right up my alley, how could I have not read Big Little Lies, or The Husband’s Secret? “SHAME ON YOU MELISSA!” I hear you yell! “She is one of Australia’s most loved authors!!” I have heard such good things, but guiltily have never had the chance or inclination to read them before. However, this means that I came into reading Truly Madly Guilty with an unbiased perspective, and will hopefully give you a run down about what I liked and didn’t like about it as a Moriarty novice!

Something happened at the BBQ that day. Clementine didn’t even want to go, and a major life-changing event occurred. Something that will change all of their lives. This is the story of three marriages, friendship, and the fateful events of one seemingly ordinary afternoon that will become extraordinary in their memories.

Now, if you are after a light, feel good read then look elsewhere. This story is gritty, raw and deep.

Moriarty creates an amazingly charged atmosphere in the first half of the book without actually revealing what happened at the BBQ! I found this SO FRUSTRATING! But not in a bad way! I was DESPERATE to know what happened. So desperate that when it did happen I felt slightly let down, as it went in a different direction than I was expecting. But I assume that’s the point.

I enjoyed the way it switched back and forth in time and from each different characters perspective. It was an extremely character driven novel which I can only assume is a Moriarty trademark by reading reviews of her other work. It was done masterfully. Each character was so inherently unique and imperfect. I was quickly sucked into their lives and relationships.

It touched on SO MANY themes! Friendship, love, lust, family, parenting, childlessness, IVF, marriage, and mental illness just to name a few. However, with so much going on I found it dragged on a little bit for me. I was willing it at times to just get to the BBQ. However once it did get to the BBQ, I found the pace improved, even if it went in a direction I was not entirely anticipating. And there were a few excellent twists that I never saw coming, and that’s always a big plus for me!

Would I recommend Truly Madly Guilty?

Absolutely worth the read! I will be definitely checking out her other books! I can’t believe I have waited so long!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a pre release copy of Truly Madly Guilty in exchange for my honest review.

Truly Madly Guilty will be released on the 20th July.

Add to goodreads

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON AU | AMAZON

It will also be available at all good bookstores.


If you enjoy Truly Madly Guilty, you may enjoy:

Running Against The Tide   Like I Can Love   Beside Myself

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See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This fast-paced thriller was just what I was in the mood for! I have said it before and I will say it again, Bookouture are one of my FAVOURITE publishers! I have not read a book published by them that I haven’t enjoyed!

One fateful night new parents Harry and Alice are woken by armed masked intruders. They are after a man named Renshaw, who Alice and Harry have never heard of! They threaten the baby and promise that they will be back. Alice and Harry are left completely confused. Who is this “Renshaw”? How will they protect themselves and their baby daughter from these people if they don’t know who he is? This fateful night is the catalyst for the next series of events that will put all their lives in danger.

I’m just going to briefly mention that I did have a few issues with this novel. My issues mostly revolved around the start, and how on earth two intelligent people could NOT CALL THE POLICE! Their excuse why they didn’t was silly and just as unbelievable. Not just that, the fact that Harry WENT TO WORK the next day, was just so stupidly unbelievable to me. I actually had a lot of trouble moving along with the story after that.

However, thankfully the shaky start was soon forgotten, as I became immersed in the action and mystery. Bale created an extremely entertaining story, full of thrills and action.

As a mother, I can only imagine how I would feel if any of the things happened to my baby, like they did to Evie throughout the novel. I think Bale did a pretty good job of creating a mothers anguish in some of those difficult situations. The scenes with the baby were all done quite well. I enjoyed how the baby still did all the normal things, cried, fed, pooped etc, and that Alice still had to take care of all these basic tasks while she was trying to stay alive herself.

I liked how there wasn’t a parade of characters. Just three main ones with a few secondary characters thrown in. In the end the whole thing just worked.

Would I recommend See How They Run?

Absolutely! Any thriller fan should enjoy this one! Another hit by Bookouture!

Many thanks to author Tom Bale and publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of See How They Run in exchange for my honest review.

Add to goodreads


If you enjoy See How They Run, you may enjoy:

Out of the Ice  Deadly Obsession The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson

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The Muse – Jessie Burton

The Muse – Jessie Burton

image

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I must have been living under a rock for the last few years. I had never heard of Jessie Burton or her first, immensely popular novel “The Miniaturist”, before The Muse came into my radar.  I don’t tend to read much historical fiction, so perhaps that is why it was lost on me. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book because of the former, and I got to ignore all of that and come at my review with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.

The Muse is set in two time frames; In the 1960’s, Odelle moves from Trinidad to London to pursue her dream of being a writer. She gets a job typing at an art gallery, working for an eccentric woman known as Quick. When she meets a man who possesses an unusual and haunting painting, she delves into the mystery of where the painting came from, who the painter was, and what happened to him. Back in time to 1936, Olive and her parents move to Spain where she becomes enamoured with a local young man Issac, who is a revolutionary and an artist. He agrees to paint a portrait of Olive and her mother as a surprise for her father, and this gesture leads to a whole lot of catastrophic events, and melds both time frames together.

As soon as I started reading The Muse I was captured by the writing. Usually historical fiction and I don’t get on very well, but I breezed through this book as if I had read it before. I enjoyed the jumps back and forth in time, each jump giving away bit by bit of the storyline until the final climactic chapters.

I must admit, the key twists were not lost on me, I picked them up quite quickly. However there was always still some doubt if my suspicions were correct throughout.

I loved all the twists and turns, drama and intrigue. There were a few times, especially in the 1930’s Spain setting, that it got slightly slow for me, but I think again that is my usual indifference to historical fiction coming through, rather than any fault of the writer.

Overall I really enjoyed the atmosphere, both the settings and I found the characters to be well written and engaging.

Would I recommend The Muse?

Yes, historical fiction fans – I think you will really enjoy it!  Now I’m off to add The Miniaturist to my to-read pile!

Many thanks to author Jessie Burton via publisher Pan Macmillan for a copy of The Muse in exchange for my honest review.

Add to goodreads

PURCHASE

PAN MACMILLAN | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Muse, you may enjoy:

Burial Rites   The Secret Years

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Promise – Sarah Armstrong – Review and Q&A

Promise – Sarah Armstrong

Summary:

How farPromise would you go to protect a child in danger?

When a new family moves in next door, it takes Anna just two days to realise something is very wrong. She can hear their five-year-old daughter Charlie crying, then sees injuries on the little girl which cannot be ignored. Anna reports the family to the police and social services but when no one comes to Charlie’s aid, Anna understands that she is alone with her fears for the child’s life.

So when Charlie comes to her door asking for help, the only thing Anna can think to do is take the girl and run.

Raising delicate but deeply felt questions about our individual responsibility for the children around us, Promise is a novel that obliges the reader to ask: if Charlie were my neighbour, what would I do?


Promise is a new novel by journalist Sarah Armstrong. I must admit I was excited to read this book, but also apprehensive. Almost every day we hear terrible stories of children being treated badly, neglected, abused and even murdered. Every story upsets me, brings tears to my eyes for a short time, brings up anger, sadness and frustration. But then the news story changes. These children are soon forgotten, replaced with other stories.

I knew some of the emotions this book was going to bring up in me. I am a mother and a nurse. My first instinct is to care. I was apprehensive to get out of my comfort zone and voluntarily read about this subject matter, knowing that it will upset me.

But we NEED to be upset if anything is ever going to be done about this problem. Sarah has written an insightful, and at times disturbing portrayal of a child in danger and one woman’s frustration with the system as she takes matters into her own hands. While obviously kidnapping a child in danger is probably not the best idea to help the problem, Armstrong has brought us a good reminder that these things happen EVERY DAY! Perhaps even next door to YOU!

SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

 Q&A with Sarah Armstrong

Hi Sarah, thanks for joining me at Books Babies Being!

Were you reporting on family violence stories in your career as a journalist? Was this what inspired you to write Promise?

I didn’t report on family voilence when I was a journalist. That may partly be because it was less often in the news then. Societey wide – not just in the media – I think that family violence often – somehow – wasn’t regarded as real violence, or a real crime.

I was inspired to write Promise many years after leaving journalism and the ABC, after i’d moved to the north coast of NSW. It was one specific story that inspired me – one story in a long line of stories about children killed in their homes by a parent or step parent. A two-year-old boy died, and his mother was charged with his murder. In one of the television stories, neighbours said they’d been concerned about him and had reported him to community services. I put myself in the shoes of those neighbours; they’d done their best to get him to the attention of authorities, they’d called several times, and yet, the boy died. I wondered – if I were them – if I might have wished that I’d just picked him up one day and put him in my car and driven away. That thought became the premise of the novel.

I think one reason the story captured my attention is that since my daughter was born in 2010, I’ve been so much more aware of the vulnerability of children. Coming up with a character who takes decisive action was perhaps a way for me to have a conversation with myself (and then, once published, with others) about how far our individual responsibility for other children extends, and about whether there are ever occasions when it is right to break the law.

And I must say that even though this is a story with a difficult premise, it’s really a love story between a woman and a child. And an exploration of many aspects of motherhood: mothering a child not your own, being motherless, childlessness, and what makes a good mother.

The extremely heart-wrenching story of Rosie Batty in 2014 brought significant public attention in Australia to family violence. Did Rosie’s work change the way that the media reports on domestic violence? Did this event influence your book?

 Luke Batty’s murder and Rosie Batty’s response to his death and her subsequent campaigning seem – as far as i can tell – to have created a shift in the public conversation about family violence and in the media coverage of family violence. Rosie Batty spoke so calmly, with such clarity and dignity (but not without anger and outrage), that she seemed to tap into something in the community. I have the sense that change has been brewing for a while but she seemed to nudge the conversation forward. Luke’s sad death did not influence my writing of Promise, as I’d already started work on it. It’s more that as I was writing it, the public conversation about family violence happened to be gaining momentum.

How did writing Promise impact you as a mother?

I suspect that Promise affected me as a mother less than being a mother had an impact on how I wrote Promise. My partner Alan and I had our daughter Amelia in 2010, after trying for quite a while, and resorting to IVF. Having a newborn baby to look after, and realising all babies’ complete reliance on the adults around them, really brought home to me how vulnerable babies are. And I also felt incredibly vulnerable in the face of my love for my baby girl. It just made me think deeply about the profound responsibility of being a parent, about what makes a good parent, and what we can do as a society to support both parents who are struggling, and children who are at risk.

 What would you recommend people do if they are in a situation like Anna’s?

First I should say that I am no expert on child protection. But I do know that community services in each state have helplines you can call (anonymously if you wish) to report a child at risk. And I think it’s really important to call if you know a child is being abused; the child may have no other advocate. You might be it. Community services are so understaffed that just one report of a child being at risk is most unlikely to prompt a caseworker to visit a family, anyway. It usually takes several, if not many, notifications.

If the sitiation is immediately dangerous, then call the police. I remember watching a panel discussion on family violence on the ABC and a senior NSW police officer said that if we hear any family violence, then we should call the police. Just call the police. Violence is violence.

But in situations that are less acute – and unlikely to warrant intervention by community services – I think that offering support to the parents and support to the child(ren) is appropriate. Being a parent is hard, and harder still if you add exhaustion, financial pressures, ill health and stress to the picture. There are many instances where support for the parent and child may be what’s most helpful.

If I see a parent smacking and screaming at a child in a supermarket, I would hope that I’d offer the parent support and say something like, ‘Can I help? You look like you’re having a hard time’. Support for that struggling parent is support for the child.

I’m not actually advocating people abduct an abused child, like my character, Anna, does (although I understand why she did it, and have been grappling with the question of whether it’s sometimes appropriate to break the law).

What can we do to help, even if we are not exposed to family violence?

I’d like to see members of the community put pressure on State Governments to increase funding to combat and deal with family violence, including violence against children.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions Sarah.

My pleasure, Mel.

If you need assistance with family violence, NEVER ALONE has a comprehensive list of resources.

MY REVIEW OF PROMISE

I must admit I was expecting Promise to be a heavy read from the start. I was bracing myself for the emotion, and there indeed were a few disturbing gut-wrenching moments. However instead of being heavy and depressing like I was somewhat expecting, I found the book to be extremely readable. The emotive scenes were powerful, but also done with a respectful tactfulness that I found quite refreshing.

I found the characters to be quite well developed and well written. Anna had quite a lot of baggage that she didn’t realise was there, and it was satisfying to watch her move through some of her issues as everything was unfolding. I did have a bit of a problem relating to Anna though, as I found some of her decisions were just so far from my reality. I think I felt this way because thankfully I have never been in that sort of situation myself. I have no idea how I would react if I was witnessing what she did and the system wasn’t doing anything. Perhaps its not so far from reality after all.

There were a few parts of the book that moved a bit slower than others, but I enjoyed the overall pace. I liked the atmosphere of the novel and the city to rural backdrop. There was lots of tension with the threat of being discovered vs the pressure to turn herself in.

I enjoyed the ending, I don’t know why, but I was expecting something different.

Would I recommend Promise?

Absolutely! It was a great read that will no doubt bring some much needed attention to the problem of family violence in Australia.

Many thanks to author Sarah Armstrong via Pan Macmillan for a copy of Promise in exchange for my honest review, and for joining me for the Q&A!

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Promise is published by Macmillan Australia and is now available at all good bookstores and online

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I grew up in a family with no television, which meant I was a voracious (if fairly indiscriminate) reader, and I was determined, from an early age, to be a writer. This led me to study journalism, and I joined ABC Radio Current Affairs where, in 1993, I won a Walkley Award for a story on diggers returning to Gallipoli. Later I became a researcher and field producer on ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program.image

What most satisfied me as a journalist was meeting people and telling stories which explored the emotional and moral complexities of life, but what I really wanted to do was to use fiction to explore this messy and beautiful business of being human. In 1997 I resigned from the ABC and moved to the hills outside Byron Bay to devote myself to writing fiction.

The week I moved into a rustic cabin in the forested valley, it started raining and rained for three months. That rain found its way into my writing. My first novel Salt Rain was published (Allen & Unwin) in 2004. It was shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Award, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize and the Dobbie Literary Award. Salt Rain was published in the United States by MacAdam/Cage.

My second novel His Other House was published in March 2015 by Pan Macmillan and will be published in Germany in August 2015.

Promise was released on the 28th June, 2016 and is available now.

I live in sub-tropical northern New South Wales with the writer, Alan Close, and our young daughter.

Authors Website   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook


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