Category: Australia and New Zealand 5 out of 5s

Geraldine Brooks’ — People of the book *****

Geraldine Brooks’ — People of the book *****

Hanna is a rare book expert whose current job is to analyse and conserve a rare fifteenth century Hebrew manuscript. The book is saved despite the destruction of libraries in Sarajevo. After she discovers clues in the book’s binding, its mysteries send her on a journey of discovery until she locates the real saviours of this ancient manuscript.

There isn’t a novel by this Australian author I haven’t found intriguing, but this one’s my favourite.

Hannah Kent’s — Burial rites

Hannah Kent’s — Burial rites

Charged with murder, Agnes is housed with a family on a remote Icelandic farm to await her death sentence. The farmer’s wife is horrified to be forced to share her simple dwelling with a murderer, but over time she sees another side to Agnes. Continue reading “Hannah Kent’s — Burial rites”

Gregory David Roberts’ — Shantaram *****

Gregory David Roberts’ — Shantaram *****

Sentenced to nineteen years in prison, Roberts escapes from his Australian jail cell and heads to India. Robbed in Mumbai, he’s forced to live in the slums until his life in various illegal operations, lead him to a more comfortable life style.

This is a tale with its heart in the streets of Mumbai. The characters, the setting, Mumbai’s underworld and the gripping story make this an unforgettable tale. While this is a nine hundred plus page novel, I still didn’t want it to end.

Kathryn Heyman’s — The accomplice

Kathryn Heyman’s — The accomplice

When mutiny breaks out of the Dutch ship the Batavia, Judith is desperate to survive. The ship arrives near the Western Australian coast and sinks. Judith is one of a hundred survivors who make it to shore, but how they stay alive becomes a nightmare.

This harrowing tale is based on true events seen through the eyes of Judith.

Anna Smaill’s — The chimes

Anna Smaill’s — The chimes

Simon arrives in London after his parents’ deaths and soon finds a new family amongst a gang of scavengers who roam their turf in search of metal. He grips his bag of junk — items that trigger the only memories he holds and slowly discovers with the help of Lucien, that he has a gift that others do not hold. But the London of the future keeps most of its citizens ignorant. Can Simon’s gift free them from their simple lives?

A real page turner that was not only well written, but revealed a unique story.

Kimberly Freeman’s — Ember Island

Kimberly Freeman’s — Ember Island

Tilly, living in the 19thcentury and Nina, living in the 21stcentury are both connected to Nell Holt. After the death of her grandfather and a disasterous short marriage, Tilly takes the first available boat out of England to Australia. She is employed as a governess to Nell on Amber Island — a Moreton Bay island where prisoners are jailed. But Nell keeps memories of her haunting past close to her chest until an error of judgement forces her to expose her past.

Nina’s great-grandmother was Nell. She’s a successful author struggling with her forth novel. She holds a secret that’s about to be exposed by a scathing journalist.

Can both women survive their past?

Equally as good is Freeman’s Lighthouse Bay (another 5 out of 5).

Kimberley Freeman’s — Wildflower Hill *****

Kimberley Freeman’s — Wildflower Hill *****

After Emma, a talented ballerina, damages her knee and her career is ruined, she leaves London and returns to Australia where she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and her inheritance — Wildflower Hill. Emma heads to the property that was once a prosperous sheep station, where she discovers her grandmother’s possessions packed away in boxes. As she sorts through each box, she uncovers the mystery of her grandmother’s past and a new beginning for herself.