Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Here’s the thing about Geraldine Brooks (because I’m totally qualified to comment on Geraldine Brooks, obvs) and Caleb’s Crossing (which, according to many aggrieved Goodreads members, should be called Bethia’s Crossing) –

01. Stating the obvious but she knows how to write historical fiction. I reckon Brooks tests every single word for authenticity – it’s meticulous.

02. Even the emotions her characters are feeling are ‘historically appropriate’ (tricky, right?) and yet, she manages to create these wonderfully strong females who both make a mark on their time and offer something for the present.

Is it ever thus, at the end of things? Does any woman ever count the grains of her harvest and say: Good enough? Or does one always think of what more one might have laid in, had the labor been harder, the ambition more vast, the choices more sage? Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Are we excited about the Man Booker 2017 longlist? I’ve read two (Exit West – didn’t like it much at all; Swing Time – loved some bits, other bits not so much) and have one more in the reading pile (The Underground Railroad). I’m intrigued by 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo. Tell me who you think will win and I’ll endeavour to read those before it’s announced so I can feel smug about being ahead of the curve 🙂 Continue reading

The Light of Day by Graham Swift

One thing that irritates the bejesus out of me is protracted suspense. It’s probably why I don’t read many thrillers or mysteries. Can you see where I’m heading with Graham Swift’s The Light of Day?

Ex-cop-turned-private-detective, George, reflects on past events that bound him to Sarah, a woman he visits in jail.

And sometimes it’s at the very moment they learn the worst that they most become your friend. They thank you for it – they even pay you for it. Continue reading

Book vs. Film: A Long Way Home / Lion

I’m skipping a review of A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and instead suggesting that if you don’t already know this incredible story, see the film asap (note that the main difference between the book and film is that the book includes detail about Saroo’s time in India once he was reunited with his biological family, whereas the film ends with the reunion).

Film – Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. The Melbourne Writers Festival 2017 program was launched this week. I’m excited about Heather Rose, Jennifer Down, Christine Kenneally, Tracy Chevalier and Maxine Beneba Clarke. Also: Grenville, Tsiolkas, Laguna, Krien, Joosten. It’s going to be a busy ten days. Continue reading

Mrs Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Without bringing up the whole Lionel Shriver debate again (and Bill has the best summary of that), I fear Tom Perrotta was writing about stuff that he probably should have left alone in his latest novel, Mrs Fletcher.

In brief, it’s the story of Eve Fletcher, divorced, mother to Brendan and director of a seniors centre. Note that Brendan is a sexist, homophobic jock, who has no intention of changing his party-hard ways as he begins college. Continue reading

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

It doesn’t seem quite right doing a literary mixtape for a book that I loved so much. Because I should be telling you why I loved it, and urging you to read it. Read this review and also this one – they sum up why it’s ace. Now off you go and read it.

5/5 Magnificent. Continue reading