Caroline is married to Henry.
Henry is having an affair with Martha.
Caroline and Henry’s neighbours are Lesley and Craig.
Caroline is having an affair with Craig.
Janice is Caroline’s sister.
Alec is Janice’s ex-husband. Janice still loves him, it seems.
Alec springs Janice and Craig in bed together (nothing happened).
Lesley has had enough of Craig.
Lesley announces she’s sleeping with Alec.
And then things descend from there. Continue reading
The title of Monica Drake’s second novel, The Stud Book, suggests something along the lines of last week’s ‘Oil up, rigs out’ episode of The Bachelorette. Here’s a reminder:
However, it’s anything but. The title is literal – a stud book is a breed registry of animals. The novel is rooted in biology and explores themes of mating and motherhood via a group of friends, who all find themselves at different points on the ‘breeding cycle’. Continue reading
Clearly one data point* does not make a trend.
*because The Devil Wears Prada was good fun.
Slicker, sharper and less sentimental than other books I’ve read by Kaui Hart Hemmings, her latest, How to Party With an Infant, makes for entertaining reading.
Recipe blogger, Mele Bart, is single mum to two-year-old Ellie. When she was pregnant, Mele’s boyfriend, Bobby, announced his engagement – to another woman (an artisan cheese-maker from the Napa valley). Bobby wants Ellie to be the flower-girl in his wedding and Mele reluctantly agrees.
To take her mind off the upcoming nuptials, Mele enters a recipe competition run by the San Francisco Mother’s Club. She uses cooking as therapy – for both herself and her own circle of ‘mummy friends’. As her friend Annie says, “Mele’s going to take your despair and turn it into cupcakes.”
Liane Moriarty’s international bestseller, Big Little Lies, has all the hallmarks of terrific school-gate-lit – the grisly details of PTA meetings, cliques, and passive-aggressive care-packages of vegetarian lasagne. And yet, this book left me feeling conflicted. Continue reading
Confession: I set my alarm for a number ending in a two or a seven every morning. My alarm goes off and then I lie in bed for another five minutes until a two or a seven rolls around. On days I don’t have an alarm set, I wait for a two or seven before getting out of bed. Naturally, my ultimate get-up time 7.27am – unfortunately that would be considered a sleep-in these days… Anyway, before you start thinking that I am completely OCD, know that if the house was burning down I wouldn’t wait for my digital clock to click to a two or seven. I’m obsessive but not compulsive (or is it the other way around?).
There’s safety in numbers, as Grace Vandenburg, the main character in Toni Jordan’s Addition, knows. Grace’s life is ordered by numbers – how many bananas she buys, how many steps she takes to the café, what time she cooks her dinner, how many strokes it takes to brush her teeth. Continue reading
I’m playing catch-up on my reviews. Continue reading
Don’t judge me. I was here:
And needed some mindless crap to read. I think the genre is officially known as ‘beach reads’. Continue reading
I read Joanna Murray-Smith’s novel, Sunnyside, while sitting on the beach. Basically, it’s the perfect beach read for a Mornington Peninsula holiday because fictional Sunnyside is a thinly disguised Mt Eliza and scungy Deptford is Frankston.
Anyway, I digress. It’s the story of Alice and Harry Haskins, their children, their flash house, their neighbours, their dinner parties and their friend Molly’s fling with the pool-man.It doesn’t get much deeper than a bowl of smoked salmon dip, which is exactly what you want in a beach read.
“All of them…made a good go of pretending they still led interesting lives. They subscribed to the Guardian Weekly, attended arts festivals, even went on the odd adventure-travel holiday. But was the stirring of the soul really answered by a two-week hike in the Himalayan foothills?” Continue reading
In The Hypnotist’s Love Story, Liane Moriarty moves out of the chick-lit category and dips her toe into darker waters (which is why I had it).
It’s the story of Ellen, a professional hypnotherapist. Ellen falls in love with Patrick, a widower and father to an eight-year-old boy. Patrick has a stalker – Saskia, an ex-girlfriend who can’t let go.
Obviously the stalker element of the plot could move this story in to sinister territory however instead, Moriarty uses the character of Saskia to explore the grief associated with a broken relationship (at this point I’ll admit that many years ago I delayed ending a relationship because I knew that I was going to really miss the guy’s family… Not him, just his sister. No stalking involved, obvs). Continue reading