Where the Crawdads Sing is a poetic debut novel set in the mid-century, following the story of Kya Clark. She is the ‘Marsh Girl’, living as a hermit on the fringes of society, and faced with hostility from the people of the town. When the town’s golden boy Chase Andrews is found dead, Kya’s isolated existence is threatened by local suspicion.
Rooney draws young people beautifully; in early chapters I was constantly reminded of my own later school days and the small dramas which can seem large in the teenage mind. The book alternates between Marianne and Connell’s points of view, sometimes covering the same scenes from each standpoint, and so the reader sees perfectly how they fail to communicate their feelings and how they misunderstand each other.
I knew before I began There Was Still Love that it was going to be an emotional read – not just generically emotional, but emotional to me specifically. I’d heard Favel Parrett interviewed on ABC’s Conversations, so I knew that the novel was largely inspired by Parrett’s grandparents and the close bond she had with them as a child.
Cherry Beach begins with its central characters, Ness and Hetty, arriving in Toronto in a Canadian winter. I read it on one of those May weekends in Melbourne where the mornings are frosty before the day blossoms into warm sunshine, and felt the weather perfectly reflecting the change of seasons in McPhee-Browne’s Toronto.
There are some novels that have such a powerful voice that you can hear the words as they appear on the page; a voice that sticks in the crevices of your mind and you find your own thoughts taking on the rhythm for hours after you’ve stopped reading. Girl, Woman, Other is a novel with voice.
The Dutch House is another of Ann Patchett’s lifetime novels, following Danny Conroy from childhood to adulthood. The main event happens early on – Danny’s father remarries and then dies, and step-mother Andrea ejects Danny and sister Maeve from their spectacular family home. The plot line may appear a fairy tale, but the realism ofContinue reading “The Dutch House Review”
Toni Jordan creates the world of The Fragments so perfectly that I began to believe that Inga Karlson and her lost second novel really did exist. This novel moves between New York in the thirties to nineteen-eighties Australia, with a mystery built in that kept me turning the pages for hours.
The novel’s opening lines are poignant: ‘history has failed us, but no matter’.
I love a sweeping novel, and Commonwealth takes us from the christening of Franny Keating to her middle age, dipping into the lives of her parents, step-parents and step-siblings along the way. While a lot of time is covered, Patchett doesn’t get bogged down explaining how characters reach points in life, putting faith in theContinue reading “Commonwealth Review”