This years reading for my challenge was somewhat sporadic and reviewing basically non-existent. I really didn’t achieve reading too many Australian Women Writers – but I didn’t read a lot of books in total. The Collins Robert French Dictionary was probably my most read book, oh and Trip Advisor! However, the books I did read I truly enjoyed, they well well crafted and all completely different.
I did read a couple of wonderful books for the Challenge and whilst would love to have posted reviews, my other commitments took precedence. It is nearly two months since we returned from our family holiday to Europe, which exceeded our expectations of wonderful experiences shared with our gorgeous kids. One of my favourite images that will remain with me forever, is the children tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome late at night. The fountain was lustrous and it had a real magic about it.
I read one of my Australian novels when away, which I downloaded onto my Nexus 7 before we left.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent was a standout read for me. I found parallels with the novel Galore, in that they both evoke a cold, isolated world of the Northern Hemisphere in combination with close living characters who are simple but at the same time profoundly complex. Wonderful and another talented South Australian, who I have just discovered will be at Adelaide Festival Writers Week in March!
Before I went away I read Kate Forsyth’s wonderful Bitter Greens, the re-telling of the Rapunzel fable in 3 different iterations all connecting and coming together in the most clever way. A mix of fable, fantasy and historical novel. I am a fan of the history of the Sun King Louis XIV and his forebears and really enjoyed Kate’s use of this in the book and central character. Highly recommended!
I received the second book in Fiona McIntosh’s story of a Lavender grower from the Luberon region of Provence, France as my mothers day gift. A French Promise had been read by most of my book club and they were all a bit ho-hum about it. I was reluctant to pick it up and read it, not wanting to be disappointed. However, I found myself drawn into the story through the experiences of the sisters in a German concentration camp to reconnecting with a dispirited main character. It made sense after all that had happened in the previous story, The Lavender Keeper, I thought the book was true, with a little bit of magic put in for good measure. Again McIntosh doesn’t really rest on sentimentality, it was hard to read at times as I fell in love with characters who met with tragedy. I am amazed how in a short number of words and pages she can create rich characters.
Since New Year I have already read two books for the 2014 Challenge, reviewing may not be my strong suit this year either as we will be embarking on a big house renovation. I will do my best. Now I must head back to my private blog of our trip, as I am getting it ready for exporting to Book Blurb to make into a permanent record of our adventure. Happy New Year! Bonne Annee!