Welcome to Friday Fiction #6
Books that aren’t necessarily all that comforting but draw you in and keep you reading!
Last time on Friday Fiction, I wrote about all the ‘comfort’ reading I’d been doing and, in a weird twist, it seems these last few weeks I’ve been reading more ‘confronting’ books than I would normally read. I don’t really know why!
Each of these were confronting in different ways, the subject matter, the content, storylines, characters – but what one finds confronting others may not, so as usual, these are just my thoughts. You may not find anything confronting about any of them!
This quote is spot on, especially at the moment!
Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are!
Swimming in the Dark by Paddy Richardson 4*
To be fair I didn’t actually choose this one as it was one of 4 books our book club could access digitally from the local library – but I’m glad I read it!
A mesmerising tale of three women who must overcome the past and beat the odds to find hope for the future.
German immigrant, Ilse Klein, lives sedately in Central Otago with her mother, but their peaceful summer is fractured when Ilse, during her nightly swim in the river, discovers one of her young students on the riverbank about to give birth. She must decide whether to shelter the girl and endanger herself and her mother, or to tread the route of safety in the face of corruption and brutality she had thought left far behind in the years of her childhood.
A fast-paced and beautifully told story of three women and the real meaning of courage.
This was our book club book this month and as such I had never heard of it before or had any idea what to expect, apart from the blurb! It was a compelling read and drew me in with each of the women’s secrets. It was fast paced and believable with history thrown in! I have actually been to this town in New Zealand so could sort of visualise the setting and small town vibe. It was haunting in places and left a dead weight of dread in my stomach at times but I’m so glad I read it. It will be interesting to hear what the others think when we have our book club meeting, via Zoom!
Bruny by Heather Rose 4*
How far would your government go?
A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia’s newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane.
Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.
Bruny is a searing, subversive, brilliant novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the storyline, the characters, the tension, even the politics were interesting. The premise was all too believable and the family connections added to the story, and being Australian helped. Highly recommended!
Wasteland by Terry Tyler 5*
‘Those who escape ‘the system’ are left to survive outside society. The fortunate find places in off-grid communities; the others disappear into the wasteland.’
The year is 2061, and in the new UK megacities, the government watches every move you make. Speech is no longer free—an ‘offensive’ word reaching the wrong ear means a social demerit and a hefty fine. One too many demerits? Job loss and eviction, with free transport to your nearest community for the homeless: the Hope Villages.
Rae Farrer is a megacity girl through and through, proud of her educational and career achievements, until a shocking discovery about her birth forces her to question every aspect of life in UK Megacity 12.
On the other side of the supposedly safe megacity walls, a few wastelanders suspect that their freedom cannot last forever…
Wasteland is the stand-alone sequel to Hope, and is the second and final book in the Operation Galton series.
This was another fabulous read, as a continuation of Hope which I read a while ago. I love Terry’s take on the future with just enough to recognise the world as we currently know it (pandemics) and a bit of imagination as to where it’s heading. The characters and story in Wasteland are realistic and well drafted. The story is well thought out and I binged read it in a short space of time! Thrilling, exciting and it just could happen.
55 by James Delargy 4*
*** There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55? ***
A thriller with a killer hook, and an ending that will make you gasp!
Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.
All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.
He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.
Heath is a serial killer.
As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.
Gabriel is the serial killer.
Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?
This was a good read while staying home in lockdown! I enjoyed the concept and it had me intrigued as to how it would end. I didn’t like the end at all but on the whole it was an easy captivating story. I like this emerging genre of bush noir. Incidentally I sent this to my daughter, a new mother, to read and she enjoyed reading it until the end! She’s still spitting chips over how it ended!! Have you read it?
One I gave up on
I have to admit that I tried really hard to read the acclaimed Milkman by Anna Burns and just had to give it up, I couldn’t push through after reading the first handful of pages. I know it got rave reviews but I couldn’t manage it! I don’t give up on books very often but sometimes I just have to – do you give up on books?
Reading Challenge 2020
So far I’m up to 45 books for the year in my Goodreads challenge where I set myself 100 books for the year.
I’m well on my way – I really think this pandemic has helped enormously with my ability to read. I love escaping into different worlds, especially at the moment!
I started this Friday Fiction series a while ago, to share what I’ve been reading, what has taken my fancy or what I’d like to read. This is post number 6 so far in my series. I don’t post every Friday, just when I feel I have something to share.
This series was sparked by an item on my list – 12 things to do before turning 60 – which was to write more book reviews and share them on my blog.
Over to you, so what are you currently reading?
Have you read any of these, and would you?
I accessed most of these books for free, via our regional library app. Sometimes I have to wait for them to be available but generally it works well.
Leave me a quick comment with what you’re reading at the moment and how it’s going.
Thanks for joining me for Friday Fiction and I look forward to reading with you again soon.
Debbie is an award winning blogger and lives in the small town of Tumbarumba in NSW Australia. Married for 40 years, with three grown up daughters, Debbie and the Mathematician are avid travellers, cyclists and adventurers. Described by others as a ‘hummingbird on speed’ this active mother and grandmother has also received a bravery award from the Queen.
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