Friday Fiction – Confronting Reads

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!

Mason Cooley

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!

The blurb from Goodreads

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.

My thoughts

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*

The blurb from Goodreads

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A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN.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.

My thoughts

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*

The blurb from Goodreads

‘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.

My thoughts

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*

The blurb from Goodreads

*** 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?

My thoughts

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?

Milkman by Anna Burns
Milkman by Anna Burns

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.

Deb xx

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12 Replies to “Friday Fiction – Confronting Reads”

  1. I seldom give up on books, but every once in a while, I come to the conclusion that life is too short to continue reading. One book that I had a really hard time with was Cold Mountain. Then, about a year later, I tried again and loved it. Sometimes I think it’s just our current mood or situation that colors our perception. I’m currently reading Educated and am enjoying it very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it funny Janis how we try to push through and continue reading but the timing or environment just isn’t right. I will try again later on Milkman as my sister loved it. I have given up on two others recently and think maybe it’s all the anxiety around at the moment making me less tolerant and I need a certain type of book to keep me hooked in. I really enjoyed Educated when I read it ages ago!


  2. Hi, Deb – Congratulations on your 45 books read this year. I’ve read 17 so far which I thought was a lot! 😀 I haven’t given up on a book in quite some time. I did recently almost give up on ‘The Time In Between’. Because it was for bookclub I pushed through. I’d love to say that I was glad that I did, but that wouldn’t be true! 😦


    1. I’m so interested in why we think we should push through at the time, when it’s obviously not worth the effort! Sometimes I know we do actually enjoy it once we get further in or even read it again later on. I’m easily distracted at the moment I think and if it doesn’t grab me then I’m giving up – another two went that way this month! Hope you are coping well although you seem to be having issues at home I see. Take care and thanks for joining in x


  3. I loved Milkman! I read it last year and was immediately drawn into the story. Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood or place or head space. I’m going to give Bruny a try, when I get back to reading. I haven’t read anything in ages and am feeling the need to get into a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your recommendation, I have heard the same from others. I will try again later when things settle down and I can concentrate more. I’m reading more easily digestible books at the moment. I hope you like Bruny but I think you will given your connections to Tas!

      Liked by 1 person

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