Evie’s War – book review

Evie’s War, by Anna Mackenzie

A fictionalised diary is a difficult way to tell a story because although you hear the intimacies of one person’s mind, you get no one else’s point of view and none of the direct action. The story is delayed—you are told about events afterwards, once the immediacy has gone. It’s a hard format to pull off. Could Evie hook me? Continue reading “Evie’s War – book review”

The Smuggler’s Wife – book review

Kitty, Amber & Band of Gold, by Deborah Challinor

These books are a lot of fun. I defy anybody to read just the one. And I’ve just seen there is a fourth, published after a six year (and at least 5 book) gap. Hooray! I’m going back in. Continue reading “The Smuggler’s Wife – book review”

The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke – book review

The Imaginary lives of James Pōneke, by Tina Makereti

Interesting book!
Tina Marereti is long listed for the Ockham Book awards and I so hope she wins. That’s unfair, because I haven’t read any of the others, (yet, but if you send them, I will, I will!)  But if you’ve been following my book reviews you’ll know by now that I’m a sucker for Victorian era fiction and this one’s a corker. Continue reading “The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke – book review”

Unsheltered – book review

Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver

Other reveiws of Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered focus on the political; the coy way that Trump shadows the book but is never mentioned by name, the crisis in mid-America in employment, health, etc, our hurtle towards ecological crisis. It has all this; it is trademark Kingsolver.

But I read the book very literally.  To be unsheltered is a primal fear. Unsheltered gave me goosebumps. It is as threatening as a horror story, more so because the menace lies in the undercurrents while things on the surface look good enough. Continue reading “Unsheltered – book review”

Educated – book review

Educated, by Tara Westover

As I read this story, I wondered – how much can really be true?

How, given the emotional brainwashing and abuse of her childhood, could Tara succeed so brilliantly – from unschooled junk-yard kid, through Harvard and Cambridge to a PhD in only ten years?  If I was reviewing this as fiction I would call it unbelievably contrived. Continue reading “Educated – book review”

A home is a house with books in it

I built these bookshelves a few years back. I’m no DIY-er but was forced into action. How frustratingly difficult it is to find slim bookshelves! You know, built for books. Paperback width. I took the shelves out to paint when we tarted up the hallway and found lovely matai wooden floors under the dull carpet. And then, for a while, we had a smashing, tidy, wide hallway.

But it wasn’t until the books went back in that it became home again.