The Gulf, Anna Spargo-Ryan – I grabbed this from the library on BorrowBox as I adored her first book, The Paper House, and this book didn’t fail to live up to expectations. It was stunningly written, and heartachingly moving. So many emotions and thoughts stirred up by this book. 5 stars.
Lark Song, Jane Bailey – oh gosh, this was such an emotional read! Moving on from loss, Freya slowly starts to open up again, with interference being run by her former mother in law who believes her son is the be and and end all, even when he is revealed to be less than an ideal person. The epitome of an over-coddled child, his actions were always someone else’s fault, and his widow should remain a martyr to his memory. There were also moments I felt a strong reaction to her attempts to read nerfarious intent into perfectly innocent interactions. I won’t start ranting, as that way spoilers lie, but I did enjoy the book, despite my reaction to some of the characters. 4 stars.
The River Sings, Sandra Leigh Price – found via BorrowBox (can you tell I’m loving the online library options?), this was an interesting read, looking at what it means to be connected by heritage and family, and the choices that we make along the way. Following the life of a Romany girl, her husband, and their daughter, this emotive story was an interesting look at being bound by choices, expectations and society’s judgement, and learning to break free. 3 stars.
Braving The Wilderness, Brene Brown – this has been sitting on my audible for so long, and finally on a couple of longer roadtrips, I got it finished. It was so powerful, and I think I would really like to get the actual book to read through again – there were multiple points that I loved, and would generally make notes on except I was driving, and then of course I would forget!! 4 stars.
Playing Beatie Bow, Ruth Park – I received this book in my May parcel from Noveltea Book Club – it was my first month as a rep*, and I chose the Classic Tea pack. I hadn’t read this book previously, though according to instagram, it is widely regarded as an enjoyable read, and it really was! In the beginning of the book, when two of the main characters could see a little girl that seemingly no-one else could, I thought I saw what was coming…and I was maybe half right! In the twists and turns of finding ones footings in a different time, the book shows us how easily we take for granted the way we do things considered “normal”, and how alien they would seem to people from another time. It was also a study in not making assumptions – when the main protagonist is brought full circle to a connection rooted in her time in the past, what seemed a foregone conclusion at the time, instead failed to come to pass, with a different, unexpected outcome. A fun, easy, classic read. 4 stars.
The Time Travellers Wife, Audrey Niffinegger – when in need of a comfort read, this was a no-brainer pick. I’ve read it so many times the spine is falling apart. 5 stars as always.
To Save A Forest Virgin, Joshua Humpherys – I discovered this book via Instagram, where I saw it described as “Shakespeare meets Sex and The City”, and I couldn’t order it fast enough! It was a super fun read, full of puns and enough innuendo to make Willy Shakes proud. Twists and turns abound, and is firmly rooted in Melbourne hipster culture, complete with the obligatory smashed avo reference. 4 stars.
June is shaping up to be less productive than April and May, due to, in part, a whole lot of life happening. I’m still well ahead of my goal for the year (which I completed back in March!), so I’m allowing myself some grace with my current reading levels. Next on my list is this month’s book club!
As mentioned above, I am lucky enough to be a rep for NovelTea Book Club for May-July. While I don’t get paid, I do receive the monthly box of my choice in exchange for sharing my thoughts, and a review on the book. In May I received the Classic Tea option, and June was the Minimalist Tea option. I have shared more thoughts and photos over on instagram, but the short version is I am very excited to be aligned with the great little Aussie company. If you are interested in trying out their selection of joyful happy mail, use the code BAREFOOT10 at checkout to get 10% off the first month of a recurring subscription (international shipping is available too!).