Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory

It is 1920 and the Great War ended two years ago. Seventeen-year-old Lily Pears had done her best to ignore it. She is a chorus girl with a beautiful voice, who performs under the stage name Lily Valance. Her widowed mother has poured all her dreams into her daughter. Helen Pears runs a shop on … Continue reading Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory

One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water opens with a disturbing scene – a young woman is bound by two or more men and drowned in icy water. There is no sense given of when this happened or who she is other than her name, Libby. So, from the very beginning there is an undercurrent of danger. The novel … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One Minute Book Review – Whipbird by Robert Drewe

Whipbird is the story of a family reunion. Hugh Cleary, a Melbourne barrister with a recently acquired vineyard in the Ballarat area, has decided to celebrate the 160th anniversary of his forebear Conor Cleary’s arrival in the colony of Victoria in 1854. Over 1000 of the possible 2946 descendants of Conor and his three wives … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Whipbird by Robert Drewe

One Minute Book Review – The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Bible is filled with so many, many stories that it is easy to read superficially without thinking much beyond the words on the page. One story easily overlooked is that of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, the Old Testament Patriarch, father of the twelve men who formed the tribes of Israel. Dinah … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore begins and ends with short chapters set in the present. The story proper commences in 1789 with a man burying a woman’s body in an isolated glade in the fading darkness before sunrise. Three years on Lizzie Fawkes begins her story - she is newly married to widower, John Diner … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux is definitely one for the genealogists. It opens with the discovery of a marriage certificate in an antiques centre by Peter Sefton, an amateur genealogist. Thinking that there is something vaguely inappropriate for such a personal memento to be on display, he buys it in the hope of perhaps … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

One Minute Book Review – Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Nutshell by Ian McEwan is a tale of murder and deceit told by an unborn child near to term. This is no ordinary child - he is well read and erudite with a strong grasp of world politics, his understanding drawn, no doubt, from his mother’s avid podcast listening. He has an understanding of familial … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Nutshell by Ian McEwan

One Minute Book Review – On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

On Canaan’s Side continues the story of the Dunnes, the family whose members have appeared in Barry’s books Annie Dunne and A Long, Long Way and in his play The Steward of Christendom. This time it is Annie and Willie Dunne’s sister Lilly, now 89 looking back at her life from the apparent safety of … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry