Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rebecca Rowlings

Reviews by Rebecca

Review – When One of Us Hurts

Vuu deftly handles multiple time shifts throughout the novel until it all comes crashing together at the end. The final chapters contain twists enough to keep any reader happy, and the emotional punch of the climax is powerful. This is one the most intriguing crime novels I have read and the story stayed with me long after I closed the book for the final time. I look forward to reading her second novel.

Review – Time of My Life

Myf Warhurst is a familiar face to many Australians after her long running stint as one of the permanent team captains on music quiz show Spick n Specks ... As she says in the introduction to her memoir Time of My Life, “My love of music would help define my career.” This career has taken her from Melbourne to London, to Sydney, Mildura, New York, Israel, Portugal … but it all began in country Victoria.
Rebecca Rowlings has always been a voracious reader. Apart from three years in Sydney at university, she has spent her life living in rural and regional areas. She currently lives on Wiradjuri country, teaches at the local high school, runs a secondhand bookstore and furniture restoration business with her amazing husband, and loves being a wife and mother, although there is a downside in the lack of time to read as much as she once could. With an Arts degree majoring in English literature, a background in newspaper journalism and more than a decade spent as an English teacher, she enjoys sharing her insights into some of the books she is able to find time to read (usually late at night).

Review – Paperbark Hill

I was ready to lose myself in a fictional world, and this was the perfect escapist genre read. Linnell writes authentically of small town rural Australia, with the characters, landscape and community events immediately recognisable to anyone who has lived in the country ... I learned plenty about flower farming and the sweat and beauty and hope involved. I learned a bit about the path junior cricketers take as they strive to move into senior professional careers. I salivated over Diana’s baking and wished for recipes at the back of the book ...

Review – Rachel

“Rachel” is the culmination of a forty year journey for author Jeff McGill ... Jeff first “met” Rachel Kennedy in 1982 as a teenager, when his grandfather Arnold handed him her newspaper obituary from 1930 ... She was born into and lived most of her life in a world that no longer exists – a world that Jeff’s meticulous research brings to life here.

Review – My Father and Other Animals

Sam’s memoir tells the story of his journey from farmhand to farmer. Along the way, it also explores the changing nature of farming, the complications of farm succession, and less traditional approaches to agriculture ... I had tears well up at some points, and laughed out loud at others.

Book review – Of Marsupials and Men

We Australians pride ourselves on our native animals. Koalas, kangaroos, wombats, deadly snakes, platypuses (platypi?), drop bears, emus … just some of the animals that have spent millions of years evolving separately from the rest of the world’s fauna on this island nation of ours. But most of us probably don’t think too much about them during our day-to-day lives. Alistair Paton’s “Of Marsupials and Men” puts a spotlight on men (and the occasional woman) who made Australia’s wildlife the centre of their lives.

Review – The Unbelieved

If you’re stocking up your summer reading pile, Vikki Petraitis’ debut novel The Unbelieved should definitely be up for your consideration ... My flight was only an hour but I got halfway through the book in that time, as the story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go ... The twist near the end that I was waiting for came, but it was multilayered and not predictable or easily puzzled out.

Review – Outback Teacher

I was unexpectedly, and in the end pleasantly, surprised to find a story that is as much about 1950s and 1960s Australia as it is about one young woman’s experiences. It is the north-west Western Australia of Aboriginal missions, of cultural clashes, of extremes in temperature and of distance, of hardships tempered by moments of joy, of connections made and still treasured more than half a century later.


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