Hello! Happy 2019!
We have arrived back in Australia after almost 5 weeks holidaying across North America, and I’m so excited to get back into talking about books again!
I thought a good way to start might be to give you a little sneak peek of some of the books I’ll be reviewing over the next couple of weeks. With the exception of Once Upon a River, which I bought for bookclub, these have all been sent to me by their publishers.
Melody Trumpet – Gabrielle Tozer (out 29 Jan from Harper Collins)
As the daughter of global music superstars, Melody Trumpet was supposed to be extraordinary – a melodic genius to carry on the Trumpet legacy.
But, as was discovered when Melody screamed her first out-of-tune note as a baby, this wasn’t to be.
Ten years on, Melody is still kept away from the world in Trumpet Manor.
If only secrets could stay hidden…
On the Come Up – Angie Thomas (out 5 Feb from Walker Books)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job and homelessness is staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to make it.
The Woman in the Green Dress – Tea Cooper (out now from HQ Fiction)
1853 Mogo Creek, NSW
Della Atterton, bereft at the loss of her parents, is holed up in the place she loves best: the beautiful Hawkesbury in New South Wales. Happiest following the trade her father taught her, taxidermy, Della has no wish to return to Sydney. But the unexpected arrival of Captain Stefan von Richter on a quest to retrieve what could be Australia’s first opal, precipitates Della’s return to Sydney and her Curio Shop of Wonders, where she discovers her enigmatic aunt, Cordelia, is selling more than curiosities to collectors. Strange things are afoot and Della, a fly in a spider’s web, is caught up in events with unimaginable consequences…
1919 Sydney, NSW
When London teashop waitress Fleur Richards inherits land and wealth in Australia from her husband, Hugh, killed in the war, she wants nothing to do with it. After all, accepting it will mean Hugh really is dead. But Hugh’s lawyer is insistent, and so she finds herself ensconced in the Berkeley Hotel on Bent St, Sydney, the reluctant owner of a Hawkesbury property and an old curio shop, now desolate and boarded up.
As the real story of her inheritance unravels, Fleur finds herself in the company of a damaged returned soldier Kip, holding a thread that takes her deep into the past, a thread that could unravel a mystery surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress; a green that is the colour of envy, the colour buried deep within an opal, the colour of poison…
Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield
A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.
Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.
Is it a miracle?
Is it magic?
Or can it be explained by science?
The Widow of Ballarat – Darry Fraser (out now from HQ Fiction)
1854, Ballarat, Victoria When Nell Amberton’s husband is shot dead by a bushranger, there are few who grieve his passing, and Nell least of all. How could she miss the monster who had abused her from the day they wed – the man who had already killed his innocent first wife? But his death triggers a chain of events that seem to revolve around the handsome bushranger who murdered him – a man to whom Nell, against her better judgement, is drawn.
But Nell has far more than a mysterious stranger to worry about. With a mess of complications around her late husband’s will, a vicious scoundrel of a father trying to sell her off in matrimony, and angry relatives pursuing her for her husband’s gold, she is more concerned with trying to ensure her safety and that of her friend, goldfields laundry woman Flora, than dealing with the kind of feelings that led her astray so catastrophically before.
After the violence on the goldfields, Nell’s fate also hangs in the balance. It seems that, after all, she might need to do the one thing she has avoided at all costs … ask for the help of a man.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed I’ve read a couple of these already, and have been really enjoying them, and I’m looking forward to telling you more!