I have a mixed bag of books to bring you this week – fiction, non-fiction and young adult fiction – all fabulous reads, all by Australian writers. Remember, even if your local bookshop and library has closed due to COVID-19, you might be able to access your library’s e-books, order online from your bookshop, listen to a book in Audible or buy an online version from Booktopia, Kindle or iBooks. Even in isolation, we can still read and support authors!
- The mother-in-law by Sally Hepworth – this is the perfect book to read at the moment. It’s light enough to take your mind off your worries but the characters have so much depth that you will stay up late reading to find out what happens to them. The book has two narrators – Lucy, the daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law, Diana. It’s told in two timeframes – the past, when Lucy first meets Diana, marries her son and has young children and the present when Diana is found dead with a suicide note. I also enjoyed Sally’s book, The things we keep, and will hunt out her other ones, too.
- This is how we change the ending by Vikki Wakefield – it’s such a powerful title, isn’t it? This young adult book is gripping as it takes us through sixteen-year-old Nate’s life. He lives with his father who is usually drunk, doesn’t work and turned Nate’s bedroom into a hydro crop so he shares a room with his three-year-old twin half-brothers, Jake and Otis. Jake is turning into a mini-version of his father and Otis can barely talk and can’t walk. Nate’s stepmother Nancy is only eight years older than him. The support characters include a mate who isn’t so much a best mate but merely around, an English teacher who is trying to encourage Nate and his classmates to see other possibilities for themselves and a few people who work at the youth centre which is the only place to hang out. I’d love to see this book as a movie!
- Night fishing by Vicki Hastrich – Vicki lost her way writing a manuscript when she realised she needed a fallow year. Night fishing is the result of that fallow year, when she wrote a series of essays on art, fishing, using a thesaurus, her grandfather’s welding shop, her life before writing as a camera operator, her childhood holiday house. It’s a lovely slow read to savour this memoir as Vicki delves with great detail and phenomenal observational powers to remember poignant moments from her life.