A Bite-Sized Pirate by K.S D’arcy is a simply beautiful book for the under fives.
The story is written in simple rhyme with just four lines per double page. There is a rhythm to the words, enabling our children to join in when they have heard it a few times.
Each page is beautifully illustrated by Zenja Gammer. A friendly looking parrot is the subject of each illustration. His big, beautiful eyes draw the reader in. We learn that he visits us in our dreams. As he watches over us, we feel safe.
Set in Cabramatta, Sydney in 1996, All That’s Left Unsaid follows Ky, who returns home in the wake of her brother’s murder to find that, despite the murder taking place a busy restaurant, the police investigation has stalled – every single bystander claims to have seen nothing. As Ky attempts to uncover the truth, she slowly unpacks the traumas of all of those present at the restaurant and discovers that so much has been left unsaid about colonialism, the war in Vietnam and the choices everyone has made to survive.
The Forgotten Beach by Amanda James is the most delightful contemporary novel that I just could not put down. It totally warmed my heart.
The novel is set in Cornwall – a landscape of artists, rugged cliffs and crumbling houses. It is a romantic backdrop with wild weather, smugglers caves and hidden coves. It is an area that begs to be explored.
Parallel to the elements is an old family house. It has been forgotten and neglected and is in need of renovation.
Likewise, there are characters who need bringing back to life after being dealt blows. As the house becomes more habitable, lives begin to live again.
An old photograph and a poem hint of an old legend and artefacts to be found. Romance is in the air. Tragedy has struck in the past but we are not destined to repeat the past – or are we? Love has travelled down the years, remaining to touch the next generation.
The House Of Special Purpose by John Boyne is a simply marvellous, epic, historical novel that totally consumed me.
John Boyne is a fabulous author who has clearly researched the Romanov family and their role in history. He has combined facts with fiction to produce a compelling read. The facts are extrapolated as the novel speeds to its conclusion. As a historian, I knew what was coming but was totally fascinated never-the-less.
The novel follows the main protagonist forwards from 1915 and backwards from 1981, until the two time periods collide. Both time periods are written in the first person and from the same viewpoint.