What Am I Reading?

In Danger: A Memoir of Family and Hope – Josepha Dietrich

In Danger: A Memoir of Family and Hope (UQP 2018) is confronting right from the cover – an arresting image of the author, Josie Dietrich, proudly exhibiting her post-cancer body, as a warrior might display her battle scars. Arrows point to her portacath site, and to...

The Ruin – Dervla McTiernan

Fans of Emma Viskic,Jane Harper or Katherine Howell have a new author to look forward to: Dervla McTiernan. This Irish / Australian writer’s debut novel The Ruin (HarperCollins 2018) introduces us to Cormac Reilly, an Irish Garda (policeman) and I predict he will...

Foster – Claire Keegan

Foster (Faber & Faber 2010) is a novella by Claire Keegan, a writer widely acclaimed for her short stories in which she displays acuity and insightful engagement through piercing brevity and sharp observation. In Foster, which won the Davy Byrnes Award, we meet a...

One Italian Summer – Pip Williams

There are a lot of memoirs out there about women ‘finding themselves’ through travel and new experiences, and sometimes they all seem to blend into one big ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ combination. So it is very refreshing to read a memoir that is sharply observant, touchingly...

Pond – Claire-Louise Bennett

Pond (Riverhead Books 2015) is the debut novel of Irish author Claire-Louise Bennett. This compact book is really a collection of short stories, each with the same female narrator at its heart. We never learn her name, and the details of her life are sketched with the...

Shadow Sisters – Shelley Davidow

Shadow Sisters (UQP 2018) is the new memoir by author Shelley Davidow, who mesmerised readers with her previous haunting non-fiction life account, Whisperings in the Blood (UQP 2016). I knew before I began this book that it was about Shelley’s life growing up as a...

All These Perfect Strangers – Aoife Clifford

All These Perfect Strangers (Simon & Schuster 2016) is a psychological crime thriller by Australian writer Aoife Clifford. I have been on a bit of a crime spree lately, and this novel is another great debut that presents the narrative through the perspective of an...

The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man (Michael Joseph Penguin Random House 2018) is the first book for C.J. Tudor and it is a rollicking, page-turning murder mystery that is engrossing from the very first page, when someone uncovers a girl’s head covered in leaves in the woods. From there,...

The Town – Shaun Prescott

‘It was only possible to see the full extent of the town if you spent many years there. Only then could you see the barriers shimmer at its edges, and know what the edges meant.’ So begins Shaun Prescott’s quirky and unusual novel The Town (Brow Books 2017). The...

Untidy Towns – Kate O’Donnell

Untidy Towns (UQP 2017) is the debut YA novel by author Kate O'Donnell. Like all good stories for young adults, the narrative shares the adolescent angst and emotional upheaval of that liminal time between finishing high school and finding your way in the wider world,...

Mine – Susi Fox

Mine (Penguin Books 2018) is the debut psychological thriller by Australian writer Susi Fox, and it is a gripping story that strikes at the heart of the worst fears of a new parent. Sasha Moloney awakes after an emergency caesarean to find herself alone and...

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Sometimes you begin reading the first page of a novel and immediately feel immersed in the story, not as if it is being told to you, but rather that you have become an integral part of the story itself. Little Fires Everywhere (Little, Brown 2017) by Celeste Ng is...