Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The Lost Man

The third book I've read by Jane Harper and for me, the best yet.


Amazon UK link

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Book description

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…


My review -

This is an excellent story that emphasises the heat and loneliness of outback living. Nathan, oldest of three brothers and divorced, finds his middle brother, Cameron, has died by an old grave, known as the stockman’s grave. His car is found some distance away, full of bottles of water and supplies. Did he walk to his own death? It’s just before Christmas and the family say he was troubled. Nathan, with troubles of his own, tries to find out what prompted his brother to walk into the outback apparently to commit a painful suicide.


The main protagonists in this story are members of one family and the dynamic amongst them is uneasy, troubled. Not just because they’ve lost a member. The reader feels the deep currents below the surface as bit by painful bit, the truth comes out. I found this very gripping and for my money it’s Jane Harper’s best book yet.

About the author

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.


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Just a thought

Books, the children of the brain ― Jonathan Swift,


Monday, 9 September 2019

The Girl with Space in her Heart

At last, a book with girl in the title that's about someone at primary school. A genuine girl


Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description

Mabel Mynt knows a lot about space...like how we feel connected to the stars because we are all made of stardust. And that Mum’s new boyfriend, Galactic Gavin, has eyes that twinkle like Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. And that sometimes the perfect place for her sister Terrible Topaz would be a black hole.
But Mabel doesn’t know how to fill the space in her heart that Dad left when he walked out. And so she sets out on a mission of discovery...
A heart-warming and laugh-out-loud story about learning that love is never lost and change doesn’t have to be scary.

My review 

I really loved this delightful and sensitive book. Mabel is a child with a lot of worries. She imagines a suitcase in her mind where she stuffs them, more and more of them. Her father left home suddenly, her mum doesn’t want to speak about him and now Mum has a boyfriend. He shares Mabel’s obsession with space, stars, astronomy. Add into the mix an obnoxious older sister, now at secondary school but always cross and angry, and Mabel’s not having a very good time of it.

The story touches on many of a child’s worries. If things go wrong, is it my fault? Mabel is a child you can’t help but warm to and the book is a sensitive but non-preachy exploration of the difficulties of absent parents, school friendships, secrecy and the problems of trying to interpret the actions of others without all the facts. It’s a really enjoyable read for upper primary school children – and onwards.

I received a free paperback of this book from Amazon Vine.

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Just a thought 

Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks - Dr. Seuss