To kick-off #AWW2012, I thought I’d post a list of reviews we’ve previously posted for books written by Australian women. I’ve included a short except from each review to give you an idea of what we thought of each book.
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll also be retweeting links to these reviews because, in the era of e-publishing, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy of their books and try them yourself! Click here for a full list of our #AWW2012 reviews.
Addition by Toni Jordan (romantic elements)
I loved this book. I read a library copy, but it’s definitely a keeper, and I’m torn between getting the original Australian edition or ordering the hardback US edition. While the romance doesn’t dominate, it drives the story. Grace and Seamus are at times lovely, sad, thrilling, devastating and always unpredictable. It was an absolute pleasure to be in their company.
10 Short Stories You Must Read (Anthology) (romantic elements)
The female authors—and protagonisits—provide relief from their more sombre male counterparts. I don’t feel I liked them better because they’re by and about women per se, but because the majority of these stories are more whimsical, more humorous, more optimistic. In that sense, I suppose, there’s some lack of diversity in this anthology.
You know what, some porntastic scenes might actually have made this plot bearable. I can’t recommend this book to romance readers. But if you’re after women’s fiction with a kind of Britishy feel to it (Aussie readers might understand what I’m talking about here), I guess this book might work.
If you like gentler romances with a more old-fashioned writing style, it’s worth slogging through the first 40 or so pages when the story really gets cracking—as long as you’re not a stickler for historical accuracy and you can stomach the hardback price tag.
Heartless by Tasma Walton (romantic elements)
This is a beautifully narrated tale of heartbreak, heartache and love. It’s a fairly easy read, and even though there are some brutal scenes, Walton dwells less on the actual violence than on its impact on the heart and spirit of the story’s protagonist. Heartless reminded me of why I love discovering new authors and, of course, reading about matters of the heart.
The Family Farm by Fiona Palmer (romantic elements)
This is worth a try if you like outback stories and more traditional romances in the style of Anna Jacobs. Otherwise, the plot is slow, the characters aren’t easy to relate to, and the romance, from a romance reader’s point of view, is pretty lacklustre.
This is the book I have dubbed The Vomit Book. In summary: They fight, they drink, they puke, they save the farm. The plot and characters are a bit of a mess and Treasure doesn’t manage to convey any depth despite the trauma they—and I, as the reader—endure in this book.
Much of this novel sheds light on the ineffectiveness of the welfare and justice systems. Sometimes this is due to negligence or poor management, but it can just as easily be the result of good intentions. It’s heartbreaking to see how misunderstandings and the lack of resources can put already disadvantaged families into worse circumstances.