I really enjoyed this novel. It contains two remarkable women--I preferred one in particular--and a hero who just wowed me with his sarcastic wit. MarI really enjoyed this novel. It contains two remarkable women--I preferred one in particular--and a hero who just wowed me with his sarcastic wit. Mark Crawford...a man after my very own heart. LOL
First of all, we meet Emily. She's in a situation many women have found themselves in. Remember the motto, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"? She's been living with Trent for five years, waiting eagerly for the diamond ring...only it doesn't come. He wishes to sow his oats instead. Is she going to stand for that?
No. She starts a new life on a construction site, where she trades dates for toilets and discovers she rather likes her best friend Will...as more than a friend, but does he return the feelings?
I liked Emily, especially when she takes work site issues into her own hands, but Charlotte and Mark's story stole the show for me. It was not so predictable and was laced with so much humor, mainly in the form of Mark's comments.
"A word, a second," he mused. "People always under estimate how much time of mine they intend to waste."
Charlotte is an amazing heroine. She's sacrificed so much for others. But it's time she learned to take for herself. Mark is dealing with a lot of grief and tends to have a very gruff manner.
I was really entertained by this book. I laughed out loud a number of times. I would have preferred more details about their engineering project, or perhaps what was said could have been made easier to understand. I had a hard time picturing things at moments. But I did learn a few things, such as spark testing. And to me, that stuff is interesting. I'd also like to add it's well written; no complaints from me there. Good amount of description to story, more showing than telling, etc. Also enjoyed the side stories about grieving the death of a spouse, moving on, having a child from rape. All important issues that make this so much more than a romance.
I actually read the author notes at the end of this and was intrigued to discover that the author was an engineer on the site of a wharf in 2001. AndI actually read the author notes at the end of this and was intrigued to discover that the author was an engineer on the site of a wharf in 2001. And the Cape Lambert wharf really was widened. To me, this makes the book even cooler.
I enjoyed this story. I think we've all been there--men and women both. Fresh out of school, eager to prove yourself, inexperienced and not taken seriously, nervous that you'll f*ck up, as Carl in this book would say. (Trust me, once you read this book, you'll get that little goof of mine up there. What a character!)
Anyway, Lena is in the above-mentioned situation, only she's not only green and a new graduate, but she's a woman in the manly world of construction. She's got to prove herself and then some...as well as learn how to handle all the sexual harassment, discrimination, jokes, rumors, come ons. She must learn to be one of the guys while at the same time not lose sight of who she is.
My favorite bits were when she put the men in their place--either through words or by playing jokes on them. I enjoyed all the ribbing and reading about her making friends. Her character really grows in this story too. At first I thought her kind of a spoiled diva, but she proved her worth. I also really admired how important it was to her that she prove she was worthy of her degree. (There's a backstory there that I don't want to spoil.)
There's a romance with the client...and he has an interesting story too. It takes us to court, where a case is presented that really makes the reader think about a unique situation. I wish there'd been more of this, honestly. I LOVE Law & Order-type things.
The author states in the notes that she simplified a lot of engineering things like jargon and functions of the port and stuff. Here's where my quibble comes in. I didn't know what a jetty was. Had to look it up. I could have used more jargon/detail. I also would have liked it, because I consider engineers some of the smartest and coolest people ever. I wish I was one! I find their work fascinating. I imagine readers who pick up books for the romance, however, may not feel the same.
I appreciate the premise. Anyone trying to honor the ATA pilots in my opinion needs a round of applause, but I really didn't like the book.
-It needs eI appreciate the premise. Anyone trying to honor the ATA pilots in my opinion needs a round of applause, but I really didn't like the book.
-It needs editing. Missing hyphens, typos. Some sentences phrased funny. And really, why would a heroine think of HERSELF as THE GIRL? I'm really tired of the lack of editing in books. I bought this book a good two years ago at 6.99. At 6.99 a book, you should darn well have gotten professional editing. Now, there could have been updates since then, but if you're charging 6.99, it shouldn't need updates. Book reviewers should not be your editors.
-Too many characters. It took almost 40% of the book just to introduce them all and their back-stories.
-The dialogue is weird. Be consistent. Why would the same person who says flyin' and ta instead of to not say contractions? We are. You are. I will. They will. The prose was very formal even when the person speaking was a hick.
-The characterizations are overly dramatized. Everyone is really really kind and wonderful or really really mean and nasty or annoying. They are also inconsistent...the Australian girl, for example, who spent all day collecting eggs and wasn't allowed to go to school. How did she go from not knowing how to read to knowing how to read?
-One of the chicks is just disgusting. Not sure why that plot-line is there. I like a nicely done romance--lesbians or male/female, but this thing going on with Jo and Madge/Midge/cannot-remember-her-name is not a pleasant side story.
This is a story that will grab you, suck you with force straight into the pages, and leave you feeling bereft when you turn the last page.
You have a wThis is a story that will grab you, suck you with force straight into the pages, and leave you feeling bereft when you turn the last page.
You have a woman who after stealing another woman's husband, pays for it for the rest of her life. Another woman steals another's child and she pays for that the rest of her life... People love who they want to love and shun society's stupid rules...and pay with their lives. You have a heroine...who...though she irritated the crap out of me at times, is incredibly tough. I mean, she risks everything for those she loves, even if it means losing them.
And that's just the historical bits. The contemporary woman is a dancer whose career has come to a sudden halt and she must realize just what is important in life...that perhaps it's time to think of others and she realizes how much she's been missing out whilst she's been wrapped up in herself and her dancing career.
I preferred the historical story even though it was full of heartache and frustration. Beattie...in the 1930s...the way she packs up her stuff and walks in the rain to escape a loser "husband"...the way she stood up to the religious lady she sought refuge with...the way she made an incredibly daring bet with a landowner. "If I win, I get the land and the house. If you win, you get my body.." (not a direct quote)
I mean, just wow. What guts. And how she came to rule a wool fashion empire...
Her love affair...so passionate and so sad, yet, I wasn't surprised by the outcome. So much bigotry and hate back then.
This has been a superb, on the edge of my seat read. I cannot for the life of me figure out why this book has not reached the United States. I went thThis has been a superb, on the edge of my seat read. I cannot for the life of me figure out why this book has not reached the United States. I went through a lot of trouble to get a copy of this.. all the way from Down Under.. and it was worth it!
In the early 1800s, Australia was an English colony where the British sent their unwanted convicts. Charlotte Badger is one such convict. She lands in Australia and becomes a maid for a Reverand and his wife. The book goes back and forth among these three.
Charlotte tells the nitty gritty. Her narrative is honest, funny, and "in your face." She's a tough chick.
"There's not many that dare tangle with me." As soon as she gets on a boat, she knocks a mouthy, horny fellow into the water.. She also does as she pleases with who she pleases. "It was a fair trade and we was both happy with it. I got me a port and tobacco, and I never plagued him once about love or marriage like those others did their sailors. The other lags thought if they could just get a husband, they'd be safe in Port Jackson, fools that they are. Me, I go my own road.."
Charlotte doesn't believe in love cause love leads to hurt... is she gonna be hurt when she takes up with an Irish smithy?
Nathan is the Reverend. He is torn between preaching the word and just enjoying nature. His parts are his journal writings and they educate the reader about what is going on in Australia. I felt this was a crucial and well told addition. His wife is another main player.. she's struggling between shame and being true to herself.. She's secretly a lesbian.
Catherine comes into the game later in the novel but she's just as delightful as Charlotte. "But you're wife'll be needing rest for some weeks so don't be starting on the next child too soon.."
Catherine and Charlotte end up on their own.. I won't divulge why.. and facing hard times. They end up aiding in a mutiny on a ship and land themselves in New Zealand.. Did I mention this is based on real women? Fabulous, fun, fearless females. Loved it all. Love their spunk, "the sight of that bony butt was more than a woman could resist. I hitched my shift and hoofed him a fine one, sending him sprawling.."
I love the scandal, the suspense, the humor... This was def a 5 star read. I'd love for there to be a sequel.. According to my internet search, "Charlotte lived with a Nga Puhi chief and refused to be brought back to live in European society on at least two occasions before disappearing from the record. One account claims that she went to America with a whaling captain."
This is a fictional tale that appears to be loosely based on a historical female in aviation, Chubbie Miller, but not all of it is about her or aboutThis is a fictional tale that appears to be loosely based on a historical female in aviation, Chubbie Miller, but not all of it is about her or about aviation...
It has a back and forth narrative between Sarah Carson and her reporter boyfriend (he doesn't stay her boyfriend, mind you), Daniel Anderson. (Funny, the real aviatrix was married to a reporter at a young age.) More of the book is from Daniel's POV, I think. This was a disappointment for me. I didn't care about him or his reporting when it had nothing to do with aviation, nor did I care about his love affair with a Scottish actress. I simply didn't care about him. I cared about Sarah.
This is one of those books that has left me speechless. It was so different and in a good way.. The narrative took some getting used to. It's writtenThis is one of those books that has left me speechless. It was so different and in a good way.. The narrative took some getting used to. It's written like one very long letter from a victim to her captor so her captor is constantly referred to as "you." Once I got past that strange hurdle, I loved it.
Gemma is abducted and stolen away from her life in London and her family and friends. She is taken to the Australian outback complete with snakes, dingos, wild camels, and paints made from dirt. Her captor has been stalking her for six years so he is well prepared. She is not.
There is no one around for miles. The two of them are surrounded by desert. Every escape attempt Gemma makes goes awry. Soon she finds herself growing resigned to her fate and even experiencing strong attraction for her captor, Ty. Is this Stockholm's sydrome or something more?
Terrific debut by this author. It's very rare that I regret getting a book from the library... In this case, I do. I wish I had my own copy. :)...more
This has been a fun, pleasant, light read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's about a girl in 1800s San Francisco, Camille. She has grown up withoutThis has been a fun, pleasant, light read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's about a girl in 1800s San Francisco, Camille. She has grown up without a mother and has spent her life running around barefoot aboard her father's ships. The time has come for her to act like a lady and marry a man she really doesn't feel much passion for. She takes one last voyage before submitting herself to a life stuck at home.
It's a voyage of surprises. Camille discovers a secret letter, starts having strange feelings regarding her friend, Oscar, survives a ship wreck, loses her dad, and ends up in Australia for an adventure on land. From a house of ill repute to the wilds of Australia, Camille and Oscar go on a quest for a magical stone that may or may not bring her father back to life. Or is the dead better left.. well, dead?
There are a few thought evoking morals and "what would you do?" situations as well as lots of action, evil villains, and plenty of surprises. Will Camille find the stone? Will she choose the safety of her fiance Randall when all is said and done or fall into the arms of the waiting Oscar?
If I was 12 to 14, I would probably plan to read this again. As an adult, I enjoyed it for a fun, light story, but don't see myself coming back to it over and over again. Four stars....more
As always, I am incredibly impressed with Barbara Wood's extensive research into any subject, country, or race she writes about. This novel offers anAs always, I am incredibly impressed with Barbara Wood's extensive research into any subject, country, or race she writes about. This novel offers an in depth look at the early colonial days of Australia and how the people lived. Readers will learn about Aborginal superstitions, the sheep trade, kangaroos, dingos, and early immigration. During this education, there is a love story or two, tragedy among families, and revenge plots. This novel follows Johanna from India to Australia where she marries and has a child and the entire time (and this novel expands many many years) she is having nightmares and feels there is a curse on her. Ok.. this is where it gets four stars instead of five. The "black magic" and the superstitions and the dreams got old halfway thru the book. Lot of repitition and I started to scan over her dreams and all the stuff about snake serpent and rabid dogs. Otherwise, terrific novel. ...more
Frankly, I don't see what all the hype is about regarding this novel. Its popularity this spring and the fact it is a bestseller is surprising to me.Frankly, I don't see what all the hype is about regarding this novel. Its popularity this spring and the fact it is a bestseller is surprising to me. It is not a bad book, but it is far from rating 5 stars in my personal opinion. The time jumping did not work for me. One chapter is Cassandra in 2005, the next chapter is Nell in 1975, then Eliza in 1900, then Nell in 1913, and even Adeline in 19 something. I began to grow confused as to who was who and who had done what or discovered what in what year. There are a lot of female characters within this family that the book talks about. Nell, a woman that was abandoned on a ship when she was four and rescued and adopted in Australia. Cassandra, Nell's granddaughter who is trying to finish the search for Nell's natural family now that Nell is dead. And the most entertaining of them all, Eliza and Rose, the ancestors of Nell and Cassandra that resided in the early 1900s. I could have completely done without Cassandra and just enjoyed a shorter novel about Eliza and Rose. The ending was not as much of a shocker as I was hoping for. Majority of readers will have it figured out halfway thru the novel. To sum it up, not a bad book, but not worth 16 bucks. Check it out of the library. ...more