I have loved all of Halloff's work, but this book is arguably her masterpiece. A dysfunctional family is laid bare, layer by layer, as if dissected byI have loved all of Halloff's work, but this book is arguably her masterpiece. A dysfunctional family is laid bare, layer by layer, as if dissected by a surgeon. Starting and ending with an old woman contemplating her, to her, wasted life, we are shown each troubled character from the outside and then from the inside, with the deftness and facility of a master.
The characters, so believable, batter at the closed windows of each other's indifference. We are shown in stark relief the impenetrable barrier of misunderstanding that blocks two people from ever really communicating in any authentic way. As the book progresses, we realise, with mounting horror, that each generation's mistakes are doomed to be repeated by their children as a result of this fundamental failure, and the more terrible the mistake, the more sure it is of being repeated. Each misunderstanding, each terrible hurt inflicted on a person who should have been cherished, is drawn with painstaking detail and accuracy.
It's not the book to pick up for a quick, cheerful mood fix. It will leave you questioning your life, your relationships, everything. But what a powerful piece of work! At Journey's End deserves to become a classic....more
A realistic and moving account of a woman's recovery from devastating abuse, Blossom follows protagonist Phoenix Westerling through the first days ofA realistic and moving account of a woman's recovery from devastating abuse, Blossom follows protagonist Phoenix Westerling through the first days of her marriage. The central question is whether, after surviving the kind of abuse that makes tabloid headlines, she will be able to make a success of marriage to a normal, decent man, and at times we fear she will not.
Jackson has a firm command of where her book is going, and one doesn't lose sympathy for poor, scarred Phoenix through her devastating flashbacks, her visions and finally her crystallisation as a Christian and a fulfilled wife and mother. The action progresses calmly and steadily towards its end, and the calm flow of the narrative reflects the calm, patient John, as he nurses his damaged wife through her adjustment to a normal marriage and the dangers to her sanity posed by her former experiences.
A happy book, with a message of hope to abuse survivors....more
It's not easy to write comic fiction, or to do it well. It requires a certain lightness of touch, a willingness to embrace vulgarity without becomingIt's not easy to write comic fiction, or to do it well. It requires a certain lightness of touch, a willingness to embrace vulgarity without becoming a slave to it, and a degree of control that goes way beyond that required for, say, an everyday romance or generic fantasy novel.
In Right Click, Love, Feeney has amply demonstrated her possession of these qualities. The book is funny without being stupid, believable without being humdrum, and there is not a dull moment in it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Unlike so many independently published novels, the work has been properly edited and finished, and is altogether a delightful read. ...more
Day's Astro books are charming, but this one is something special.
Designed to educate young children in defensive strategies against depression, the bDay's Astro books are charming, but this one is something special.
Designed to educate young children in defensive strategies against depression, the book follows a day in the life of Astro, a dog who has become depressed. Astro's dog friends arrive to visit him, and each one describes a technique that can be used to overcome or prevent depression.
The theory behind Astro's friends' suggestions is all very sound, and the verse format, as well as being quite delightful, will go a long way to ensure the lessons learned remain in a child's memory. The technique of 'teaching verses' is a very old one, and it's old because it is effective.
The illustrations are plentiful, suitable to the text and well done, and there is just nothing to criticise about the work, particularly when one reaches the end and finds an activity sheet that can be used by each child to reinforce what has been learned, personalise it to his own situation and create a ready-made action plan for himself to use should he ever fall prey to depression.
This is a truly wonderful resource for any parent. A gift that can help to make your child proof against one of the most frightening threats of modern life.
In the back matter, I learned that proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to fund a project to provide copies to every school and library in Australia. I hope the project succeeds, because it is a truly valuable book and should be disseminated as widely as possible....more
This book, like many independently published novels, is rather rough and could have done with editing. In particular, the constant switching of tenseThis book, like many independently published novels, is rather rough and could have done with editing. In particular, the constant switching of tense made it difficult for me to read and gave me a headache.
However, the story was a good one and I was interested right up to the end. I thought more could have been made of some of the minor characters, and in general character development seems not to be one of this writer's strengths, which lean more to the plot itself, but I did enjoy the book despite these flaws, although not enough to look for a sequel....more
This book starts off with a real bang, jumping straight into the action. I was most taken with the character and story. Despite the recent popularityThis book starts off with a real bang, jumping straight into the action. I was most taken with the character and story. Despite the recent popularity of angels as characters in romantic fiction, it is so rare to find one that is actually likable, and believable (theological objections aside).
Theological objections always rise thick and fast in my mind at these angelic Mr Rights, but I do think that with fantasy writing we need to set theology aside and allow the writer the creation of her own universe. The traditional extension of disbelief accorded to all fiction writers extends to this. So, although I was as always a little uncomfortable with the notion of a romance between a human and an angel, this should not be taken as anything other than a personal prejudice.
The angel character as written is well done and Puddle has done a great job of depicting a person introduced for the first time to the world of sense, and reeling from the shock. I did think the work could have benefited from more rigorous proofing, but all in all a most enjoyable read, with that touch of humour that lifts a romance above the general trough.
A nice little coming-of-age story with a happy ending. I liked the way not everything was explained - life is like that, after all. Sometimes we neverA nice little coming-of-age story with a happy ending. I liked the way not everything was explained - life is like that, after all. Sometimes we never find out who the mystery man is, and a good thing too....more
This book promises 1,000 awesome prompts and that's pretty well what it delivers. There is little actual text, most of the book consisting of the promThis book promises 1,000 awesome prompts and that's pretty well what it delivers. There is little actual text, most of the book consisting of the prompts themselves, but what there is is well and sensibly written, and the uses of the various types of prompts are clearly explained, without any hint of the patronising tone that often mars writers' toolbooks.
These prompts can be used to provide an easy and fun start for the novice writer, or for a 'writer' who imagines himself to be suffering from so-called 'writer's block'. For the developing writer, or one who wishes to work on a particular skill, such as dialogue or visual description, they will be invaluable.
Even for the seasoned writer, this book is a useful item to have in the toolbox. The section on 'rippers' (which I call elements) is beautifully explained and any writer, particularly one working on short fiction, can benefit incalculably from this concept, which of course can be used in an almot infinite variety of ways. For less serious use, there's the potential for fun party games, and with a little thought, even a drinking game could be constructed around the drabble prompts.
There are a few typos, and one or two of the prompts are repeated, but overall the quality is excellent and the book is well organised and presented. I add it to the toolkit section of my library with great pleasure....more
This short and charming book give us a run-down on what dogs are all about, from a dog's viewpoint. It's well written and nicely illustrated, and, besThis short and charming book give us a run-down on what dogs are all about, from a dog's viewpoint. It's well written and nicely illustrated, and, best of all, within the humour are buried many very true and important facts that all dog guardians should know....more