It's been a while since I've read the previous books in this series and I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed them! I'm happy to say this in one sIt's been a while since I've read the previous books in this series and I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed them! I'm happy to say this in one series that hasn't run out of steam and if anyone has ever wondered if they should get into The Graveyard Queen series, about a graveyard restorer who can see ghosts, please do yourself a favour and pick up The Restorer sooner rather than later.
As always there are plenty of ghosts, unexplained events and things that generally go bump in the night - however Amelia's gift of seeing ghost has evolved and with that a whole new level of paranormal activities and possible scenarios open up. We learn a bit more about Amelia's convoluted family history and many familiar characters make a return. Amanda Stevens has a great ability to creep me out without much effort, so this was a perfect pre-Halloween read, but I also love her wonderfully descriptive writing, which transports me to beautiful Charleston every time. ...more
Two stars is probably a bit harsh, but this one just wasn't for me and since I've read (and enjoyed) several other of Michelle Moran's book I was moreTwo stars is probably a bit harsh, but this one just wasn't for me and since I've read (and enjoyed) several other of Michelle Moran's book I was more than a bit disappointed. My main complaint would be that this book was just to short; 270-odd pages is hardly enough to describe a life as colourful as Mata Hari's. I never had the feeling I got to know the main character and what little there was didn't make me care about her. Some of the events in her life didn't seem to add up, which on the one hand makes sense given how many stories there are about her, but then again something written in first person present tense should surely be free of any ambiguity since the narrator would know what actually happened. We will never really know the true story of Mata Hari's life given the many fanciful and contradictory tales created by herself, the press and her family, but that surely gives an author the opportunity to spin a great story and fill in the gaps. This is not what happened here....more
Styled as the (fictional) memoirs of Mary Davidson, daughter of master whaler George Davidson, complete with drawings a4.5 stars, for sheer enjoyment.
Styled as the (fictional) memoirs of Mary Davidson, daughter of master whaler George Davidson, complete with drawings and newpaper clippings, the book essentially chronicles the whaling season of 1908 in Eden, New South Wales. We hear about the everyday lives of the Davidson family, their struggle to make ends meet, the romantic entanglements of the older Davidson girls, as well as the harrowing reality of the hunt for whales. We also hear about the curious alliance formed between the whalers and a pod of Orcas who assist with the hunt. And this is where my interest came in, as this is based on real events. While the author changed the Davidson family considerably for dramatic purposes (I think only "Fearless George" is real), the interactions with the Orcas are taken from directly from newspaper articles and family memoirs. For about 100 years a family of Killer whales helped three generations of Davidsons catch whales, until whaling was suspended. They would herd whales into the bay at Eden, alert the whalers to their presence and then help kill the whale.
The book was in turn hilarious, brutal, sad and uplifting. I learned a lot more than I wanted to about the horrific details of catching a whale, but I also came to love the characters in this story and I will really miss them. The killer whales were certainly characters as well, especially Tom, and I'm glad the author described their nature and way of life in a realistic manner rather than presenting them as delightful pets. I also loved the writing which was suited to the era. An enjoyable and informative read about a vanished way of life. ...more
When 25-year-old Bella is murdered in a small Australian town, where everyone knows everyone, the fallout affects her older sister Chris the most. FriWhen 25-year-old Bella is murdered in a small Australian town, where everyone knows everyone, the fallout affects her older sister Chris the most. Friends and family try to be supportive as Chris sets herself on a path of self-destruction in the search for the answers that just aren't coming. Trying to make sense of the senseless is also the media who swiftly descend on the small community and the mud raking, finger pointing and (inevitably) victim blaming begins. If you are looking for a murder mystery you will be disappointed. Yes, we find out who did it in the end, but it is more of an afterthought and doesn't really matter. This story is about grief in many and varied forms, the media's relentless hounding of those who suffered a personal tragedy, the public's fascination with and demand for gory stories and the everyday violence and casual disregard women are subjected to. Thanks to Amanda for lending it to me - it was a very compelling read!...more
Leonora is invited to her former best friend Clare's hen night, ten years after they last seen each other. The weekend at a remote cottagMore like 3.5
Leonora is invited to her former best friend Clare's hen night, ten years after they last seen each other. The weekend at a remote cottage in the forest quickly turns into a nightmare for Leonora as old animosities, lies and secrets surface. Told alternating between the weekend of the hen night and at the hospital after an accident, it is slowly revealed what happened, now and then.
I can't claim, like some readers, that I worked this one out early on, I don't read crime novels that often, but then there were always only that many possibilities. The outcome wasn't a shock exactly, but I liked the story, found the characters believable and well developed. I had one (crucial) technical issue with the whole thing though which led to a yeah right moment at the end, but that might just be me. What lifted the book above three stars for me was the writing - beautifully descriptive to set the scene and the mood, captivating and spot on. I'll definitely be reading more stories by this author....more
4.5, really, for sheer enjoyment. I couldn't wait to find out what happened and resented any kind of interruption! The blurb on the back doesn't give4.5, really, for sheer enjoyment. I couldn't wait to find out what happened and resented any kind of interruption! The blurb on the back doesn't give much away and neither will I - all I'll say is the story is about three couples who meet up for a backyard barbeque in Sydney where an incident occurs that affects all of them. What it is you will find about after the halfway mark, but it actually doesn't matter so much what it was - it could have been any number of things and I certainly had all sorts of theories - it is more about the guilt and how it affects people, how everybody deals with it differently. It's about what happens when bad things happen to good people, and they are all good people, in their very different and very imperfect ways. The narrative switches between "the day of the barbeque" and several weeks later and bit by bit we piece together what happened as well as the very different backgrounds of the characters. I liked them all and I feel like I know them. Good story. Don't think this can't happen to you. ...more