Brenda's Reviews > Shell

Shell by Kristina Olsson
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It was the 1960s and Australia was on the brink of change. The Vietnam War was about to take a poke at Australia’s youth – and the Sydney Opera House was under construction. The draft for the Vietnam War was in the form of a lottery, and all the young people who were born within a certain time period had their birth dates put in a barrel. If you were lucky, your birth date didn’t come out. (My husband’s didn’t thank goodness!)

Journalist Pearl Keogh was in a desperate search for her two younger brothers whom she hadn’t seen in years. Pearl was anti-war and an activist – her protesting could put her career at risk; but her guilt was deep, so she was determined to find her brothers to help them avoid the draft.

Meanwhile, Axel Lindquist, newly arrived from Sweden, was working as a sculptor on the Opera House. His art work was his salvation – his hopes were that the new country would also help him find the inspiration he had lost during WWII. Pearl’s and Axel’s lives would come together in this period of change…

While fully aware of the poignancy and beautiful writing of Shell by Aussie author Kristina Olsson, I found myself struggling, putting the book down and going back to it days later. The author has indulged in my pet hate – no speech marks – with the dialogue in italics inside the paragraphs. Very off-putting for me I’m afraid. The cover is stunning, but I’m disappointed I didn’t love this book as I expected to. That said, I’ll still recommend it to others who are sure to enjoy it more than I did.

With thanks to S&S Australia for my uncorrected proof ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

April 25, 2018 – Shelved
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-release
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 5, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
August 5, 2018 – Shelved as: uncorrected-proof
August 5, 2018 – Shelved as: sent-by-publisher
August 5, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewing-by-request
October 6, 2018 – Started Reading
October 16, 2018 – Shelved as: 5000-books
October 16, 2018 – Shelved as: own-read
October 17, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Bianca (new) - added it

Bianca Great review. Sorry it didn't work for you.


Brenda Thanks Bianca :) So am I!


message 3: by Phrynne (new)

Phrynne Nice review Brenda!!!
To me speech marks would be a lot less intrusive than italics. I always find italics sort of shout at me while am reading.


Brenda Thanks Phrynne :) I'm just not sure why it's done by so many nowadays! But it doesn't make it easy to read in my opinion!


message 5: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Great review Brenda. Sorry it wasn't what you were looking for but you offered a balanced review that still has me interested in teading this book.


Brenda Thanks Mark. Yes please do..I hope you enjoy it 😊


Angela M Brenda, sorry it didn’t work for you, but glad to read your thoughts on this . The lack of quotes don’t bother me so much once I get in the rhythm of it. Glad your husband didn’t get called up too !


Brenda Thanks Angela :) Appreciate your words.


message 9: by Dale (new) - added it

Dale Harcombe Good honest review. Have to agree with Phrynne about speech marks being less intrusive than italics, I hate reading italics.


Brenda Thanks - and yes, yet authors still do it unfortunately Dale :(


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex Cantone Good review. Agree on lack of speech marks; and italics in moderation, not pages of the stuff. Writers should go on line (as I did) and learn when / where italics should be used.


Brenda Haha! Thanks Alex :) I'm sure writers think "their way is best!"


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