Lizzy Chandler's Reviews > Stella Makes Good

Stella Makes Good by Lisa Heidke
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really liked it
bookshelves: australian-women-writers, aww-challenge, australian-romance

I can count on one hand the number of Chick Lit or contemporary women's fiction I've read that hasn't been written by friends, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. That said, I found myself quickly swept up into the world Heidke created and caring about her characters' fates.

Although it is ostensibly Stella's story, it is actually an ensemble piece, tracking the lives of Stella, her friends and their families. While Stella is the most well adjusted - despite being faced with, initially, the most fraught family circumstances - her friends Carly and Jesse, and Jesse's sister Louisa are more than minor characters. They not only support but also, in some ways, take over from Stella's story, as the story circumstances force them to undergo greater character growth and change.

The setting of the story is solidly suburban Sydney, North Shore, middle-class and privileged, but these characters' lives are shown to be anything but bland. Heidke manages to knit together mundane preoccupations which will be familiar to many women: work, husbands, children, ageing parents, repartnering after a failed relationship, fears for the future and regrets over the past; and she does so with skill, humour and more than the occasional insight into human frailties, making the novel overall a very quick, entertaining and engaging read.

Heidke makes no apologies for the everyday focus:

"In another country, there might be a tsunami, a suicide bombing, war - but in Jesse's world, the kids still needed to be fed, their homework completed, their teeth brushed." (p147)

Heidke writes with the confidence of knowing there are lots of women who will relate to and enjoy her insights into the everyday lives of the characters her story depicts.
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Reading Progress

February 22, 2012 – Started Reading
February 22, 2012 – Shelved
February 22, 2012 – Shelved as: australian-women-writers
February 22, 2012 – Shelved as: aww-challenge
February 22, 2012 – Shelved as: australian-romance
February 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Great review Elizabeth:)

Lizzy Chandler Thanks, Brenda. I'm looking forward to reading more of Lisa's books.

message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda I'm wanting to read this one very soon...I'm meeting her with Helene Young on 8th March...quite excited:)

message 4: by Lizzy (last edited Feb 27, 2012 06:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lizzy Chandler Have fun - they are both lovely! I met them at the ARRA awards dinner a couple of weekends ago and have Helene's Wings of Fear here waiting...

message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Oooh!! You'll enjoy Helene's work...brilliant!!

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Heidke Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for your fabulous review...I always get nervous when someone who 'knows' me reads one of my books, so thank you very much.
Brenda, I am looking forward to meeting you on the 8th. Please don't be shy...and ask lots of questions!

message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Thanks Lisa, I am looking forward to it very much:)

Lizzy Chandler Lisa wrote: "Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for your fabulous review...I always get nervous when someone who 'knows' me reads one of my books..."

You're welcome, Lisa. Stella deserves to get good reviews!

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