The Natural Way of Things

By Charlotte Wood
Rated by Amanda W.
Mar 31, 2017

The Natural Way of Things opens dramatically as Yolanda discovers she is being held captive in the Australian Outback. She is one of a small group of women who all have a curious, not immediately obvious, connection: they have all been part of public sex scandals. While the story leaves a lot unanswered and is incredibly dark in content and description, the beautiful writing was enough to keep me engaged until the end.

The story follows Yolanda and another captive, Verla, as they try to navigate survival in the extreme conditions they awoke to after being drugged and kidnapped. They sleep

Aug 2, 2016

This is the story of a complicated woman entangled in the lives of a powerful family. Sarah survived World War II in Europe and she’s working her way home to Australia as a nurse onboard an ocean liner. One of her patients is Mrs. Bligh, the commanding matriarch of a wealthy Australian family.  Sarah charms her patient’s son and grandchildren, but when she stumbles on a buried family secret Mrs. Bligh is determined to get rid of her.  Instead of quietly getting out of the way, Sarah just gets on with her life, accepting a position as a nurse in a small town near the Bligh family estate. Mrs

Big Little Lies

By Liane Moriarty
Rated by Jed D.
Jul 23, 2015

“Oh, calamity!”  This phrase is used often in response to the various annoyances, surprises and disasters that happen to the parents of the Pirriwee Public School kindergarten class.  Something horrible happens during the parent trivia night event at the school, and Moriarty keeps this information secret right up until the end.  Each chapter brings the reader another step closer to finding out who was killed and how, and there are plenty of suspects.  In fact, there are several characters you will probably wish will be killed in some gruesome way!   Big Little Lies really is a clever title, as

Three Wishes

By Liane Moriarty
Rated by Lisa J.
Dec 7, 2014

The Kettle triplets Lyn, Cat and Gemma are celebrating their 33rd birthday as they traditionally do, with three cakes and champagne and just the three of them.  The triplets create a stir everywhere they go and this night is no different.  However, what they don't realize is that this birthday is bringing to a head many years of secrets, misunderstandings, and misguided intentions. While they may be triplets, the girls are all individuals with very different personalities and roles they play in the family.  With many flashbacks to the past and told from each of the triplet's viewpoints we see

Beautiful Malice

By Rebecca James
Rated by Jed D.
Oct 12, 2014

Beautiful Malice by Australian author Rebecca James immediately made me think of a teenaged take on Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, except Malice came out first.  Katherine has been keeping a secret about her dark past.  Her very popular and pretty new best friend Alice has a lot of secrets, as well.  There are so many secrets that I can’t say anything else without there being major spoilers!  This quick summer read is filled with bad decisions, youthful indiscretions, and a psychotic stalker.  Fans of books by the previously mentioned Flynn or Lisa Jackson will probably enjoy this escapist

Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood
Rated by Jo F.
Aug 5, 2014

This is the first book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series, a charmingly written series set in in early 20th century Melbourne, Australia. The atmospheric and well-researched details in these novels create an engrossing view into 1920s Melbourne society at all levels. The cast has its regulars, like Jack Robinson, the long-suffering and orchid-loving policeman, Cec and Burt, the wharfies who hope for a socialist revolution, and Lin Chung, the well-to-do son of Chinese immigrants. Included in each book is an ever-changing variety of folks from all walks of Australian life, who round out the

The Husband's Secret

By Liane Moriarty
Rated by Diane H.
Dec 23, 2013

In The Husband's Secret the lives of three Australian women are intertwined in ways they would never have thought possible. For years, the tragedy of a teenage daughter’s death has haunted one of the women and unknowingly affected another. The third woman, faced with a marital earthquake, takes her young son to her hometown of Sydney. There, the three women interact, bringing the past into the present and altering all their lives forever.

Moriarty brings humor and wit to the drama and trauma these middle-aged and elderly women are living through. Fans of Maeve Binchy will likely enjoy the

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Rated by Katerina J.
Jun 1, 2011

Stolen is written as a letter from Gemma, a sixteen-year-old Londoner, to her kidnapper Ty, who is nine years her senior. Gemma is abducted from the Bangkok airport while waiting for her connecting flight to Vietnam, where she is going on holiday with her parents. At an airport café, she is drugged by a handsome, somehow familiar Ty, and she is “stolen” and taken to wild Australian outback. There, she is forced to live in the middle of Great Sandy Desert in a house that Ty had build for them. Ty, who grew up in Australian outback, believes this is the perfect place for Gemma and him to build

Apr 7, 2011

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton begins in 1913 London where 4 year old Nell is hiding on a ship deck waiting for the "Authoress" to return and start their journey to Australia.  However, the "Authoress" fails to return and Nell travels to Australia alone with only a small suitcase containing clothes and a book of fairy tales.  Nell is  adopted by the dockmaster and his wife when the ship arrives in Australia and is raised as one of their own.  Nell doesn't learn of her unconventional adoption into the family until she is an adult and it changes the way she sees herself, her family and her