So many amazing books have been published in 2022, and we are only nearing the end of March.
Before my ‘to be read pile’ and ‘recently read’ lists become too large, I thought I would share with you some of my most recent reads, and the books I am eagerly awaiting.
I hope you enjoy browsing and find something new to attract your interest. All of the titles have been ordered for the library, so feel free to place a Hold; it’s free!
Black cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Eleanor Bennett won’t let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children – Byron and Benny – reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance. First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that’s separated Byron and Benny. Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a long history that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past. Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother’s final request to ‘share the black cake when the time is right’? Will Eleanor’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
I know it seems a bit early in the year, but I can already tell ‘Black Cake’ will be in my ‘Top 5’ list for 2022. From the very first page, I was pulled into the story. The writing is beautiful and seamlessly flows along throughout the book to tell Eleanor Bennett’s story, bringing a real depth to the narrative. – Jody
Cooper is not out by Justine Smith
In the Australian summer of 1984, in the small country town of Penguin Hill, Sergeant Roy Cooper is making a name for himself. He’s been batting for his local cricket club for decades — and he’s a statistical miracle. He’s overweight, he makes very few runs, he’s not pretty to watch, but he’s never been dismissed. When local schoolgirl Cassie Midwinter discovers this feat, she decides to take the matter further. The remarkable story finds its way into the hands of Donna Garrett, a female sports columnist who’s forced to write under a male pseudonym to be taken seriously. That summer, the West Indies are thrashing Australia, and the Australian people’s love of cricket has never been lower. But Donna’s columns on Roy Cooper capture the imagination of a nation, and soon there’s pressure to select him for the national team. This would see him playing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, carrying the spirit of every small country town in Australia along with him. Could such a miracle actually happen? This is sport, after all, and who doesn’t love a good story?
A five star, uniquely Australian read! I loved the distinctly Australian language and characters. For a person who isn’t a cricket fan I found it hugely enjoyable. Great feel-good read. – Jody
The trivia night by Ali Lowe
From the outside the parents of the kindergarten class at Darley Heights primary school seem to have it all. Living in the wealthy Sydney suburbs, it’s a community where everyone knows each other – and secrets don’t stay secret for long. The big date in the calendar is the school’s annual fundraising trivia night, but when the evening gets raucously out of hand, talk turns to partner-swapping. Initially scandalised, it’s not long before a group of parents make a reckless one-night-only pact. But in the harsh light of day, those involved must face the fallout of their behaviour. As they begin to navigate the shady aftermath of their wild night, the truth threatens to rip their perfect lives apart – and revenge turns fatal.
‘The Trivia Night’ by Ali Lowe proved to be a difficult book to review. While I liked the writing and some of the characters, the story was too similar to ‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty for me to be completely invested in the book or the characters. I think people who haven’t read ‘Big Little Lies’ will find the book an enjoyable read. I will also look out for Ali Lowe’s next novel as I did like the writing. – Jody