The Liars by Petronella McGovern
A wife burning with resentment. A husband hiding the past. Their teenage daughter crusading for the truth. Who can we trust?
The close-knit community of Kinton Bay is shocked when fifteen-year-old Siena Britton makes a grisly discovery near a cave in the national park. Siena believes it’s a skull from the town’s violent colonial past and posts a video which hits the news headlines.
But her parents, Meri and Rollo, think the skull is related to their teenage parties in the Killing Cave back in the 1990s. And a school mate who went missing then.
None of them foresees the dangers that the discovery will create for their family. The dangers of past deceits, silences and lies that have never been resolved.
Set in a small country town on the coast of New South Wales after Covid 19, this is a story which revolves around the cases of three missing people from the 1990s.
When a skull is discovered, lives and lies begin to unravel; and events spiral out of control, especially in the Britton family around whom the story is focussed. This small community has been keeping secrets for many years and some in the community are haunted by their memories.
Only a few of our group read the whole story, having found the beginning very uninspiring. It was easy to read but ‘ordinary’ and ‘underwhelming’ was the group verdict; we felt that it would be better suited as a young adult read.
4/10 Read by Dundas Readers
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Welcome to Bascom, North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that’s been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions.
Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic. Claire has always clung to the Waverleys’ roots, tending the enchanted soil in the family garden from which she makes her sought-after delicacies – famed and feared for their curious effects. She has everything she thinks she needs – until one day she waked to find a stranger has moved in next door and a vine of ivy has crept into her garden…
Claire’s carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control.
Our group quite enjoyed this easy to read, fanciful story of a family of women with ‘magical’ gifts and an enchanted, backyard apple tree. It did remind us of a Hallmark movie and could imagine it also as a miniseries, even perhaps more suited to the young adult genre. There were some aspects of realism and conflict. We enjoyed the references to the language of flowers, the positivity of the environment as a healer and the hope and support that the women provided each other. The character of Evanelle was our favourite. She was eccentric, loving, somewhat ageless but a wise elder. The ending was predictable but satisfying.
Read by MJ Readers