November Book Club Read

We have reached November and our last title for this year! Even if I am running a few days behind

October’s pick ‘Enid, the scandalous life of a glamorous Australian who dazzled the world’ by Robert Wainwright was a huge hit with both me and my mother-in-law.

With both of us being Australian history buffs it was no surprise that we found Enid’s story intriguing! Robert Wainwright wrote in such a way that Enid jumped to life off the pages of the book. In fact I am going to listen to the eAudiobook version on my daily walk and see if it offers a different perspective to Enid’s character. My fascination with Australian history seems to grow all the time. In fact my mother-in-law recommended I read ‘Kings in Grass Castles‘ by Mary Durack one of her favourite books of all time. ‘True North: the Story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack‘ by Brenda Niall looks like another book for my ever growing TBR pile!

Now down to business! Our last title for this year is ‘The Weekend‘ by one of our go to authors, Charlotte Wood.

Summary

People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn’t true. The graveyard, the stony dirt – that’s what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie’s death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?

They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house – not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.

Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.

For those of you who prefer to read or listen online ‘The Weekend‘ is also available to download as a multi-access title in eBook and eAudiobook format from our rbDigital library!

Happy Reading!

Jody

P.S.

Look out for our December Book Club wrap-up when I share our plans for ‘Reading Together’ in 2021!

October Book Club Pick!

Ok, I can’t believe it is time to pick the next Parra Reads online book club title. No sooner do we pick a title and start reading then it is time to start all over again.

September’s title ‘A Thousand Ships’ by Natalie Haynes ended up being a great read! Being a big fan of historical fiction and having not read any books on ancient Greek mythology ‘A Thousand Ships’ was an enjoyable read for me. I love reading historical fiction told from a female perspective. If you do too then this is a must read for you!

Our October pick is ‘Enid, the scandalous life of a glamorous Australian who dazzled the world’ by Robert Wainwright.

October’s pick happened to come into fruition because of my Mother-in-law. Each year as part of her birthday present I buy some lovely handmade fig jams, fresh tea and a book. The books are always about Australia whether it be fiction or non-fiction. When she was younger my Mother-in-law loved nothing better than hooking the caravan up and setting off on a trip around Australia, in fact given any opportunity now she is always off on the train somewhere for lovely day trips exploring new and old towns.

So searching through new release titles I came across ‘Enid’ by Robert Wainwright and thought it would be perfect pick for her birthday. Then after reading the blurb and a bit of the first chapter I thought it would be a good pick for Book Club and luckily enough our rbDigital Library had it available as both a multicap eAudiobook and eBook title, so we can all ‘read along together’

I hope you enjoy it as much as I already am!

Jody

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Book Club Reviews

Our Dundas Book Clubs have been very busy reading and reviewing their book club picks over the last month.

Read what they thought about, ‘The Woman in the Window’, ‘Any Ordinary Day’ and ‘The Alice Network’. All of which have been hugely popular reads with a lot of our clubs.

Enjoy!

Jody

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Parra Reads Book Club Wrap-Up & September Pick!

I made it! Finally managed to finish one book club title for August just before we reach the end of the month. I am so happy with myself. I literally just finished reading ‘Six Minutes‘ by Petronella McGovern and thought to my self I had to hop straight onto Parra Reads and write about it.

If you haven’t already guessed by the tone of my writing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact there wasn’t one section through the whole flow of the book that I did not enjoy. Sometimes when I finish a book and even though I have enjoyed it there are often some characters or story lines that I am not interested in. This wasn’t the case with ‘Six Minutes’, every character and every story line interested me and was relevant to the whole story.

On the cover of ‘Six Minutes’ best selling author Liane Moriarty describes the book as, ‘Impossible to put down. Full of twists and turns you won’t see coming! I loved this fabulous debut novel.’ I would have to agree with that description but I also think it is also so much more.

The setting, characters and their lives felt so real, like you are a part of the story watching the news or browsing through your Facebook feed. I haven’t experienced that with a book in a long time. Halfway through ‘Six Minutes’, I jumped online and ordered a copy of Petronella’s new book ‘The Good Teacher’, don’t worry we have ordered library copies too.

I am still reading our second August title, ‘Stranger Country‘ by Monica Tan. So far I am finding it an interesting and enjoyable read. I especially like reading about the Australian landscape.

To read something totally different in September we have chosen ‘A Thousand Ships‘ by Natalie Hayes which is a retelling of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. And this month to take the pressure off everyone we will only be reading one book.

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Book Reviews Alice to Prague and The Mother-in-Law

Alice to Prague

Tanya Heaslip

A Parra Reads Book Club title for May 2020. ‘Alice to Prague’ was one of two titles picked for our newly established online book club and it was an enjoyable read!  

In it, Tanya shares her personal experiences as she leaves behind her life as a lawyer in Alice Springs to teach English in the Czech Republic. With no prior teaching experience or grasp of the language, Tanya certainly shows us she is a person of considerable determination with an unstoppable strength of spirit.

Alice to Prague is a well-rounded read with a good balance of ‘something for everyone’ through the story. History and travel, a life adventure and even love.

Well worth a read!

Keep an eye out for Tanya’s new book ‘An Alice Girl’

Jody

The Mother-in-Law

Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth’s ‘The Mother-in-Law’ is one of those reads that grabs you from the first page, and doesn’t let go. Told from two points of view, daughter-in-law Lucy, and mother-in-law Diana, and spanning alternate timelines, it is fast-paced and engaging.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is extremely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying her son Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for. Diana is picture perfect. The pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. And yet, while Lucy tries time and again to please her, Diana remains cold and distant.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

Creating a character that you both love and hate is never an easy feat, but Sally Hepworth manages to do just that. I found myself conflicted, changing my opinion of Diana constantly between chapters, which is refreshing. In fact, I liked the nuanced character of Diana more than I did Lucy. As Sally Hepworth peeled back the details of the experiences that shaped her personality I wanted more. She seemed very reflective of the time in which she was born, and recognisable.

While people expecting to read a thriller might find themselves disappointed, I found the book to be an ideal mix of thriller and domestic drama.

A must read!

Jody