The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
The Dressmaker is a modern Australian classic, much loved for its bittersweet humour. Set in the 1950s, its subjects include haute couture, love and hate, and a cast of engagingly eccentric characters. It is now a major motion picture, starring Kate Winslet and fine Australian actors including Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving, Liam Hemsworth and extras from the author’s hometown of Jerilderie.
What a great read! We thought this book was going to be a story of true love and redemption. Instead it was a pleasant surprise to find it was more about revenge with a little dark humour. A very enjoyable read that was extremely well written. Linguistically the book was beautiful. Allowing us to feel like the characters were real people and that the town of Dungatar was a real place.
While some of us found the start was a little slow and complicated with lots of characters to keep track off, the book soon found an easy rhythm. We all loved the book’s heroine and the cleverness with which she sort revenge her fellow townsfolk.
Read by – Cultcha Club Book Club
City of Parramatta Library’s Escape Winter Rebus Puzzle Competition has come to an end!
All winter long people had fun guessing the weekly Rebus Puzzles both online and in the Library. Over 330 entries were received.
Three lucky winners, drawn at random received one of three $50 Booktopia gift certificates.
If you had fun guessing the Rebus Puzzles and are eager to know if you guessed right, have a look at the answers.
Week 1 – Dr No
Week 2 – Castaway
Week 3 – A Town Like Alice
Week 4 – Blue Lagoon
Week 5 – Eat Pray Love
Week 6 – 50 First Dates
Week 7 – Out of Africa
Week 8 – Death in Paradise
Week 9 – The Old Man and the Sea
Week 10 – Miami Vice
Week 11 – Jaws
Week 12 – Lord of the Flies
Week 13 – Pirates of the Caribbean
Week 14 – Treasure Island
All winners have been notifed and have collected their great prizes.
Thank you to every one who entered.
Information Access Team
Wild: a journey from lost to found by Cheryl Strayed
At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it along. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay in ruins at her feet.
Off the back of two books that had divided our group, we were hoping this one would reunite and inspire us.. Unfortunately it did not. We again had 2 distinct groups, those who liked and enjoyed the book and those who did not. For as many of us who liked the main character, finding her journey inspiring and showing us we can all find strength when we need it the most; there were just as many members in our group who found her a little whiny and annoying.
The book was well written, with the flashback scenes breaking up the long hiking sections. For those of us who did like the book, we found it an enjoyable read with enough interesting characters to keep us turning the pages.
Rating – 7/10
Read by Culcha Club
I Came to Say Goodbye by Caroline Overington
A young woman pushed through the hospital doors. She walked into the nursery, where a baby girl lay sleeping. The infant didn’t wake when the woman placed her gently in the shopping bag she had brought with her. There is CCTV footage of what happened next, and most Australians would have seen it, either on the internet or the news. The woman walked out to the car park, towards an old Corolla. For a moment, she held the child gently against her breast and, with her eyes closed, she smelled her. She then clipped the infant into the car, got in and drove off. That is where the footage ends. It isn’t where the story ends, however. It’s not even where the story starts.
A disturbing and at times, harrowing read, that was heart-breaking because of its reality. A very well written story that had us turning the pages quicker than an Aldi catalogue wanting to know what else could possibly happen or go wrong for this family.
While we liked the way the writer told the story, in letter form to a judge, some struggled to sympathise with him and other characters. We all felt like they all could have done more or should have done more for each other. This is the first book in a little while that has generated a lot of discussion within our group. Over who did and why they did it. And who was at fault. And if the grandfather had intervened earlier, like he had always intended too, would any of this have ever happened. We wondered where the mother went and why she seemed to have had no contact with anyone after she left. Did some of the blame lay with her for simply disappearing from her children’s lives.
We found it a difficult to rate this book. While we all agreed that while the writing was well done, we found the subject a little heavy and depressing and not something we wanted to scale too highly as to mislead other readers.
Read by – Cultcha Club
Rated – 6/10
A Spool of Blue Thread
About the book
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2015 SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S FICTION PRIZE A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK’It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home..
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