It feels like ages since I’ve told you about what I’ve been reading, but that’s possibly because I read a lot this week. These books are all from Aussie authors.
The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell was a bit of a disappointment, BUT I think it’s still a very important read. This originated as a script – Purcell normally writes for stage and screen, and this is her first novel. The writing is very uneven in the first half of the book, with changes between characters and points of view being very distracting. However I ploughed on and am glad I did so. The writing settles in the second half of the book and there are important discussions about race, loss of identity and family as well as domestic abuse.
The Inland Sea by Madeline Watts was a very interesting piece. I am reading it along with a bunch of mates from bookstagram and I’m waiting for them to finish so I can hash out my poorly formed thoughts about it. The main character and the writing reminded me of Cherry Beach a little, insomuch as the main character was drifting and searching for experience, whatever that experience was. She works in an Triple 0 (the Aussie version of 911 for my US friends) dispatch call centre and spends her spare time living in a crumbling flat, in a crumbling relationship and possibly trying to find her own inland sea. Plus there’s climate change. I did enjoy it but I haven’t unpacked all the layers yet.
I love Jen Wilde’s writing because I know I will get a neuro-diverse MC, a bunch of queer rep and an overall feel good story, and Going off Script doesn’t disappoint. Bex has finished school and won herself an internship working on her favourite TV show. As you can probably imagine things don’t go terribly smoothly for Bex, but she does meet a cute girl and kick the awful cis het white guy’s arse in a very satisfying way.
It sounded better in my head is another YA book and I really enjoyed this one too. Natalie is in the limbo between finishing high school and finding out if she got into the uni course she wanted. Her parents have also just decided to tell her that they are getting divorced (they decided nearly a year ago and didn’t bother telling her). Natalie is tries to be a ‘normal’ teen and goes to a party where she knows almost no one, except her best friend’s brother who pays her a lot of attention. Does he like her? Does she like him? This is a really lovely, affirming story that I am recommending to my kid and her friend group because it’s just so relatable.
Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!