Books · reviews

Six Degrees of Separation: Freebie – from Zusak to Higgins

I’ve managed a bit of a reading spree in the last few weeks and in order to share my thoughts I’ve ingeniously decided to use the Six Degrees of Separation meme. This meme is hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  and gets you to take one title, and link through five other titles to see where you end up.

August’s starting point was a wild card – start with the book you ended with in July. It’s been six month since I last completed this meme, when I ended on For the Term of his Natural Life. The one before that was twelve months ago, The Light Between Oceans. Following some inner debate I’ve decided to start with my July’s bookclub read, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. This book started slowly and I was all set to appreciate it but not love it except Markus has a way with words, and characters. Although not completely satisfied with what was found at the end, the process of peeling away the layers of this book became truly mesmerising.

Markus seems to really like his young Australian male protagonists. Another Australian author I’ve loved recently is Jane Harper, with all three of her novels set in unique Australian environments. I really enjoy how her settings are so integral to the mysteries she writes. I hope there will be a novel soon following her latest The Lost Man.

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Harper’s book also touched on an issue so pertinent to Australia right now – that of domestic violence, which leads me to my next author Cathy Glass. Where Has Mummy Gone was the second of her books that I’ve read. Cathy Glass is the pseudonym for an UK foster carer who shares stories of children she has cared for and helpful information I believe about the world of fostering. However although I appreciate that she brings to light stories of childhood abuse and neglect, I can’t help wonder about the children she writes about, if they have given consent?

Needing a bit of a break from the hurt in this world I’m going to flip to the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. These christian novels sometimes feel a bit simplistic, set in Canada in years gone by, but the overall message is timeless, with the last two (4 and 5 of 8) really hitting the spot nicely for me. The love of family and God is wonderful.

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Moving from the comfort of that series, I turn to a novel,  much more realistic and personal to me, The Mothers Group by Fiona Higgins. At times this book felt almost too real, so that although it was a fantastic read and true to life of a mother’s group, the reader knew we were heading to a defining moment and as a mother I didn’t want to know what it was. Out of the ashes [of the phoenix] comes the message that also got me through my early parenting days, ‘it takes a village’ and we mothers need to stick together and support each other.

I’m going to end on an anti-climax now with the other of Fiona Higgins books I’ve read, Love in the Age of Drought. This memoir was nice and an interesting perspective on a farming community from a city slicker but it didn’t ring true to my own experiences as a farmer’s wife. I’ve still added another of her books to my to-read-list, so it can’t have been too bad!

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And now please excuse me as I cheat and add one more link – I’ve just checked out my bookclub’s September read – Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, another Australian story, very popular by the looks as I’m over one hundredth on the hold wait-list, exciting!

Happy reading 🙂

2 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Freebie – from Zusak to Higgins

  1. Great post, Gee Jen! I loved all of the Jane Harper books, especially The Lost Man. I could feel the scorching sun as I flitted through the pages. Totally agree with your Bridge of Clay comments : so long but couldn’t put it down. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Trent Dalton………:)

    Liked by 2 people

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