Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay

Published by Penguin Australia

From reading the prologue of this book, I knew I needed to put it down and seek out a box of tissues for what was sure to be an emotional read. The Sisters Gift starts in such a raw way, the emotion draws you in to the pages and the writing style is effortless.

The Sisters Gift is the sort of book that pulls you from inside yourself and makes you think. Its characters aren’t as black and white as they seem, its premise isn’t as straight forward as you may think and it it hits so close to home.

The Sisters Gift is a heartfelt tale of family, love and finding yourself. We follow the lives of Billie and Freya and how their paths intersect in ways deeper than we expected.

I love the strong female characters shown in this novel, how it shows them being happy to be on their own, happy to be finding themselves. Freya, Billie and Pearl are all so different but each is strong and resilient and gone through so much in their lives.

The setting of The Sisters Gift is magical and it is giving me the need to travel. Magnetic Island is such a fantastic and magical place and Hannay has captured it perfectly.

The Sisters Gift is heart-warming and filled with emotion. Easy to read and to get lost in, it shows the strength we all have inside, if we dare to look.

Thank you so much to Penguin Australia for sending me a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry. Publishes 2 July, 2020.

I can’t express how excited I am for a book set in Tasmania, written by a Tasmanian author. The Bluffs is the book I have been waiting for. It perfectly encapsulates the Tasmanian wilderness, how it feels so empty and isolating yet filled with life.

Perry has taken the essence of small town life and amplified it, being a teen is never easy and it is even harder in a small town. Jasmine is such a captivating character. She feels rebellious, gritty and raw. Her friends on the other hand are a mixed bag of teenage angst, deceptions and the age old battle of doing what your friends expect of you and doing what’s right.

The Bluffs doesn’t feel like fiction. It reads like a true crime story, and the fact that I have been to and stayed in places that this book touches on, makes it feel even more real. Not to mention the characters could easily be based on people I have known over my lifetime. This feels so Tasmanian, the people, the setting, the humour. And I love it.

We are thrown into small town life where each moment is important. All the details are important, but it is so fast paced, blink and you will miss something. The detail that Perry has gone into for this book is immense, as is the research he must have done. The folklore, forensics, police work, physcology. And it all pays off. It gives The Bluffs dimension and depth.

Up until the last fifty pages, I had no idea who was behind what, or what was really happening to the girls. Perry has woven such an intricate string of confessions and falsehoods of red herrings and loose ends, that it is hard to work out who is behind it all.

The frienship between Murphy and Con is my favourite. I love their banter their differences and how they recognise themselves in eachother. They are exactly what the other needs, someone strong to take the brunt of what they are feeling off their shoulders. A mate. Someone they can count on. It lifts this book. Gives it heart, amidst all of the plotting and death.

The Bluffs is all action from the get go. It perfectly encapsulates small town living and the Tasmanian wilderness. Not only has Perry written a dramatic sense of untamed wilderness, he has done so in a way that shows the eerie quality of being in the bush, the smells, sounds and vibe. The Bluffs wouldn’t be as powerful without that element.

Complex characters overflow from the pages of this book, from your stereotypical small town drug dealers to the generation X, social media influencers and everything in between. The phrase, ‘everyone has a story to tell’ comes to mind when reading about Limestone Creek.

If you are looking for something eerie and atmospheric with a modern crime-fiction twist, then The Bluffs is for you. So easy to read, with a writing style that makes the pages practically turn themselves. Kyle Perry’s debut novel, The Bluffs, is the book not to be missed in 2020.

Thank you so much to the team at Penguin for sending me a review copy of this title.