There are some unusual people in the world – for instance, a friend of mine absolutely loves winter. But if you’re anything like me, you’re already sick of the cold and dreaming of summer. Here are a few reads that will bring some rays of summer into your cold winter nights.
Sixty Summers by Amanda Hampson
Maggie, Fran and Rose are feeling restless. Whatever happened to the three young women who took off to Europe in a Kombi van forty years ago? This sparks an idea: why not leave it all behind and go on the road again together, to travel around Europe, back to the places they visited on their first trip?
Amanda Hampson’s writing comes alive with her characters and dialogue. Funny and astute, her observations on friendship, the two sides of family life – the joys and the slavery – ageing and regret, are spot on, especially for boomers. Read our review here.
When It All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins
When Jenny finds out about her husband’s affair, things become far harder than she could have imagined. But when she begins to find her feet again with the help of her gruff but attractive neighbour, Andrew, she realises that turning her life upside down might just have been the best thing she could have done…
When It All Went to Custard is a delightfully quirky and heartwarming tale about starting life afresh. Author Danielle Hawkins lives on a farm herself, and her personal experiences lend authenticity to this story, with the joys and challenges of farm life vividly and engagingly depicted. Read our review here.
Stone Country by Nicole Alexander
Stone Country is a gripping emotional journey set against the Australian landscape so vivid and visceral, that you feel as if you are there, surrounded by the blood-red dirt in the searing sun. Fans of sweeping historical fiction, outback adventure and family drama, will love every minute of it.
A young man constrained by the expectations of his family dreams of a solitary life on a far-away cattle farm. But when his brother goes missing during the war and is labeled a ‘deserter,’ he is forced to marry a woman he has never met in order to protect his family’s reputation. What will become of his dreams now? Will he ever be free? Read our review here.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
The book is fun and at times very funny. Each chapter alternates between Tiffy and Leon, with their very different voices adding to the book’s fresh feel. But this is not just another light romcom read. Beth O’Leary, sets the perfect pace in revealing both the emotional abuse Tiffy suffered in her past relationship and developing the slow burn of her new, and lovely romance with Leon.
Tiffy and Leon share a flat. Tiffy and Leon share a bed. Tiffy and Leon have never met. As Tiffy looks for somewhere cheap to live, she stumbles upon Leon’s strange ad. He advertises an unusual flatshare arrangement: the roommates will never be in the flat at the same time. The two flatmates form a significant bond without ever meeting, and must then consider if this connection they’ve developed should be explored further. Read our review here.
If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon
Paige Toon’s If You Could Go Anywhere is a pitch perfect story about travel, love, grief, family, guilt and good food, told with such intimacy that you feel as though you’re walking alongside Angie, watching events unfold.
Sole carer for her beloved grandmother who raised her, Angie can only dream of places outside her town of Coober Pedy. After her grandmother’s funeral, she discovers a letter that holds information about the father she’s never known. He’s in Rome, and with the help of locals, Angie, still a little shocked, takes off for Italy. Read our review here.
The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell
Entertaining, emotional and full of lunatic charm, The Sparkle Pages takes you on an unforgettable journey, deep into the heart of a woman, her marriage and her family. Full of wit and wisdom, it shows us how when things go badly wrong in life they have the power to change us, but only if we let them.
Told in conspiratorial diary form, The Sparkle Pages sees Susannah, who’s feeling forlorn and flat about the lack of excitement in her marriage, come up with a bright idea called the Sparkle Project. She will become interesting, deeply attractive and stylish, and she and husband Hugh will learn new tricks, re-ignite the spark and live happily ever after… she hopes. Read our review here.
What are your favourite summer reads? Let us know in the comments!