Tricia Stringer, author of A Chance of Stormy Weather, a comic rural romance about life after marrying a farmer, reveals her top ten list of books to escape with…
We all read for different reasons at different times. I have to admit most of the time I read to be transported from my current reality to another world. A place created by another writer where I can lose myself for a time and simply relax and enjoy. There are so many to choose from but here are my recent top ten books to escape with.
The Three Miss Allens by Victoria Purman
The cover alone was enough to evoke images of a different era. As soon as I began reading I was transported to the South Australian seaside in the 1930s and the lives of the well to do on their annual guest house holiday. Then to complete the experience there’s the mystery of what happens to the third Miss Allen who simply disappears from the family tree. Loved it.
The Chocolate Tin by Fiona McIntosh
Fiona is the master of whipping us away to another time and this story is the latest example I’ve read. In this book we are surrounded by the sights and scents of England’s chocolate making town of York at the end of World War One. It’s the story of a determined young woman who wants to become a chocolatier, not a job for women in those days but it’s also a love story and one with a different twist. Very clever.
The Dry by Jane Harper
I love a good who dunnit, especially by Australian writers and this first novel by Jane Harper didn’t disappoint. An apparent murder suicide in a country town sees, Aaron Falk, now a police investigator, returning to the place of his childhood, not necessarily a place of happy memories. Jane has captured the essence of small town Australia in fast moving thriller. A nail biter.
Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney
I am a fan of Monica’s books and I was reading this one in December at the time I was writing the annual Christmas letter and receiving them from friends. I was so caught up in Monica’s story of how wrong it can all go I was almost afraid to send my own letter off. It was both funny and terrifying as the family behind the letter in Monica’s tale began to unravel and secrets that should never see the light of day were revealed for everyone to discover. Most enjoyable.
Doctor Calling by Meredith Appleyard
If you’ve lived in rural Australia like I have you will find Meredith’s story of a young country GP grounded in harsh reality. The writer knows the ins and outs of a rural medical practice and skilfully weaves through the setting the local characters who bring it to life, the tenacity needed to be a country GP and even some romance. A relaxing read.
The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman
I was instantly enthralled by Stedman’s way with words. I was back in the era of post World War One and this time the setting is an isolated lighthouse off the Australian coast. There’s a gently developed romance between the main characters and then much of the story is set in their isolated home where they are faced with a huge moral dilemma. I found myself teetering between right and wrong choices with them and reading on, desperately wanting everything to be right for everyone. Thought provoking.
Red Earth by Tony Park
I enjoy Tony’s books. Those I’ve read have been set in Africa, his adopted country and he brings it to life vividly. He always picks an issue and his latest is no different, picking a topic that is constantly in the news, the war on terror. There were many twists and turns to keep me whirring through the pages. Exciting reading.
Tears of the Cheetah by T M Clark
Another story set in Africa by someone who has lived there. I’ve read all three of Clark’s books and they just get better and better. This story is set on a game reserve for cheetahs in South Africa and the main characters find themselves not only fighting for the cheetahs but for their own lives. Once again the intriguing and fast paced plot had me turning the pages eagerly. Action packed.
The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns
This was Rachael’s first foray into women’s fiction and she has made the transition with this well created story. I was immediately caught up in the struggle between four sisters who’ve just lost their mother and are trying to come to terms with their lives without her as well as their own personal dilemnas. There are dramas, laughter and tears. Engaging read.
The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley
I adored this book, from the beautiful production of the actual book to the words within. Melissa has obviously done a lot of research to uncover the story of Elizabeth Gould who spent her life sketching and painting the birds her husband, John was famous for discovering. This book is a love story, an inciteful replication of their lives and times through the voice of Elizabeth who was an adventurous, practical and loving woman. Thoroughly enjoyed it.