Fiona McCallum spent her childhood years on the family cereal and wool farm outside the small town of Cleve on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. While she now lives in Adelaide, she remains a country girl at heart. Standing Strong (the sequel to Wattle Creek) is her eighth novel, and will be followed in 2017 with Finding Hannah. Set in Melbourne, Finding Hannah is a touching story about healing after tragedy and the power of strong friendships.
Here are her top 10 reads for 2016:
The Muse by Jessie Burton is an absolutely beautiful novel, both inside and out. A fabulously intriguing mystery about the origins of a painting that unfolds with a lovely pace across two timelines. (I enjoyed it a lot more than The Miniaturist.)
The Dry by Jane Harper. A fantastic crime read set in a small town that kept me guessing right to the end. Very clever and unputdownable!
The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. A really fun, rollicking read that also contains great messages about setting goals, achieving them and learning from your mistakes. I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s work, so was really excited to have a new book from her to read this year.
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter. Everything I love about a psychological thriller, and more. Brilliant plot and pace and awesome female characters. Her attention to detail is phenomenal. Another riveting read. This is the first book I’ve read by Karin Slaughter. I now have another on my TBR pile – The Kept Woman.
The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. From an early age I’ve been intrigued by all things Titanic, so I was excited to hear about this novel. Based on true events, it’s a beautifully done, engrossing read that stayed with me long after I turned the last page.
Different Class by Joanne Harris. Another masterpiece from Joanne Harris! This one is a psychological thriller, though slower-paced and more brooding than many others I’ve read in the genre. It kept me guessing right to the end and feeling a little unsettled after it finished. Joanne Harris is another author who’s been on my must-have list for many years.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I don’t often read young adult fiction, but I fell in love with the look and feel of the book while browsing and became intrigued about the images within. I found it a really lovely, captivating read.
A Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy. I’m not a big fan of short story collections, but Maeve is one of my all-time favourite authors and sadly she’s now passed on. It was wonderful to be able to return to Maeve’s trademark beautiful writing and carefully drawn characters when I thought there was to be no more.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Oh my, what a truly gripping, incredible read! And, wow, what an ending! Fabulously crafted characters and clever plotting with surprises and twists and turns everywhere.
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry. Another brilliantly done psychological thriller – intense and compelling. A nail-biter that kept me enthralled and guessing right to the end