On The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman

I hadn’t read any books by Joy Dettman before The Silent Inheritance. I found myself picking it up every time I walked into a book shop, but then I would put it back. This week I thought, you know what? Just buy it! And I did.

Choosing The Silent Inheritance was one of the best decisions I made this week. I enjoyed every page. The main story line revolves around the life, secrets and heartache of Sarah Carter and her daughter Marni, but there are so many other stories intertwined, some of them quite dark like that of the serial killer.

In the beginning I was a little bit put off by the language of the book; it was confusing and hard to read. However it wasn’t long before it became clear why it was written in this manner. So please, if you have tried to read this book but put in down because of the first few chapters or so, persevere because it is well worth finishing.

I will admit I found it hard to read the chapters about the serial killer dubbed “The Highway Killer”. I wanted to skip them but I didn’t because I felt it was important to the overall story to know what everyone was feeling.

Sarah and her daughter Marni were strong and likeable characters, as was Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Hunter (I loved him). In fact all of the characters in the book were really interesting.

Now I come to a very hard part to write about, the book’s ending. I have mixed feelings and am not sure how to write it down without giving too much away or discouraging anyone from reading this book; because I loved it.

I think the main thing I find hard to cope with is that I didn’t get the closure I needed for most of the characters in the book; including Sarah, Marni, Ross, Dani (and her family), Bob, basically everyone who featured in the story. Maybe this was how it was meant to be; perhaps there is a sequel planned, or am I the only one who felt this way?

But the book’s ending didn’t alter my overall opinion. Quite the opposite,  it left me wanting more, more, more. I totally enjoyed every page and if there isn’t a sequel planned that’s OK, because it doesn’t spoil the fact that it was a great Australian novel.

I will definitely be looking for more Joy Dettman books in the future.

It’s 5/5 stars from me.














On Hope Farm by Peggy Frew

A couple of weeks ago Amanda and I thought it would be a good idea to pick a book to read from the Stella Prize long list (before the shortlist was announced). But as usual, whenever I feel like I have to read something, I never can. In the end, I didn’t even look at the long list and I read a couple other great books.

Then last week, just before the shortlist was announced, I finally decided to have a look and see if I could find something I wanted to read. I picked Hope Farm by Peggy Frew. Why did I pick this particular book? Well I liked the cover and then after reading the blurb I thought it was a book I would really enjoy; I like books that are told from a child’s perspective.

Hope Farm tells the story of 13 year old Silver growing up and surviving in a world where adults (even her mother Ishtar) seem to forget Silver is a child and needs love and attention.

Even before I finished the book I couldn’t stop talking about it. I was tweeting madly letting everyone know how much I was enjoying it. Now, the question I ask myself is why? Is it enough just to say it had a good story with believable characters? No it’s not, because that wouldn’t be doing the book justice.

Hope Farm was an amazing book that grabbed me right from the start. I was a bit worried the literary style (lots of descriptive words) would be a bit over the top, but it wasn’t. It only intensified the emotions I was feeling reading Silver and Ishtar’s story. I could so very clearly see their lives and share their feelings. Throughout the story there were times when I had knots in my stomach and had so many thoughts and emotions running through my head that I had to stop and take a break from reading. I think Peggy Frew is a great writer to be able to describe characters and emotions the way she did in Silver and Ishtar. I loved the way both Silver and Ishtar got to tell their own stories, it helped create a better understanding of how they got to where they were.

Hope Farm is the book I am going to make everyone read this year and it will go in my special pile of books – the ones I keep and re-read.

Thank you Peggy Frew for writing a wonderful story that is still occupying my thoughts well after finishing it. I am even sitting here looking at the cover while I write thinking, should I just read a few chapters?

As you may have already guessed I am going to give this book a 5/5 rating.