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Clare

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Inside the head of an Irish teenager.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-09-2019

I loved this book. I too a little while to adjust to her unusual way of naming people places and things eg. Maybe Boy Friend, First Sister The wrong religion the land over the water , etc but once I’d warmed to that I thoroughly loved this quirky warm story of the world view of a teenager trapped into a stubborn silence by the judgement and presumptions of her family peers and communities. A psychological and social insight into life in Ireland during the troubles.Cant recommend highly enough.

Truly delightful.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-2019

I believe this is the authors final work and it is a masterpiece.
Gentle and empathetic, the people in this book are drawn beautifully ,the writing is understated and elegant the characters are beautiful in their approach to a surprising friendship,which raises eyebrows in a small town.
This is a gem.

Proceed into classroom with caution!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-2019


A very engaging book, it gave me an appreciation and unique insight into what primary teachers do all day,and the stresses and pressures they experience.
This book was all about Gabbie Stroud's experience, from her days as an idealistic enthusiastic young teacher in the East End,through various Australian primary schools to an experienced and accomplished, but burnt out teacher.She is overwhelmed by ridiculous levels of reporting ,unnecessary testing and micromanagement.The joy of teaching becomes lost in the avalanche of paperwork and bureaucracy,
Although it's clear that she spoke up in meetings and was unsupported,her experience is obviously not unique .
I couldn't help wondering where the union was and whether she was in it.
My advice to disillusioned teachers and perhaps parents who might read this book- before they burn out is, that they should take to heart a quote from Joe Hill and - "Go on to organise !"

Not enough superlatives in the universe.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-09-2018

Enter the unique and compelling world of Eli Bell for the trip of a lifetime From school bullies, a wise and generous convicted murderer , a warm hearted smack dealer a highly literate struggling depressed alcoholic these are Eli’s role models Warm flawed heroes and psychopathic bad guys Couldn’t stop listening and was reluctant to let the story finish.This is the best book I’ve read for years .

Liberating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-2018

Barefoot explains how to gain control of your finances with plain simple steps Enough details to be really helpful . I usually hate thinking talking reading about money but this book has homespun truths financial know how and a little philosophy woven together.Its more about being in control of your financial future and definitely not a get rich quick book.

Rebel forensic psychiatrist doubles as detective.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-03-2018

What did you like most about Medea's Curse?

Complex plot,with well drawn quirky and likeable characters.Sometimes seems a bit far fetched and sometimes the author over explains things,however the story roles along so well it's easy to overlook these glitches .Engaging characters you come to care about and a cockatoo!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Worth reading to the very end.

What about Rebecca De Unamuno’s performance did you like?

Great performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

A book is always better with a cockatoo.

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to reading the others in the series.

Grows on you.Pardon the pun

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-12-2017

What did you like most about The Illegal Gardener?

Initially I didn't like the main character ( who is not really the illegal gardener) but the character grows and develops through the novel,and I warmed to her . Initially seems a far fetched tale becomes a believable tale

Bush crime mystery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-10-2017

Adult executives who have honed their bullying techniques since schooldays ,parental guilt , intergenerational criminals, suspense and a missing woman in the bush.Superbly narrated. This book has it all.

Immerses you in early 19th century rural Ireland

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-07-2017

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mary a girl from a large poor family is hired to help recently widowed Nora with her disabled grandson.She struggles with the older woman's attitude to the child whom Nora comes to believe is a changeling. Nora accepts help from a local wise woman Nance who knows "the cure "and has "the knowledge" ,gained from the Good People ( the fairies) Superstition, herbalism,the old ways, Catholicism, and conventional beliefs, clash with devastating consequences.A story told and narrated with a deft hand.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The attention to detail in this book is astounding.You can almost smell the smoke inside the cottages and hear the characters speaking, feel their apprehension,motivations and frustrations The narration is brilliant.

Any additional comments?

Pick this one!

Great scene setting but ultimately disappointing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-06-2017

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend the first half of this book.Starts out well believable and engaging but the ending is so ridiculous and the tying up of loose ends dubiously explained as are the final actions of the main character. At the end of the book you feel like you've wasted your time. Serong sets a great scene but the story telling lets the reader down.

Was The Rules of Backyard Cricket worth the listening time?

No only the first half was good the narrator did a great job but the storyline falters.

Any additional comments?

Jock Serong should keep trying.I'll probably read another one but curb my expectations.