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  • A Family of Strangers

  • By: Fiona Lowe
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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A Family of Strangers

By: Fiona Lowe
Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
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Publisher's Summary

Acutely observed, sharp and absorbing - an insightful exploration of the pain and beauty of modern family ties. The page-turning new novel from bestselling Australian author Fiona Lowe.

How can you know so little about those you love?

With a coveted promotion dangling within reach, the last thing Addy Topic needs to do is waste precious time singing in Rookery Cove's choir. But when she's reminded how much music meant to her late mother, she can't say no. The building pressure raises the ghosts that sent her running from Rookery Cove years earlier - memories she's spent decades hiding from, silencing them with work, alcohol and sex.

For Stephanie Gallagher, Rookery Cove was meant to be a new beginning in the slow lane. A place where she and her husband can embrace community, parenthood and evenly share the load. But the sea-change is changing everything. How much longer can they survive as a family?

Brenda Lambeck is finding her feet after the death of her husband when her best friend convinces her to join the choir. Beloved as a grandmother, Brenda is determined to mend the fraught relationship she has with her daughter, Courtney. But is that even possible when she continues to lie?

In the wake of a spectacular betrayal, three women are forced to face the uncompromising truths about the choices that have shaped their relationships with those they love most. The consequences will shatter their lives and all they hold dear. After such a disaster is rebuilding even possible?

PRAISE FOR FIONA LOWE:

'A glorious, heartwarming tapestry of a novel.' - The Herald Sun

'A Family of Strangers is an engaging, thoughtful and astute novel.' - Book'd Out

'Fiona has been a midwife, family support worker and sexual health counsellor in her former lives, so she knows a thing or two about the complexities of family relationships ... she deals with the full panoply of the human existence in this engaging read.' - Australian Country

'Lowe examines issues around blended families, sexuality and alcohol consumption, weaving them into a moving and utterly enthralling look at family, friendship and life ... A Family of Strangers is a glorious, heart-warming tapestry of a novel.' - Better Reading

'The undisputed queen of Australian small-town fiction.' - Canberra Weekly

©2022 Fiona Lowe (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

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good read.

variety of characters. some good issues in plot.
a bit of fun a bit of seriousness

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  • Amy
  • 28-03-2022

Sorry Fiona but nope!

I usually love Fiona’s books but this one was too corny and boring. The characters were likeable but the book needed more then it had. Not my favourite, but I’m still a fan.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love how Fiona Lowe tackles contemporary issues

Fiona Lowe’s latest offering transports you directly to Tasmania’s North-West. As a regular traveller to the area, and having close family connections to that region I felt like I was right there and part of the community. This is due to Fiona’s ability to describe the scenery and characters in an engaging way, without the descriptions being too ornate and distracting from the narrative.

I love the way that Fiona tackles contemporary issues in our society. Often I find myself consuming other media in parallel with my reading of Fiona’s novels, as usually the societal issues her characters face I have not have much exposure to. In A Family of Strangers issues faced by characters include alcoholism, bullying, gaslighting, sexuality, miscarriage, sexual harassment and more.

Addy Topic has returned to her hometown of Rookery Cove, Tasmania after many years on the mainland. In the time since she left her hometown her parents have passed away and her return to the small town brings up some memories from her past she may have preferred to leave there.

Steph Gallagher and her husband and small son have recently moved to Rookery Cove, and finding what was meant to be a fun seachange a more challenging move than she had hoped for.

Brenda Lambeck is widowed with three grown up children. Her relationships with her family and others in Rookery Cove are explored.

The title A Family of Strangers is perfect for this interesting set of characters. The three women come together as part of a choir, and I think this shows that a family can be much more than your blood relatives. Community groups are a fantastic way to meet people, particularly in rural areas, and the community choir in this novel shows the importance of those connections.

I think Fiona’s life experiences in the health industry, together with her research skills and her compassion shine through with the sometimes difficult scenarios her characters find themselves facing.

While I read an advanced reading copy of this edition, I will likely also purchase the audiobook. I have used Fiona’s audiobooks in the past, and the narrator Rebecca Macauley does a great job of them.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.