19th century colonial New Zealand

Book review:

Romance in your heart and a degree of interest in how women have changed their world over the past several generations – this wonderful way of being and intriguing social development are the centerpiece this story is woven around. It is woven expertly. We experience late 19th century New Zealand through magical imagery – the use of metaphor is amazing. This book is crafted intelligently and beautifully.

It is also real and true to life, not over-dramatized. The struggle our heroine faces is within herself. There are the expectations of society, which stand firmly in the way of romance. Anna is not rebellious, though. She believes in and upholds the social values, even though at a depth she FEELS differently. What of love in the face of duty and tradition? This conflict is powerful within her. It threatens to defeat her. Her human flaws have her seeking refuge in the anti-depressant remedies of the day… Our heroine is far from perfect. She strikes me as intriguingly real.

Will she find strength and rise above? Will she take a step along the difficult and powerfully transforming path women have walked over recent generations? I was enthralled by the telling of this story. I was particularly impressed by the harsh reality of the resolution. Again, it hits hard with the truth. It took utter desperation for Anna to make her choice. There was an awful lot riding on it. Either way, the consequences were going to be extreme.

Happily ever after? I strongly recommend reading to find out. You will meet some other richly interesting and well depicted characters along the way. The hero will tempt you with his raw ideals and charisma, but will ultimately win you with his grasp of love and respect. The domineering sister is genuine in her concern for Anna’s youth having slipped away and her seriously diminished potential for attracting a suitor. The suitor Anna attracts and who earns the approval of her family is also a product of the time – appallingly so…

In conclusion, I want to again mention the imagery. The setting is delivered vividly to all of our senses. This compliments an excellent story.

White Knuckle Thrillers

Book review

It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.

Book review

Frigging hell, this doesn’t let up. Heart pounding, nail biting… if you’re looking for a relaxing read – this ain’t it! This is masterly suspense and a great thriller. You want to climb into the book and help out the goodies – save them from the relentless bad guys, whoever they are. It’s not clear exactly who to fear until the end. The who-done-it is brilliant. Get comfy because you won’t be putting this book down, although you’re likely going to be pacing the room while you read rather than relaxing in a chair… Excellent. Top marks.

Cards on the table

Not being any kind of expert on marriage, it’s hard to say whether the topics addressed in this guide are comprehensive. They strike me as a package of important and useful things to know about your partner. Through open communication, you get to know each other better. I like the notion put forward here, that when you and your partner encounter one of the typical issues in marriage, you will be better equipped to address it if you have built a foundation by having previously discussed it. Sitting down together and opening up about a defined list of difficult and possibly embarrassing topics is obviously a useful exercise in itself – learning to communicate. This makes perfect sense. This book makes perfect sense.

Gripping: true to life


BOOK REVIEW: A sensational read with not an ounce of sensationalism. That’s my overall take on this multidimensional tale of life in Southall, London. Most stories quite rightly use something for shock value – romance, action, intrigue, horror…. Within this book there are no less than half a dozen incidents/circumstances that could be expounded and sensationalised, but they are not. Their masterly subtle telling is what gives this tale such depth and dimension – there for us to wonder and imagine as we experience the real lives of these humble, ordinary people…. This was a cultural journey for me. I’m sure readers from within will enjoy the familiar surrounds. I found the experience enlightening – also interesting in the way love finds a way, even if the original union has been arranged…. To me this novel reads as understated. It’s impressive the way the author leaves the conclusions to us – the way she gives us just enough to inspire contemplation. It reads as absolutely real and true to life, and, as such, fascinating!



BOOK REVIEW: My first impression first: the creation of the bully and the victim of bullying is brilliant. Next, I thoroughly enjoyed the time period and location. I’m old enough to remember a little of the 60s. This book took me there. I also grew up in an underprivileged neighbourhood. This book dragged me back there too. The quality of the storytelling blotted out the here and now completely. Those are the aspects of this novel I want to praise highly. The story itself is solid and quite intriguing. It’s raw and violent, and has plenty going for it. A terrific array of characters brought to life – they feel real. It’s like the whole novel is neither under nor overstated. Just real… I’d recommend reading a sample and seeing if you can put it down.