The Returning by Russell J Perry – Australian Author Challenge 2018

If you’ve even spent any length of time in Queensland, Australia, this book will tease all your senses. From the mango trees, the smell of cane fires burning, to the views across to Hichinbrook Island – goodness, I could even taste the cold ale at The Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane.

The book opens with the death of an elderly gent. Elsewhere, within minutes, a baby boy is born, and we just know there has to be some sort of connection.

We then jump ahead 30 odd years and meet Jacob Shaunessy, a young man in his early thirties, who is dissatisfied with his lot in life. Jacob has vivid dreams, which include exotic landscapes, and an even more exotic young woman. He resigns from his job in the city and heads to Far North Queensland to start a new life and to chase  the source of his dreams.

Jacob becomes involved with the local sugar cane community in which he lives and works. His dreams lead him to the secrets of a previous generation, to mystery, and mayhem in this sleepy little township in the deep north.

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This is an interesting novel in that it does makes you think about the relevance of dreams and the question of reincarnation. The back stories of all the characters are believable and interesting, and it is an easy book to read.

The author has successfully conveyed the essence of North Queensland, right down to the elderly Italian widows dressed all in black for mourning, without being overly wordy. The sudden downpours of rainfall, the heat that makes clothes stick to your body, and even the seemingly laid back policeman pursuing justice, are all very authentic.

Yes, my familiarity with the landscape probably garnered my interest quickly, though it’s the storytelling that maintained it.

Reincarnation? Up for debate. Vivid Dreams? Now those I understand. Every night is like a eight hour movie session in technicolor at my place.

High Five for an other Australian Indie Author!

 

Australian Author Challenge – 2018

For the third year running I have decided to participate in the Australian Author Challenge. This exercise is not about pushing myself to increase the number of books I read, but rather, to focus on writing by Australian Authors.

This Challenge has made me select books from genres I would generally not have considered reading – such as dystopian and YA – as well realise that I had a tendency to read books written by males. These days, thanks to this Challenge, Hannah Kent and Helen Garner are two Australian Authors from whom I am anxiously awaiting their next effort.

Sure, I have always been aware of the books on the Best Seller lists, and for many years these were the books I either purchased, borrowed or was gifted. Mostly, these have been overseas Authors. At this stage of the game I’m neither led by trends, what’s in fashion, nor what’s selling well, and that refers to life in general, not just the books with whom I choose to share a bedroom or a handbag.

These days there is a whole other market out there with the growth of self publishing and independent authors and bookstores.  From these avenues I have been fortunate to read some wonderful stories from varied genres including historical military fiction, travelogues, personal memoirs, and Second World War diaries. They may not have garnered the same publicity, nor made a Best Seller List, and they are never going to be transformed into a Hollywood Blockbuster, but they have been worthwhile and entertaining reads nonetheless. For the 2018 Australian Author Challenge I hope to explore more books from both these areas.

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The Aussie Author Challenge 2018, is now in it’s 9th year and is hosted by Booklover Book Reviews at:

http://bookloverbookreviews.com/reading-challenges/aussie-author-challenge-2018
“Whether you are a patriotic Australian, an aspiring or armchair tourist or simply an international reader wanting to discover some talented new authors and interact with like-minded readers, the Aussie Author Challenge could be for you!”

I have signed up for Kangaroo Level, which means my Challenge is to :

Read and review 12 titles written by Australian Authors of which at least 4 of those authors are female, at least 4 of those authors are male, and at least 4 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, at least 3 genre.

There are also Challenge levels requiring less reading. It would be great if some of the blogging community could also pick up an Aussie book or two. I’de love to hear your thoughts.

Off to the Library tomorrow. Is it odd to be excited?