BOOK REVIEW: NATASHA LESTER – HER MOTHER’S SECRET

  Her Mother’s Secret is a story about a strong female heroine, written by a woman for female readers. Natasha Lester, the author of the best-selling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, brings us another historical fiction novel, once again telling the story of female protagonist making good in the man’s world, set in New York City in…

BOOK REVIEW: TEA COOPER – THE CURRENCY LASS

  The Currency Lass is a dramatic story about a young woman who runs away to join the circus. The eponymous character is Catherine Cottingham, an independent young woman who is orphaned on the verge of her 21st birthday. Her philanthropist father has passed away and left her riddled with a saddlebag of debt. This…

BOOK REVIEW: NADIA MARKS – AMONG THE LEMON TREES

  Love is a wonderful thing. We all want to experience it. Many musicians, artists and writers have used it as inspiration, but it was perhaps Darren Hanlon who put it best when he sang, “Love is just a lazy generalisation that we use for a hundred different feelings and as many situations.” Journalist and author,…

BOOK REVIEW: ANNA ROMER – BEYOND THE ORCHARD

  Beyond the Orchard is an Australian saga spanning multiple years, taking in different generations and perspectives. It seems to have a lot in common with the late Bryce Courtenay’s work insofar as it’s an epic slice of Australiana. The book is the third novel by Anna Romer (Thornwood House) and a rich and detailed…

DVD REVIEW: PHOENIX

There’s more to the film, Phoenix than meets the eye. The story is an adaptation of the novel, Return from the Ashes and is set in Berlin after the Second World War. It’s is also a dark and disturbing tale about one Jewish woman’s journey home to Germany after she survived horrific injuries at Auschwitz….

BOOK REVIEW: LUKE DEVENISH – THE SECRET HEIRESS

  The Secret Heiress is a rich, historic fiction book set in Castlemaine, Australia in 1886 and 1903. The novel is by screenwriter, playwright, author and academic, Luke Devenish. The latter is no stranger to writing about history as his two previous books were set in Ancient Rome. His latest offering is a rather mysterious…

DVD REVIEW: LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX SEASON 3

  The power of love is a curious thing, as the characters in the British television drama, “Last Tango In Halifax” know all too well. The show is set in the English countryside and features a strange, blended family of sorts. It also straddles the line between pure soap opera and realistic social observation about…

DVD REVIEW: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE HOLLOW CROWN SEASON 1

  How do you sum up a series like The Hollow Crown and do it justice? The program is an epic four part one that covers the Shakespearian plays known as the Henriad: Richard II, Henry IV (broken up into two parts) and Henry V. The result is a lush, historic drama that is given some…

DVD REVIEW: POLDARK TV SERIES

  Poldark is a TV series that will be loved by fans of Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy. It’s a sumptuous, period drama based on the novels by Winston Graham and is set in Cornwall in the 18th century. This is the second time it has been adapted for television (the first was in 1975) and…

BOOK REVIEW: MALCOLM KNOX – THE WONDER LOVER

  Malcolm Knox is an award-winning journalist and author who has proven that he is adept at writing both fiction and non-fiction pieces. His fifth novel, The Wonder Lover is an adult fable and cautionary tale about secrets and love. It is ultimately a bold book that hits some high notes as well as some…

BOOK REVIEW: STEVE CAVANAGH – THE DEFENCE

  Steve Cavanagh’s novel The Defence is his debut one but the writing is so accomplished and the pacing is so gripping that you’d be convinced that he was a highly-decorated and published author. While Cavanagh has written things in his spare time before, the main way he has earned a crust has been as…