BOOK REVIEW: PETER POLITES – DOWN THE HUME

  When we think of an “Australian story” the ones that typically spring to mind are predominantly about the country, bush or the past. So what is a reader to do when they want something that reflects their own modern life in the Western suburbs of Sydney? Thankfully, Peter Polites has answered this in his…

BOOK REVIEW: MEREDITH JAFFÉ- THE FENCE

  The characters in Meredith Jaffé’s debut novel The Fence may live in the pleasant-sounding, Green Valley, but the neighbourhood is far from idyllic. It’s actually the setting for two feuding next door neighbours. At times some parts of this story would not be out of place on A Current Affair or Today Tonight with…

BOOK REVIEW: ANTHEA HODGSON – THE DRIFTER

  If Anthea Hodgson’s debut novel were a song it would be John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over.” The story is a rural romance set in Western Australia and it’s about two free-spirited individuals and a wise old aunt. The two former characters could be classed as “drifters” and they are thrown together and forced…

BOOK REVIEW: HELEN THURLOE – PROMISING AZRA

  Promising Azra is a book about torn loyalties told from the perspective of an amazing 16 year old girl. The story’s eponymous protagonist is an intelligent, ambitious and determined young woman who wants an education while her family feel indebted to her uncle and decide to adhere to an old cultural practice of arranged…

BOOK REVIEW: KELLY DOUST – PRECIOUS THINGS

  Oh you pretty things… Kelly Doust’s debut novel is a celebration of all things precious. It’s a rich, historic fiction book that intricately threads together the stories of the owners of a beaded coronet. This fashion piece is like a cat with nine lives because over the course of the book we learn that…

BOOK REVIEW: HARMONY VERNA – DAUGHTER OF AUSTRALIA

  Daughter of Australia is an epic love story and slice of Australiana. But it’s also amazing to note that the author is not even an Aussie. The novel is actually Harmony Verna’s debut one and she has beautifully captured our land of boundless plains with her gorgeous and evocative prose. Daughter of Australia is…

BOOK REVIEW: CATH FERLA – GHOST GIRLS

  Cath Ferla has taken the road less travelled in her debut novel, Ghost Girls. The book is set in contemporary Chinatown in Sydney and holds nothing back in its depiction of foreign students caught up in illegal prostitution and sex work as well as visa fraud. This novel feels quite real and is a…

DVD REVIEW: THE HECKLER

  The Heckler is an Australian film that is not just a comedy but one that’s also about the genre, or stand-up in particular. It’s a body swap film that is a bit like Freaky Friday meets Ghost. It’s a low-budget satire that fills some rather large shoes by managing to stand-out from most other comedy…

BOOK REVIEW: TJ HAMILTON – BUYING THYME

  TJ Hamilton’s Buying Thyme is a naughty book that’s easy to read. The debut novel from a former police officer-turned-writer draws on her experiences working in Sydney where she was forced to mix with underground figures. Hamilton does a great job of really humanising and creating an engaging main character named Miranda, a girl…

FILM REVIEW: SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY

  She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a little documentary with a big, important message. It chronicles the second wave of feminism in the United States from 1966-1971. It was a tumultuous time that saw some radical changes. This film is an illuminating one that tackles one key part of a complex social movement. This…