Jeff Popple reviews five great Australian Mother’s Day reads for mum! More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com
Balance & other B.S. by Felicity Harley
Allen & Unwin, $29.99
Inspired by the stories of friends and her own experiences, leading Australian journalist and TV personality Felicity Harley provides a warm-hearted and encouraging book about finding clarity in chaos and empowerment in the middle of a messy life. Despite the promises of feminism, many modern women are plagued by the illusion of perfectionism and feel guilty over not achieving the right balance in their lives. While seeking ‘wellness’, many women are actually suffering a decline in mental health. Aided by experts and friends, Harley gives real examples of what is going wrong and suggests what you can do to live your version of a meaningful, healthy and well life.
The Shifting Landscape by Katherine Kovacic
Also featuring a vivid rural setting is the latest Alex Clayton art mystery by Katherine Kovacic. The book opens with Alex, and her beloved Irish Wolfhound Hogarth, being invited to the historic sheep station of Kinloch in the Western District of Victoria to value the family’s art collection, which dates to the 1800s. She quickly identifies an important, historical painting, but further examination is stopped by the disappearance of the artwork and a suspicious death. As tensions increase on the farm, Alex finds her own life under threat. A well-crafted and very enjoyable crime novel that raises some important issues about Australia’s past. Recommended.
Fool Me Once by Karly Lane
Allen & Unwin, $29.99
Those mums who like a good rural romance will enjoy the latest offering from the popular Karly Lane. Georgie Henderson manages a cattle property in northern New South Wales but has always dreamt of buying back the family farm of Tamban. An unlikely meeting with Michael Delacourt sets her on a whirlwind romance and, for a while, her desire to reclaim Tamban takes a backseat, until she learns Michael’s shattering secret. As she struggles to move forward, Georgie must also cope with the dramas of running a farm in very challenging times. Aided by a terrific sense of place, this is an engaging tale of rural romance.
Zen Mamas by Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen
This inspiring and informative book makes an ideal present for those mums seeking to find a semblance of “calm, acceptance and presence among the inevitable pandemonium”. This beautifully presented book by actresses and businesswomen Teresa Palmer and Sarah Wright Olsen, is based on their internationally popular blog Your Zen Mama and provides a guide through pregnancy, childbirth and long-term parenting. Drawing on their own experiences and expert advice, they encourage mothers to find their own version of peace and balance as a parent, what they call ‘the Zen’, while also accepting the inevitable mayhem that comes with it.
The Women’s Pages by Victoria Purman
Mothers who enjoy bulky historical tales of love, loss and survival will like the latest novel by Victoria Purnman. Victoria has previously explored the war experiences of women in the rural Australian Women’s Land Army and, in her new book, she turns her attention to the end of World War II. As Sydney swells with the return of Australian servicemen, Tilly and her friends must adjust to a change in their circumstances as they give up jobs and have to cope with the return of husbands badly affected by the war. A well-researched and moving novel of a very different time.
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