Tag Archives: melbourne

Review: A Time of Secrets

a time of secretsA Time of Secrets by Deborah Burrows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

A Time of Secrets was an absolute joy to read. It is an engaging tale of wartime in Australia, combining mystery and romance with a distinctive Aussie touch.

I was drawn into this world immediately from the beginning of the book and was completely immersed in this era for the next few days as I read this book. I find this era quite romantic possibly because of the desperation because the insecurity of the future just makes the passion you feel that much more intense. And there was so much passion in this book and I don’t mean just the romantic kind. There was passion for live, for joyful living, for art and buildings, etc. This has definitely brought the book alive to me –I basically had a film reel going on in my head as I read.

There are quite a number of interesting characters from the very capable Stella Aldridge who kept her past close to her heart, the lively Dolly –Stella’s flatmate, the troubled Nick –Stella’s superior, the reserved Eric –Stella’s romantic interest, to the voluble old Mrs Campbell who lived in the apartment downstairs from Stella and who is actually very sharp. Never have I been so torn about a love triangle! There isn’t actually a love triangle in this book as Stella is very certain on who she’s attracted to but… I can’t help but feel for the other guy. I am very happy that Stella isn’t one of those characters who can’t make up her mind and I am satisfied with the ending of the story. And yet… I am also just a tad devastated.

In a way, A Time of Secrets reminds me of the Wonder Woman -tv series but without the super power thing, of course. Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) worked in the army’s intelligence services with Captain Steve Trevor as her superior and they caught spies, solved mysteries, and basically saved the day. I just adore this tv series, and I supposed it’s one of the reason why I connected so well with this book as it just so similar in setting. My one petty complaint though was that each time Stella complained about having to wear her khaki uniform all the time, I kept thinking of the green uniformed girl on the cover. I just can’t reconcile this though I still love the cover, it is gorgeous, but green is not khaki.

Whilst there was no surprises in terms of the resolution of the mystery, the plot itself was fine woven and a delight to read. I would unreservedly recommend this to historical fiction / mystery lovers. This was my first Burrows’ but I am keen to hunt down the rest of her works.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

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Review: Peace, Love and Khaki Socks

peacePeace, Love and Khaki Socks by Kim Lock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Gifted by author

Of my first glimpse of this book I remembered thinking, hhmm… interesting title – bit hippie but yea… maybe… and I moved on. I am thankful though that Kim Lock approached me for a review as it prompted me to a closer look and acceptance. It was such a lovely, heart-warming book and I found myself (unconsciously) smiling all the time whilst reading it. I could barely wipe the smile off my face and it wasn’t because it was funny but because it was all so… relatable to myself as a mother.

Amy Silva has not thought about starting a family and definitely had no idea with what it will involve or what she’d need to do. So when she found herself to be with child, she was absolutely gobsmacked and lost. She tried to seek advice from a GP and then later her obstetrician as she tried to come to terms with her pregnancy but instead of feeling empowered, she felt merely incompetent. It seems that pregnancy just does not agree with Amy Silva.

Amy herself is very lucky in the love department. She is living with the love of her life and whilst their relationship isn’t without its rough patches, they are confident of each other’s love. As Amy struggles to understand pregnancy, its immediate and future consequences, she is really struggling to understand who she really is. Whilst this is not a ‘coming-of-age’ book as its standard definition, in a way it is similar to that or better put ‘coming-of-womanhood’.

Peace, Love and Khaki Socks is a book you can easily dive into and just continue on reading. You’d actually forget to surface to take a breather until something totally startling shocked you out of it. And when it did, I always found that I have unintentionally smiled the whole way through (sorry, train commuters, I swear I’m not a lunatic!). Whilst I couldn’t really relate to Amy’s concerns on pregnancy (I had different concerns), it reminded me so much of what I have forgotten in the experience of pregnancy and birth. There were times, however, that I thought this would’ve been ‘TMI moment’ if I haven’t gone through the same sort of experience. But since I had, I just found it hilarious.

I would recommend this book to all mothers out there –may it bring you many happy memories, and to all non-mothers (if you dare) –may it open your mind to possibilities.

I received an eCopy of book courtesy of author, Kim Lock, in exchange of an honest review (apologies for the delay). Thank you, Kim, for the smiles, reminiscences, and even some tears. Am awaiting your next work with great anticipation.

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