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Monday, 7 January 2019

#TheShaniaEdit - Mini Reviews : Scrublands By Chris Hammer, The Island Of Sea Women By Lisa See and A River In The Trees By Jacqueline O'Mahony


Hey lovelies!

I am starting a new series called #TheShaniaEdit - Mini Reviews . Basically, I choose a few books every month and combine my thoughts into mini reviews. The mini reviews are not detailed but do contain my final verdict on the book. The chosen books for this series are often proof copies provided by the publisher through NetGalley. 

This week's picks are Scrublands By Chris Hammer (Publishing on 8th January), The Island of Sea Women By Lisa See (Publishing on 5th March), A River In The Trees (Publishing on 10th January), Izzy + Tristan By Shannon Dunlap (Publishing on 7th March) and The DollMaker By Nina Allan (Publishing on 4th April)

My review of Izzy + Tristan and The DollMaker will be posted later today.

Without further ado, let's get into the books!

Starting off with...


Scrublands By Chris Hammer - Headline Publishing

Grab your copy here!

About the book: In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on is congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don't fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can't ignore is doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest's deadly rampage.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.


My Thoughts: 

Rating 3.5/5 STARS

Scrublands is a riveting and atmospheric novel set in the remote town of Riversend. It was an intense, interesting, chilling fast-paced thriller. Although it isn't something I would usually pick up, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!


The Island of Sea Women By Lisa See - Simon & Schuster

Grab your copy here!

About the book: Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village's all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook's mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. 

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook's differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother's position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.


My Thoughts:

Rating: 4/5 STARS

OMG! There aren't enough words to describe how AMAZING this book is. The Island of Sea Women is a story about female friendship, love and loss. It's rich in culture and traditions. If you've been following me for a while, you would know how much I LOVE Historical Fiction!
The Island of Sea Women was an engaging, engrossing, moving and powerful read. It's such a fascinating story!


A River In The Trees By Jacqueline O'Mahony - Quercus Books

Grab your copy here!

About the book

1919

Ireland is about to be torn apart by the War of Independence. Hannah O'Donovan helps her father hide rebel soldiers in the attic, putting her family in great danger from the British soldiers who roam the countryside. An immediate connection between Hannah and O'Riada, the leader of this hidden band of rebels, will change her life and that of her family forever... 

2019

Ellen is at crossroads: her marriage is in trouble, her career is over and she's grieving the loss of a baby. After years in London, she decides to come home to Ireland to face the things she's tried to escape. Reaching into the past, she feels a connection to her ancestor, the mysterious Hannah O'Donovan. But why won't anyone in her family talk about Hannah? And how can this journey help Ellen put her life back together?


My Thoughts:

Rating: 3.5/5 STARS

A River In The Trees is a fascinating story of family, love, loss, betrayal and secrets. The story starts with Hannah O'Donovan in 1919 and then jumps back and forth to Ellen her descendant living in 2019. A River In The Trees is beautifully written, was an atmospheric and addictive read. It had me totally gripped. I really want to read more of Jacqueline O'Mahony's work!



That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. I'll try to get another post up later on. Let me know your thoughts!