Monday, June 21, 2021

Shelter by Catherine Jinks


Shelter by Catherine Jinks

Published January 2021 Text Publishing


A spine-tingling psychological thriller where everything is not as it seems, from one of Australia's best writers of suspense.

Meg lives alone- a little place in the bush outside town. A perfect place to hide. That's one of the reasons she offers to shelter Nerine, who's escaping a violent ex. The other is that Meg knows what it's like to live with an abusive partner. 

Nerine is jumpy and her two little girls are frightened. It tells Meg all she needs to know about where they've come from, and she's not all that surprised when Nerine asks her to get hold of a gun. But she knows it's unnecessary. They're safe now.

 Then she starts to wonder about some little things. A disturbed flyscreen. A tune playing on her windchimes. Has Nerine's ex tracked them down? Has Meg's husband turned up to torment her some more?

By the time she finds out, it'll be too late to do anything but run for her life.

One for the grown ups.

What a read! This is a psychological thriller at its best.

Meg, a woman who has suffered her own fair share of mental abuse from an ex husband, opens her home to a mother, Nerine,  and her her two young children.  They are escaping a violent husband/father, and Meg's place is their first step  to freedom and a new life.  

The story is mainly set in present day, but we have flashbacks to Megs life with her husband, so we can see the abuse she dealt with, that has ultimately led her to where she is now, and the life that she leads.

There is a slow burn in this one, suspense building on every page as Nerine's behaviour becomes more and more erratic, and we begin to realise not is all what it had seemed.

An absolute page turner, and a hard one to put down.

Thanks to NetGalley and Text publishing for giving me the opportunity to review this title.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Peace by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul Illustrated by Estelí Meza

Peace by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul Illustrated by Estelí Meza

Published March 2021 North South Books


Peace is on purpose. Peace is a choice. Peace lets the smallest of us have a voice.

From a hello and pronouncing your friend’s name correctly to giving more than you take and saying I’m sorry, this simple concept book explores definitions of peace and actions small and big that foster it.

Award-winning authors, Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, have teamed up with illustrator Estelí Meza—winner of the ‘A la Orilla del Viento’ the premier Picture Book Contest Award in Mexico—to create an inspiring look at things we can all do to bring peace into our lives and world.

I like when a book can make me reconsider what something means.  

If I think of ‘Peace’, my basic thought is, calm, and not fighting.  But this book looks at Peace as a much bigger concept.  It looks at all of the little things we can do every day, to create that sense of peace, in our everyday lives and in the wider community. 

The rhyme is great, and this rhyming text makes it an engaging read, that will appeal to even the youngest of readers (or listeners, as the case may be). 

It is simple, with one statement on each double page.  In a classroom setting I can imagine that it would work well to focus on different pages, and different ideas,  and then talk about ways we can implement them every day. 

The one page that struck a note with me, was the page ‘Peace is pronouncing your friend’s name correctly’.  I recently saw an interview where the person who was interviewed spent his whole life having people mispronounce his name, and how grateful he was when someone got it right or asked how to say it correctly.  I think that will resonate more with adults than with children, as young children will more often than not hear a name, not have to read it and then try to pronounce it.

There is a great authors’ note at the back of the book, that gives an insight into another aspect of peace, and how it has an impact on not only people, but animals and nature.  After reading the authors note, you will want to go back and look at each page more closely. 

The tree, with what I assume are the children’s names on it, is a nice touch also. 

Thank you to NetGalley and North South books for the opportunity to review this title.