Almost every human being at some point has pondered the question what would they change about their adult life if they had the chance to go back and re-live a portion of their younger years again. This is the situation in which Rita finds herself at the age of 29. Going to bed as usual on New Years Eve in 2009 she awakes to find herself back in her teenage bedroom on the dawn of New Years Day 1997. Rather than being a happily married mother of two, she is sixteen once again with all the trials and tribulations that brings.
I must admit I'm one of those reviewers who is in two minds over this book. If I hadn't seen the story about Brooke Davis on Australian Story I probably wouldn't have picked it up to read as it is not your average contemporary novel. I probably also might not have fully comprehended why the story was written.
Death is at the heart of Lost and Found. The reality that it comes to us all, sometimes very suddenly and tragically with no rhyme of reason. The fact that many people don't have any real understanding of it until they are confronted with it. And also that grief is very much an individual journey with no set time frame or "right" way to experience it.
This collection of short stories is a quirky lot.
"The Perfect Proposal" is the longest story of the selection and could easily be turned into a full length novel. This story makes you wonder if a wedding proposal is worth it and if it is what exactly "is". Clare and Matt seem to be the perfect couple and things are going well until Matt decides to stage the perfect proposal, will it be the beginning of another chapter in their lives together or, will the perfect proposal turn into disaster?
Having read and enjoyed House For All Seasons, I was very much looking forward to returning to Calingarry Crossing and Jenn. J McLeod certainly didn't disappoint with her second novel featuring the small community in country NSW. Having been a while since reading HFAS, it took me a little while to reacquaint myself with the town and the people in that story. The main character of Simmering Season, Maggie, was briefly introduced in HFAS and a couple of the main characters are also linked to this new installment.
The premise of this book was very promising. Lilith is a well off woman who lives in a posh suburb. Her life as a stay at home mother and wife does not take her to the working class suburbs of Sydney. So why is it that she appears on the front of the newspaper in one of these suburbs? And why is she so concerned that she may be recognised in the photo and may have to explain just what she was doing there?
As the story unfolds it soon becomes clear that Lilith is a woman who has lost her sense of self. A talented and highly paid actuary in her former working life, she took a year or two off to raise her kids - but as they enter their teens she is still at home without any real plan to return to work. She has all the things that should make her happy - a nice husband with a great income, a beautiful home and two healthy children. She has the freedom to shop without concern about cost and to take yoga classes. Her home is organised and runs smoothly. Lilith certainly keeps herself busy but there is a yawning chasm inside that is simply not being filled with her life as it is.
We love to review Australian fiction and have taken part in the Australian Women Writer's Challenge for the past several years. Check the links below for our reviews and be inspired to try a new author or two.
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