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Welcome to our Book Review page. Stay a while and read some of the blurbs, check out the video clips and book trailers we've included. You may get inspired to try one of the books that have been reviewed or you may like to write your own review. Ask one of the Library staff how. HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



'Why would I? People are uneasy enough with me - if I start bringing up sea-wives, they'll take against me good and proper.'
'It could be secret.'
'Could it?'
On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock - the men, the women, the children - once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?
Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.]

A CBCA short listed novel for older readers, which I was anticipating would be great, but I was thoroughly disappointed. From the start it was difficult to get into, and I thought, even the older readers, would find hard to understand and may not persevere past the first chapter. I thought this a strange book to be short listed and there weren't that many redeeming features, be it a very different kind of story, seals becoming human form. Although I was a little intrigued by it, as it promised to capture a Scottish style of oral history, it was not enjoyable at all and I was glad to finish it, which is very disappointing. Some say it's poetic and a wonderfully woven story but it wasn't for me.

UNNATURAL HABITS (Phryne Fisher series - bk 19)

by Kerrie Greenwood   (Not in our Library)   LWH

[Burb: 1929: Girls are going missing in Melbourne. Little, pretty golden-haired girls. And not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene Laundry. People are getting nervous. Polly Kettle, a pushy, self-important Girl Reporter with ambition and no sense of self preservation, decides to investigate - and promptly goes missing herself.It's time for Phryne and Dot to put a stop to this and find Polly Kettle before something quite irreparable happens to all of them. It's all piracy and dark cellars, convents and plots, murder and mystery .... and Phryne finally finds out if it's true that blondes have more fun]
Always a lot of fun, Phryne is up to her usual antics, trying to get to the bottom of her new investigation... finding young pregnant girls that seem to have gone missing from the Abbotsford Convent/Laundry, along with a young reporter she rescued from danger. Always light hearted with a laugh here and there Kerrie weaves an interesting tale. Dot, along with Phryne will find the clues and although putting themselves in extreme danger will save the day.

Although I've read a few in this series I must confess that since seeing the ABC series of Phryne Fisher, I do read the books like I'm watching the show, picturing all the quirky characters and their mannerisms, which makes the stories more interesting to me.


by Vikki Wakefield   (CBCA SHORTLISTED)  LWH

[Blurb: ‘I am Friday Brown. I buried my mother. My grandfather buried a swimming pool. A boy who can’t speak has adopted me. A girl kissed me. I broke and entered. Now I’m fantasising about a guy who’s a victim of crime and I am the criminal. I’m going nowhere and every minute I’m not moving, I’m being tail-gated by a curse that may or may not be real. They call me Friday. It has been foretold that on a Saturday I will drown…’]

This is a short listed book for older readers for CBCA awards this year so was eager to read it. I was blown away by it. The first chapter drew me in as I took in each word that was so craftily written. The descriptions were beautiful yet haunting, with each character reeling me in.

I so loved the relationship and special kind of love she formed with Silence, her new friend, which was so special since her whole life she had only really known her mother, and travelled from town to town as a loner. When she meets Silence her world changes dramatically but life in the 'gang' doesn't sit well with her from the start. She is running from life, from herself, from memories, but along this new journey she eventually finds her inner self. She must make some hard decisions.

I have to admit that I cried through most of the last few chapters, which made me feel silly, as this was just a YA fiction, but I was totally hooked by then, and the story didn't quite turn out how I had expected. 


by Michael Schofield (STAFF - not in our Library)  LWH

[Blurb: A brilliant and harrowingly honest memoir, January First is the extraordinary story of a father's fight to save his child from an extremely severe case of mental illness in the face of overwhelming adversity. At six years old, Michael Schofield's daughter, January, was diagnosed with one of the most severe cases of child-onset schizophrenia that doctors had ever seen. January First is the story of the daily struggles and challenges they face as they do everything they can to help their daughter while trying to keep their family together. It is the inspiring tale of their resolute determination and faith]

This is a fascinating memoir from January's father who so wants to help his daughter be like any other child. He believes her behaviour is because of her very high I.Q., and doesn't want to believe there is any medical problem causing these strange behaviours. Both Michael and his wife try so many professionals and hospitals to get help but no one seems to take them seriously. They must battle daily with January to stop her hurting her baby brother and themselves and the only way to resolve this is to live separate lives. A truly heartbreaking story, with glimpses of hope, but it seems for every step forward there is two backwards. It is terrifying to think it took 6 yrs before they had a 'name' for her illness and therefore could treat it.


by Karen Healey    (LWH)

[Blurb: My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy. Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice. But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened. Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?]

This was a fabulous, page turner of a book. Great subject and plenty of ethical questions to consider. It was fast paced and intriguing, just couldn't put it down. Set in 2027 in Melbourne Tegan is happy one minute and dead the next. She awakes 100 years on and is thrown into a very different world. You've got to read this!


by Ashley Edward Miller   (LWH)

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.
But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin's frequent tormentor, didn't bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn't have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun...]

Colin Fischer is a modern day Sherlock Holmes, constantly gathering facts in his little notepad. A bit unusual? ... yes, he has Aspergers syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. This causes him to be alienated at school and often bullied. He is a character that grows on you. Because he is incredibly intelligent and logical he is very good at gathering clues.

This is a quick read which I think boys will particularly like.


by Joy Dettman   (STAFF)   LWH

Following on from the fantastic 'Pearl in a Cage' is...
Book 2 'Thorn on the rose', Book 3 'Moth to a flame', Book 4 'Wind in the wires' and Book 5 'Ripples on a pond'

Blurb: It is 1939 and Jenny Morrison, distraught and just fifteen years of age, has fled the tiny logging community of Woody Creek for a new life in the big smoke. But four months later she is back – wiser, with an expensive new wardrobe, and bearijng another dark secret...She takes refuge with Gertrude, her dependable granny and Woody Creek's indomitable midwife, and settles into a routine in the ever-expanding and chaotic household. But can she ever put the trauma of her past behind her and realise her dream of becoming a famous singer? Or is she doomed to follow in the footsteps of her tragic and mysterious mother?

Blurb: The year is 1946. The war ended five months ago. Jim Hooper, Jenny Morrison's only love, was lost to that war. And if not for Jenny, he would never have gone."An eye for an eye," Vern Hooper says. An unforgiving man, Vern wants custody of Jenny's son, his only grandson, and is quietly planning his day in court.
Then Jenny's father Archie Foote swoops back into town. Archie offers Jenny a tantalising chance at fame and fortune; one way or another he is determined to play a part in her life. Is Jenny's luck about to change, or is she drawn to trouble like a moth is drawn to the flame?

Blurb: The wind is whispering in Woody Creek... Change is in the air It's 1958 and Woody Creek is being dragged – kicking and screaming – into the swinging sixties. Jenny's daughters, Cara and Georgie, are now young women. They have inherited their mother's hands, but that is where their similarity ends. Raised separately, they have never met. A mistake from Cara's teenage years looms over her future, but she believes emphatically in the white wedding and happily ever after myth. Georgie has seen enough of marriage and motherhood. She plans to live her life as her grandmother did, independent of a man. But life for the Morrison girls has never been easy, and once the sisters are in each other's lives, long-buried secrets are bound to be unearthed, the dramatic consequences of which no-one could have predicted...

Blurb: Woody Creek is gearing up for its centenary celebrations – but for many of its townspeople, it's just another reminder of the old days, when life was more simple, before so-called progress, technology and a growing population roared through the town, altering everything in its wake. Not for Georgie though. Long encumbered by responsibility for her half-sister Margot, she's looking towards the future and more changes. Not having managed to move on from running Charlie's grocery store yet, as the clock ticks over to 1970, she's determined that the time has come. She's not the only one of Jenny's children who's grown up and is moving on. As a six year old, little Jimmy Morrison was stolen from Woody Creek by his grandfather, and is now further away than ever from his estranged birth mother and sisters. Having inherited an estate in the United Kingdom, he's determined to make a new life for himself. If only he could shake off his one terrible attachment to Australia... For Cara, Woody Creek has been the source of the most devastating news of her life, and a terrible mistake that cannot be undone. She's vowed never to step foot into the place again. But the old timber town has a way of getting under people's skins. And as it draws the much loved cast of Woody Creek characters back into its grip, confessions, discoveries and truths seem set to explode in the most dramatic of showdowns...

Wow, I really loved each of these books and each one left you hanging on for the next. After book 4 I just had to find out what happened and the book had only been published in March, so I download the next one to my kindle as quickly as possible. (Gotta love a kindle) Very addictive! Not quite finished yet....

PEARL IN A CAGE (Woody Creek serie) Bk 1

By Joy Dettman   (STAFF)   LWH

Blurb: On a balmy midsummer's evening in 1923, a young woman foreign, dishevelled and heavily pregnant is found unconscious just off the railway tracks in the tiny logging community of Woody Creek. The town midwife, Gertrude Foote, is roused from her bed when the woman is brought to her door. Try as she might, Gertrude is unable to save her, but the baby lives. Gertrude's daughter Amber who has recently lost a son in childbirth and her husband Norman take the child in.

I've been wanting to read on of Joy's books for a while as I keep seeing them, but they look so big and my reading time is limited, however I decided to give it a go. I wasn't disappointed. I loved it so much that when I had finished, and realised it was the first book in a series 'The Woody Creek' series I just had to download the next book immediately to my kindle.

The writing was so good, I just felt like I was living in the town and knew all the characters so well. I really felt for Jenny having to live with such a cruel mother and sister and kept wanting her Granny, Gertrude, to tell her the truth, but no, that wasn't to be...well not yet anyway, who knows what is in store in the next few books, I believe there are 5 or 6 in the series. I can't wait!


by Paul Griffin

[Blurb: 'How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty']

Great, great, great book. Couldn't put it down. Nicole was beautiful and there were many jealous of her, but who would be so cruel as to throw acid in her face? Although Jay isn't her friend, he decides to make it his business to find out who has done this hideous crime. When Nicole finds out about Jay she starts to confide in him and they soon become friends, and Jay finds that somehow there is a link between his father and her parents, which he can't quite work out.

He discovers there are many who may have wanted to harm Nicole, but as the plot thickens there are many twists and turns that will have you guessing until the end. Well worth a read.


by Diana Hendry

[Blurb: 1953. When wild, dangerous, break-all-the-rules Natalie arrives in the quiet town of Norton, thirteen-year-old Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the new girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Desperate for Natalie's friendship and respect, Lizzie soon discovers a side of the town - and of herself - that she had never imagined.
As the girls grow closer, Natalie and her strange, eerie brother, Philip, reveal a shocking secret. For Philip has a second sight, and all around them he sees evil - 'left-over Nazis' lying in wait until the time is right for revenge. Natalie and Philip believe it's up to them to root these people out of Norton.
Lizzie is swept up in what starts as a thrilling game - but the consequences of Philip's 'gift' quickly spiral into disaster.
A chilling, powerful tale from Whitbread Award-winner Diana Hendry.]

This was a chilling tale! It was strange right from the start. Reading the first few pages (the Prologue) I had no idea what the setting was and when I finished the book I actually went back and read it again... now I know what it all meant!

When Lizzie pals up with a very strange girl from school, Natalie, and her brother, Phillip, she will have no idea how her life will change. According to Natalie, Philip has an eerie secret... he sees things. Nazi's, who are sleepers in their village. To win Natalie's friendship Lizzie goes along with the secret mission to seek out all those Phillip points the finger at and they must try to run them out of town. Natalie and her brother live in the poor end of town and her mother is incapable of looking after them. Lizzie lives on the right side of town and has a very different home life to her two friends.

This story is gripping, I couldn't put it down, and at the end I found it quite disturbing. It certainly wasn't a 'feel good' read but it was very interesting. I wonder what you'll think of it.


by Laura Harrington

[Blurb: When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.]

Unfortunately I only got half way through this book. It started of well, and I was at first interested in Alice and her relationship with her father, who had been sent to fight in Iraq, however it didn't hold my attention after half way through, and I decided to move onto the next book in my huge pile to read. Maybe you will like it though!


By Robin de Crespigny   (LWH)

(Blurb on back)
At once a non-fiction thriller and a moral maze, this is one man's epic story of trying to find a safe place in the world.
When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadow world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring.
Through betrayal, triumph, misfortune – even romance and heartbreak – Ali is sustained by his fierce love of freedom and family. Continually pushed to the limits of his endurance, eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.
With enormous power and insight, The People Smuggler tells a story of daily heroism, bringing to life the forces that drive so many people to put their lives in unscrupulous hands. It is an utterly gripping portrait of a man cut loose from the protections of civilisation, attempting to retain his dignity and humanity while taking whatever path he can out of an impossible position.

What more can I say... This is an amazing story of survival yet complete frustration. Ali never really experienced a proper childhood, tortured from an early age, being forced to watch his younger brother tortured, being a prisoner for years, fleeing for his life, losing contact with his wife and child, only to be locked up in a detention camp for as long as the Australian Government decide. I cannot believe people can read this book and not feel for those fleeing war torn countries for their lives and their children's lives. What would you or I do to save our family? You won't be the same after reading Ali's story. Just where has our compassion gone? Not a 'must read' but a 'PLEASE READ'.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


by Morgan Rice   (LWH)  (NOT ON OUR SHELVES YET)

Talk about fast paced book. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games then you'll love this great new series. Another Dystopia type YA fiction which I mostly enjoyed reading. Morgan Rice is a #1 best selling author who also wrote The Vampire Journals.

Seventeen year old Brook and her younger sister, Bree, are living in the wilderness trying to survive after a civil war has broken out in New York and everyone is living in a post-apocalyptic world, with few survivors. Those who still live in the city are Slaverunners, who roam the countryside trying to find survivors on the run, or crazies who are like zombies attacking those who venture out of the city walls. There are also the bio-chem guys who have been terribly burnt and disfigured from bombs during the war.

When Bree is kidnapped, Brook must risk her life to try to find and rescue her sister from certain death. There are plenty of chases, shooting and danger, including a battle to the death in Arena One, much like Hunger Games.

I mostly liked this book however I did find a few annoying factors. Firstly I felt it was trying to be a little too much like Hunger Games and it fell terribly short. The writing was no where near as good, and at times Brook was doing things that were quite unrealistic, and in fact completely unbelievable. I didn't think it was necessary to include very young girls becoming sex slaves in a YA fiction. The ending didn't really excite me which was disappointing, however I would probably still read the next two in the trilogy.


by Ian McEwan   (STAFF)  (LWH)
I thought by the cover and the blurb I would love this book; particularly with my fetish for spy movies, the ABC drama 'Spooks', the inviting cover and all the good reviews, but I was very disappointed. It's not very often that I discard a book and don't read right to the end, even if I don't like it much, but I did with this one, after being 1/3 of the way through.

The story is about Serena, a young attractive girl, who finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services and eventually is entrusted with her first 'secret mission' for MI5, named 'Sweet Tooth'. She is well read and loves the literary world, which is why she is requested to participate in this mission, which is to befriend a promising writer, Tom Harley.

This book is about cold war, espionage, politics and love... but I got too bogged down in the politics of it all. I made the decision that if I hadn't liked it by my first 100 pages then I had plenty of other books to pursue, on my bed side table, that were beaconing me to dive into their pages.... so I gave up. Sorry Ian McEwan!


By John Grisham   (LWH)

This is the third book in the great new YA fiction 'Theodore Boone' series, by John Grisham. The series is aimed at 8-13 yr olds so its not a super complicated read or plot for those wanting to get into crime thriller novels. Although this book follows on from the other two in the series you can certainly read it as a stand alone novel.

Theo is a bit of a whiz with law, both his parents being lawyers, and he often helps out friends when called upon. However the tables are turned when Theo is accused of a crime of theft and all the evidence leads to him being guilty. He is being set up and must try to find evidence to show the Police he is innocent. Someone is slashing his tyres and breaking into his locker but he has no idea who could be doing this to him or why. There is also another story woven through the book, continued from the previous books, about a man who is on a murder trial but suddenly goes missing. There is lots going on to take your attention. I'm sure teens will love this series and will be greatly anticipating the next book to come.


by Colleen Houck   (LWH)

This is the second book in the Tiger Saga series which finds Kelsey settling into life back in Oregon, going to College and trying to forget Ren. This is short lived however, as she soon must return to India and start another quest to save Ren, who has been taken hostage by evil Lokesh, and help Ren's brother, Kishan, who is also under the same curse.

Although I enjoyed the story, it didn't capture me as much as the first book, but that could've been partly due to reading it in several sittings over a few months, rather than in a couple of days. The story is still full of adventure and finding clues to aid her, and Kishan this time, to continue her quest to break the curse on the Princes. Danger is around every corner and Kelsey must use all her faith she can muster to continue along the path. Once again the ending left you up in the air a little so you can't wait to explore book #3. 


by Deborah Ellis   (LWH)

This story is a sequel to Parvana and Parvana's Journey, where we find 15 yr old Parvana in a bombed out school, and taken by American troops who think she is a terrorist. When questioned she refuses to talk and this annoys the American's. They interrogate her and keep her in a cell until she tells them why she was there, but she is determined above all else to stand her ground.

Little by little we find the story unfolding as to why she was in the school. Obviously it has been bombed but each time I thought I knew the answer the story revealed something else happened. This school was a place for girls to learn to read and write along with many other useful skills, and is the passion of Parvana and her mother. It is difficult being a women in Afghanistan and there are many forces suppressing their independence and safety.

I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed it very much. Although fiction, this story could be that of any number of girls living in this war torn country. Deborah Ellis has a beautiful way of allowing you to feel the emotion and frustration in the story. I felt I was walking in the shoes of Parvana and felt helpless to help her and her friends. A great YA novel.


by Josephine Pennicott   (STAFF)   (LWH)

Once I picked up this book and began reading I could not put it down. Full of intrigue, mystery, murder, fantasy, and a bit of romance thrown in. I read it in a day and loved every minute of it until the last chapter or so when it left me slightly disappointed. I thought I'd worked out the truth of who really killed Pearl, then changed my mind several times throughout the book, only to find out I got it wrong.

The story draws us in immediately when Sadie and her teenage daughter, Betty, have inherited her grandmother's cottage in Tasmania. This beautiful little cottage, Poet's Cottage, has always had writers living in it, and Sadie, who is also a writer, sets out to find out more about her grandmother Pearl's life, whilst living in this small village during the 1930's, and the truth behind her vicious murder, which she will make into a book. She uncovers facts about her grandmother she was not aware of and which are very different to how her mother portrays her. Pearl Tatlow, was an eccentric Children's book author who was very glamorous but lived a very risque life, which didn't please the town folk.

When Pearl was suddenly and viciously murdered, it sent the town spinning with rumours and the murderer was never found. Her two daughters, one being Sadie's mother, were in the yard playing when it happened. Saidies' aunt, Thomasina, unfortunately found her mother's body and said that a devil had killed her. This was because it was believed that Pearl kept a Tasmanian Devil in the cellar to scare the children.

The switch from present day to 1930's was intriguing, particularly as the house was said to now be haunted and Sadie and her daughter had experienced some unusual things going on within the house. They must decide if they should stay and uncover the truth or flee back to Sydney. Having just read Kate Morton's newest book The Secret Keeper it reminded me a little of that story however not quite as good. Having said that, I do recommend it and loved the setting as I've actually had holidays in that part of Tassie and loved it.


By Anthony Hill   (LWH)

This is a wonderful biography of one of our youngest soldiers, at age 15, to be imprisoned by the Japanese in some of their notorious prisons. The story begins with Billy growing up in Sydney and Tasmania, when at an early age he became an orphan. From surviving on little food and money and selling items at Paddy's market in Sydney he decided joining up would give him a job and enough money to make him happy. Little did he know that he would be sent to Singapore, captured, and spend most of his teenage years in prison, experiencing some of the worst conditions and treatment imaginable. He was sent to Changi prison and then to Sandakan in Borneo, then after escaping he was recaptured and sent to the notorious Outram Road prison in Singapore, where he spent much of the next two years in solitary confinement.

It is a chilling account of what Billy had to endure, during some of the worst human degradation possible, and his extraordinary will to survive, along with the importance of mateship and comradship. Billy Young had previously written about his life, but Anythony Hill has expanded and brought the story to life. It includes photos and paintings that Billy has painted himself depicting some of his memories of his time in prison. Apart from the torture that the men had to endure it was an inspirational story.


by Adrian Hyland   (LWH)

When I picked this book to read over the holidays I had no idea I would be reading it during a heat wave and extreme weather conditions, similar to that day in February 2009, which was the worst bushfire disaster in Australia's history. Terrible fires are engulfing Tasmania and threatening Victoria and NSW as I read this account by Adrian Hyland, who attempts to give an insight of the absolute terror that was forced on the Kinglake and surrounding districts during 'Black Saturday'. They weren't the only communities effected that day, as Bendigo and it's residents were also victims and suffered great loss.

This book focuses mainly on Sergeant Roger Wood's experience as he found himself in the middle of this unfolding disaster, not knowing if his own family were dead or alive. He, along with other Police and emergency services volunteers, helped to save many residents from death, in the most terrifying conditions known. They were real heroes. Accounts of others caught in this horror are also included and testimonies of some amazing escapes and, of course, some terrible tragedies of those caught in the fire storm. Along with the horror of their mountain being on fire there were many fatal road accidents to contend with, as people were frantically trying to escape death.

I learned a lot from this book and how volatile Australia is to this happening again. Hyland shares how we have disregarded Indigenous wisdom in caring for the land and their respect of fire. We have made our country one of the most dangerous countries to live in, with regard to inefficient back burns and forestry care, which has created the ferocity of fires we have seen and will continue to see.

This book certainly shakes you to the bones and if nothing else it should urge you to not be complacent with fire safety. Being prepared and staying to fight in normal fire conditions would be OK but when a fire storm creates it's own weather, including wind, hail and rain, and can jump 35km in minutes, then you need to get out early, as there is nothing you can do to protect yourself. How anyone survived is just amazing, a miracle really. We know that 173 people were not so fortunate.