Before we go on, let’s ignite our wanderlust by watching this video showing the beautiful sights of Australia:
Remember this post about me joining the 2014 Aussie Author Challenge hosted by Joanne at Booklover Book Reviews? Well I think it would be a great idea to start this feature with books set in Australia.
I have not read many books set in Australia. The first book I read that has Australia as a setting is Walkabout by James Vance Marshall. When it comes to books written by Australian authors, one of my favorite books of all time is Mark Zusak’s The Book Thief. Graeme Simsion is a New Zealand-born Australian author that most of you would be familiar with. The Rosie Project, anyone? *Gives high fives* Which reminds me, I should write a review about that book soon.
If there’s one place I’d really like to visit in Australia, it would be the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve seen it in pictures countless times and I’m absolutely enthralled by the promise of adventure and discovery.
Of course, it’s no secret that Australia is known for its beautiful beaches.
Okay, so on with the books...
Two of the books I mentioned here are set in Queensland, Australia. To awaken that wanderlust in all of us, here are pictures that will make you want to go there right now.
Thornwood House by Anna Romer
When Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland, she jumps at the chance to escape her loveless existence in the city and make a fresh start. In a dusty back room of the old house, she discovers the crumbling photo of a handsome World War Two medic – Samuel Riordan, the homestead’s former occupant – and soon finds herself becoming obsessed with him. But as Audrey digs deeper into Samuel’s story, she discovers he was accused of bashing to death a young woman on his return from the war in 1946. When she learns about other unexplained deaths in recent years – one of them a young woman with injuries echoing those of the first victim – she begins to suspect that the killer is still very much alive. And now Audrey, thanks to her need to uncover the past, has provided him with good reason to want to kill again. (Goodreads)
Eyrie by Tim Winton
Eyrie tells the story of Tom Keely, a man who’s lost his bearings in middle age and is now holed up in a flat at the top of a grim highrise, looking down on the world he’s fallen out of love with. He’s cut himself off, until one day he runs into some neighbours: a woman he used to know when they were kids, and her introverted young boy. The encounter shakes him up in a way he doesn’t understand. Despite himself, Keely lets them in. What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting – populated by unforgettable characters. It asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing. (Goodreads)
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, , she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over. (Goodreads)
Mateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany
On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed. Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life — to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be. (Goodreads)
Elianne by Judy Nunn
In the tough world of Queensland sugar mills, it’s not only cane that is crushed … In 1881 ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier of fortune and profiteer, ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great sugar mills of the Southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress, a cane-consuming monster and home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its masters, the Durham Family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest and most inflammatory of times, the 1960s. For Kate Durham and her brothers Neil and Alan, freedom is the catchword of the decade.Young Australians leap to the barricades of the social revolution. Rock ‘n’ roll, the Pill, the Vietnam War, the rise of Feminism, Asian immigration and the Freedom Ride join forces to rattle the chains of traditional values. The workers leave the great sugar estates as mechanisation lessens the need for labour. And the Durham family, its secrets exposed, begins its fall from grace. (Goodreads)
Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post, or any book set in Australia? Or are you a proud Australian blogger? Let me know in the comments! :)
You can read more about the Armchair Travels Feature here. Suggestions welcome :)