Cate Kennedy's memoir has been on my to read list for ages.
I haven't read a travel journal or travel memoir before so this was a new one for me. Cate brings us into her world working as a volunteer in Mexico for three years.
Usually you think a memoir as someone telling you about themselves, yet in this memoir Cate focuses her lens on Mexico and she becomes the conduit through which we learn about this amazing country and its generous people.
She shares how her experiences shaped and influenced her and what we have to learn from countries and people that we view as impoverished. In the end we have to wonder which people are the truly impoverished. Whilst we might have the material goods, there is a lot we lack such a generosity of spirit.
While I was completing my pilgrimage of Cate I found out she co-edited an anthology and had to read that. In this anthology midwives share their tales of birth. The stories shared are from war zone, third world countries, and hospitals in the suburbs.
This is a really valuable book for any woman, but especially those looking for resources as they prepare for their own birth.
By reading about other women's experiences you can prepare for your own, and most importantly learn about the reality of birth. That there are no guarantees, that you cannot predict anything, and you just have to surrender and hope for the best.
This is Cate's latest short story collection with most of the stories featured having been been published previously.
I love reading short stories by dipping into them over time and that's what I did with this collection.
My favourite is probably Seventy-Two Derwents told from the point of view of a child. There is such a sense of menace and tension in this story and I was entranced by the ending.
The second book in the Montmaray Journals trilogy sees Sophie and her ragtag family living in London in the lead up to World War II.
There is intrigue, high society, coming out and potential love interests.
Cooper examines the political events leading to World War II and captures a snapshot of the times.
The third book in the Montmaray Journals trilogy is set during World War II. I absolutely love reading books set during World War I and II (does that make me weird).
This was probably my favourite book of the series. Cooper has meticulously brought to life the reality of living in London during the Nazi bombings.
I can see this book being a real gem in the classroom and getting students to learn about history by living it through Sophie's eyes.
I've loved this whole series and it has been an absolute pleasure reading all of the books, as attested by the fact that I inhaled all three books in a couple of months.
The Fine Colour of Rust by Paddy O'Reilly writing as P.A. O'Reilly was a real gem. I absolutely loved the dry humour and observations of the main character Loretta Baskovic.
This was a story with real heart and some laugh out loud moments. Paddy beautifully captured the quirky characters of a small country town with authenticity.
Even though this is a light-hearted read, there is real depth to the story she tells and Loretta's journey.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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