Every month we’ll be profiling a local author and their recommended reading list, and first up is acclaimed local Young Adult writer Christine Bongers. Read on to hear all about the books she’s been rushing home to read over Christmas.
My tottering to-read pile is structurally sounder after two sun-soaked weeks at the beach. For your reading pleasure, here are some of the favourites I’ve recommended lately.
Crime aficionados please embed the name Candice Fox into your memory banks. The Australian author’s debut novel Hades is a knockout from its dark atmospheric opening in a Sydney underworld dump to its shocking climax twenty years later. If you think crime fiction couldn’t get much better, read Fox’s follow-up Eden. Then treat yourself to Fall, her newly released third in the series. It’s top of my to-read pile for 2016.
For the literary lover, Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins is a tour-de-force companion piece to her previous novel Life After Life. It tells Teddy’s story – from favoured son and would-be poet, to RAF bomber pilot, husband, father and grandfather. Exquisitely written with a fine ironical eye and loads of heart, it repeatedly reduced me to tears with harrowing setups and deft pay-offs I never saw coming. Another masterful work from one of my favourite writers.
Cloudwish by Fiona Wood is a wonderful young adult novel that references Jane Eyre, a book that has stayed close to my heart for a lifetime. I first read it as a twelve-year-old growing up with six brothers in the bush, and was captivated by Jane’s struggle to survive and thrive in a time that treated girls without family, fortune or looks with great harshness. So of course I was drawn to Fiona Wood’s Vietnamese-Australian heroine Vân Uoc Phan, a scholarship girl at prestigious Crowthorn Grammar, who solves life’s problems by asking ‘What would Jane do?’ An inspirational story, with an ending that gave wings to my heart.