Athenaeum Book Review |


This week there are many brand new books being put into the Library so we hope you will enjoy them.

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith will delight those who have loved the many books in this series, not to mention the wonderful television series that has now sadly concluded, but is sure to make another appearance soon. In this new book, Mma Makutsi’s wedding is imminent and of course, lots of small problems happen as well as an important cattle case which keeps Mma Ramotswe busy. All the special ingredients of the series are here…bush tea, kindness and intuition. I truly believe that if you haven’t read any of these books you should start at the beginning of the series because the characters develop and become old friends.

There Should Be More Dancing by Rosalie Ham is on the list for the Maldon Book Club and is described as ‘a darkly humorous portrait of family life and quiet grudges along a suburban street.’ Ham wrote The Dressmaker, also in the Athenaeum and well read by many. Her ability to make readers empathise with her characters, to pose the question as to whether lives have been lived to the fullest and what can be achieved in the future is an important aspect of her works.

Dancing With Strangers by Inga Clendinnen is another request from a member and gives an intriguing slant to the story of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and the relations with the people who had been living in the country for centuries. This is a scholarly, historical work which will be enjoyed by those who are interested in the earliest times of European settlement in Australia.

The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare by Robert Winder, another request purchase, is set in London in 1613 when Elizabeth’s reign has finished and the terror and uncertainty of James 1 had everyone frightened and uncertain as to the future. In this novel, Shakespeare is ordered out of retirement to write another play. He writes a searing attack on the monarchy and so of course the play is never performed publicly. A fascinating idea for a book.

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin was also requested by a member, but I’d just bought it as I knew it would be popular with detective/thriller readers. Rankin is a great writer and all his books are gripping tales of adventure. This book has everything from family problems to international turmoil, crisis and seemingly never ending murders. 

The Graveyard Position by Robert Barnard is a very satisfying mystery with lots of twists, turns and tensions. Barnard is a masterful writer and his many books are always popular. This one uses the old theme of a reappearing relation at a funeral and thus the age old story of sorting out inheritance problems and the ensuing complications and suspicions.

Enjoy your reading. 

Joy Leneaux-Gale.     


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