Literary Giveaway Blog Hop


Thanks to the wonderful people at Allen and Unwin, I have 5 uncorrected proof copies of Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper to give away. For those of you who don’t know, Kate Morton is a young Australian writer. Her novels are family sagas which span decades and often involve a long held mystery or secret. The Secret Keeper is her fourth novel.

To win, comment and leave an email address, telling me: How good are you at keeping secrets? This giveaway will close on Wednesday 31st October, and I will pick 5 winners by Friday 2nd November.  If you’d like to follow my blog that would be great, however it is not compulsory. Good luck everyone, and very happy reading!

This Blog Hop is being organised by Leeswammes. You can visit her blog at Below is a list of the 50 participating blogs. Enjoy!

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read in a Single Sitting
  3. Ephemeral Digest
  4. My Devotional Thoughts
  5. Devouring Texts
  6. Tony’s Reading List
  7. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  8. Too Fond
  9. The Parrish Lantern
  10. Kristi Loves Books
  11. The Book Club Blog
  12. Sam Still Reading
  13. Silver’s Reviews (USA)
  14. Bibliosue
  15. Heavenali
  16. Under My Apple Tree
  17. Misfortune of Knowing (North America)
  18. Lena Sledge’s Blog
  19. Lost Generation Reader
  20. Seaside Book Nook
  21. The Relentless Reader
  22. Rikki’s Teleidoscope
  23. Monique Morgan
  24. That READioactive Book Blog
  25. kaggsysbookisahramblings
  26. Ragdoll Books Blog
  27. Kate’s Library
  28. The Book Garden
  29. Uniflame Creates
  30. Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
  1. Ciska’s Book Chest
  2. The Book Divas Reads
  3. Alex in Leeds
  4. Simple Clockwork
  5. Bluestalking (USA)
  6. Fresh Ink Books
  7. Sweeping Me
  8. Giraffe Days
  9. Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book (USA)
  10. Books Thoughts Adventures (USA)
  11. emmalikestoread
  12. Colorimetry
  13. Page Plucker
  14. Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity
  15. 2606 Books and Counting
  16. Book Nympho
  17. She-Wolf Reads
  18. The Little Reader Library (Europe)
  19. Booklover Book Reviews
  20. Dolce Bellezza

The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper

Author: Kate Morton

Publisher: Allen and Unwin


RRP: $35

Category: Fiction


When Laurel Nicolson was sixteen years old, she witnessed her mother Dorothy commit a shocking crime. Now some fifty years later Dorothy is dying, and Laurel is determined to uncover the truth about what really happened on that fateful day. Gradually, as if piecing together a complicated jigsaw puzzle, Laurel begins to learn more about her Mother and her secretive past. At the beginning of the book I thought it was going to be Laurel’s story we would discover and that she was the secret keeper of the title. It soon became apparent though, that the biggest secrets lay with Dorothy and that this is her story.

With a taste for the dramatic, Dorothy left home at an early age and began working for Lady Gwendolyn Caldicott in London. Her boyfriend, Jimmy Metcalfe, is also working in London as a war photographer, and they plan to get married as soon as Jimmy has saved enough money. During her time with Lady Caldicott, Dorothy meets Vivien Jenkins, the wealthy wife of the novelist Henry Jenkins. Dorothy believes that she and Vivien are friends, but when Vivien claims not to know Dorothy at all, Dorothy is mortified. She hatches a plan to teach Vivien a lesson, begging Jimmy to help her. The plan goes wrong though, and when Henry becomes suspicious, disaster looms.

To say any more would be to ruin the suspense. Suffice to say that Kate Morton is a master of tension-building, unfolding the story layer by layer until the final dramatic conclusion. Her books twist and turn like a labyrinth, making them utterly compelling and totally addictive.

Alternating between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a book about life-long secrets, memory, family and second chances. Anyone who loved Ian McEwen’s Atonement or Morton’sfirst book The Shifting Fog will love this book.





Year of the Novel

So in very exciting news, I have been asked to edit two extracts of novels written for the Year of the Novel course at the  New South Wales Writers Centre. The students are compiling an anthology of their work which will be launched at the Writers Centre on Tuesday 27th November. I will be working with two young Australian writers, Sheila Pham and Julie Janson. Sheila’s novel is about a Vietnamese refugee family newly settled in Australia. Sheila has already published a play called Hearing Voices, and last month it was performed as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. Julie’s novel tells the story of Amy, a young part-Aboriginal, single mother who travels to the Northern Territory to take up a teaching position.  I am super excited about this opportunity and I’m loving what I’ve read so far.

The Classics Club

5o Classic Books to Read in Five Years.

I have decided to join the people over at The Classics Club and have pledged to read 50 classic books in five years. This seemed like a wonderful incentive to encourage me to read more of the classics. Once finished reading a book I will post a review on my blog. Here’s my list which I am very excited about, and I think is rather eclectic:

  1. Emma – Jane Austen *
  2. Persuasion – Jane Austen *
  3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen *
  4. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen *
  5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Bronte
  6. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte *
  7. Villete – Charlotte Bronte
  8. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler *
  9. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  10. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  11. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  12. Middlemarch – George Elliot
  13. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  14. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  15. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  16. A Passage to India – E.M. Forster *
  17. Howard’s End – E.M. Forster
  18. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
  19. The Princess Bride – William Goldman
  20. The Quiet American – Graham Greene
  21. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  22. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
  23. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  24. Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  25. The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
  26. Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally    read my review here
  27. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  28. One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest – Ken Kessey
  29. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  30. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
  31. The Painted Veil – Somerset  Maugham
  32. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  33. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
  34. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  35. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  36. The Harp in the South– Ruth Park
  37. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  38. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  39. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
  40. Heidi – Johanna Spyri
  41. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  42. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  43. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein *
  44. A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
  45. Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  46. Around the World in Eighty Days Jules Verne read my review here
  47. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  48. Scoop – Evelyn  Waugh
  49. The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
  50. Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss

*Denotes a book which I am re-reading.

Challenge Start Date:

8th October 2012

Challenge Finish Date:

8th October 2017

Whew, that’s alot of books! Wish me luck – I think I’m going to need it!