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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bits and Pieces.

 Some photos from my trip to the Northern Territory and about which I'm currently writing a book.

 A cockatiel sitting on a magnificent carved wooden eagle in a bar on one of the numerous truck stops on the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Katherine.


Mum and Harold soak their feet and others relax in the warm springs at Katherine.  When returning to our coach, we saw a sign warning that crocodiles sometimes inhabit the springs!

The nest of a brown bower bird with the white objects he's collected and arranged outside to attract a mate.  If she turns her nose up at this, he will rearrange them over and over again and add to the collection until she likes it and agrees to be his lady love.

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Well, as now doubt you've seen from the statuses I and others have put on Facebook, there has been the mother of all tropical cyclones hit Far North Queensland over the last few days.  Although a lot of damage was done and heavy rain is still falling, no one has been killed or seriously injured. Mind you, people in the Far North are a savvy lot and have seen it all before so they're always ready.

It's raining here on the Gold Coast now and on looking at the satellite map, the cloud from Cyclone Ita stretches quite a long way inland and as far down as northern New South Wales.  I hope our poor farmers out west, who have suffered shockingly from drought conditions, get some of this much needed rain.  Ita is still a category 1 and is heading south although appears to be going back out to sea.  I hope she keeps going in that direction and doesn't decide to come back in and hit us folks further south.  

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As you have also probably seen on my FB status and in the link on the right hand side of my blog page, the writing group I belong to, North Gold Coast Active Writers, has released their 2013 anthology on Amazon both in hard copy and for Kindle.  Paw Prints on Our Hearts (click on this link ) contains beautiful stories of animals...true, mythical, magical and humorous.  If you want a copy for your Kindle, it's presently being offered free but for 48 hours only.  We're generous people here on the Gold Coast!

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Book Review.

The Grass Castle by Karen Viggers (Allen & Unwin 2014)

Set in the Brindabella Range and high country of the border between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, this book tells the story of Abby, a country girl and a loner.  She is an ecological science student at university and spends a lot of her time in the ranges studying and tracking kangaroos.

Abby finds it hard to commit to relationships due to horrific trauma when she was younger and which she has locked away in her subconscious.  Until the journalist, Cameron Barlow, tries to breach her defences.  

Abby makes a friend of Daphne, an elderly lady, who reminds Abby of her grandmother, and who has her own story to tell, which eventually becomes the catalyst for helping Abby come to terms with the past.

I found this book extremely satisfying for a number of reasons.  Ms Viggers' descriptive narrative puts the reader right in the picture without being too wordy and overlong.  Her prose is beautiful and evokes the senses of the reader so they become completely caught up in Abby and her story, without it becoming overly sentimental.  The author's vivid descriptions of the Australian bush are captivating as is her story of the Indigenous people, whose country this is.

A beautifully written book and one of the few I virtually inhaled in almost one complete reading, to the detriment of everything else! 

Rating:  *****


  1. I've read about this book you've reviewed, I will just have to grab myself a copy and read it.

    It's showering lightly up here on the hill as I write.

    1. I think you'll enjoy it, Lee. I've also read another book of Karen Viggers'...The Lightkeeper's Wife...another good read.

  2. I've heard of that one, too...but not read it. A visit to my local library might be in order! Perhaps for an Easter read or two....

  3. Well, I haven't heard of the book...nor the Lightkeeper's Wife.
    But, I must say I like the bird on the wooden carving!!

  4. Karen Viggers is an Australian author, Anni, so perhaps the books aren't sold in the US. Cockatiels (quarrions) are native to Australia and common in the bush.


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