Today’s team review is from Jenny R
Jenny has been reading The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat
Review by Jenny Reeve
I give this book 4 stars
The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat
Set in Wollongong, Australia between 1972 and 2016.
Tanya, 11 years old and living with her parents and Nanna Purvis at Gumtree Cottage. The name of the cottage reminds me of a quiet and quaint cosy home, but Gumtree Cottage is far from that. There has been nothing but bad luck for Tanya and her family at this house. Bad luck that drives her mother insane and her father to booze.
The characters are all very unique and interesting. Tanya, ashamed of her weight and desperate for her mother and father to be ‘normal’ turns to her Uncle Blackie for the love and attention that she so badly needs. But he is ‘a bad man, a pervert’. This phrase keeps coming back to haunt Tanya throughout the book, words that were spoken by Nanna Purvis and Tanya’s best friend Angela. Tanya falls for Uncle Blackie’s soft words and grooming tactics from the start. Something deep down is telling her that this is not right, something is wrong. But how can he be a bad man? There is a twist at the end of the story that was totally unexpected.
Nanna Purvis grows on you. She is hard faced and stern, but soft in the middle. A character that has you disliking her at first, but like the sun hidden behind a cloud, she begins to slowly come out into the clear blue sky and shine. Her phrases are hilarious at times and had me laughing aloud.
The story for me was very good; I found it difficult to put my Kindle down. A real page-turner and a story that I would read again. This is a tale with mixed emotions throughout. I laughed, I cried and I was shocked. Everything required for a good read.
I felt uncomfortable a times reading the chapters that included child molestation. It was not overdone or anything like that, I simply felt ill at ease reading these parts. But, having said that, they were necessary for the story to unfold.
Liza Perrat writes with feeling and humour, each and every word written to draw the reader in.
All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.
Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.
Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.
Embracing the social changes of 1970s Australia, against a backdrop of native fauna and flora, The Silent Kookaburra is a haunting exploration of the blessings, curses and tyranny of memory.
Unsettling psychological suspense blending the intensity of Wally Lamb with the atmosphere of Peter James, this story will get under your skin.
About the author
Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII German Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third in the series, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.
The Silent Kookaburra, a dark psychological suspense novel set in 1970s Australia, was published in November, 2016.
Friends, Family and Other Strangers From Downunder is a collection of 14 humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia, for readers everywhere.
Liza is a co-founder and member of Triskele Books, an independent writers’ collective with a commitment to quality and a strong sense of place, and also reviews books for Bookmuse.