2018 – little gods – jenny ackland

Have you ever wanted to adopt a character from a book? The thought never occurred to me until I read Jenny Ackland’s latest novel, Little Gods. Once you’ve met twelve-year-old Olive Lovelock, the novel’s narrator, you might just feel the same way.

But too bad. She’s all mine.

I was lucky enough to review Little Gods over at Newtown Review of Books last month. Here’s a little of what I had to say:

Jenny Ackland’s first novel, The Secret Son, was a tale of men and war and Australia that sprawled across generations and continents. In contrast, Little Gods takes place on a smaller scale. But don’t let this quiet novel catch you unprepared: Little Gods might just crush your heart.

…Don’t say I didn’t warn you, okay? Click here to take a look at the rest of my review.

As always, my thanks to Jean and Linda for publishing my thoughts and generally putting up with me.

2015 – the secret son – jenny ackland

The_Secret_Son

One moonless night a few of them snuck down to the beach.

‘Come and see,’ a young farmer from Shepparton said. ‘There’s sparks in the water.’

The phosphorescence surrounded them, silver flecks of light that surged and streamed and made James and the others boyish in the night. They lost themselves in the fire-lit water, floating and dipping and splashing, holding up hands to watch the light slip off their blackened fingertips. As long as James lived he would never forget the night the sea was silvered with the white sparks. Then a bullet slapped the water and they crept back to the trenches. Before he tried to sleep in his earth-bed, James saw a shooting star and formalised the wish he’d carried with him from home: to stay alive and kill no man.

My review of Jenny Ackland’s debut novel, The Secret Son, is featured over at Newtown Review of Books today. If you’ve got a moment, why not make your way over to NRB and have a read?