This year, once again, I have completed the Miles Franklin level of the AWW2017 meaning that I have read 10 books, (actually 11), by Australian women writers and reviewed 6 of them. Listed below is the list of wonderful books that I have had the pleasure of reading this year…it’s been very satisfying and a lot of fun to have a reading challenge such as this, as it continually reinforces the fact of how lucky we are to have such a wealth of talented female authors. I am looking forward to signing up again next year!
- The bird man’s wife by Melissa Ashley (reviewed)
- Between a wolf and a dog by Georgia Blain (reviewed)
- The crying place by Lia Hills
- Leap by Myfanwy Jones (reviewed)
- My life as a hashtag by Gabrielle Williams
- Half wild by Pip Smith (reviewed)
- Portable curiosities by Julie Koh (reviewed)
- Extinctions by Josephine Wilson
- Force of nature by Jane Harper (reviewed)
- Five bells by Gail Jones
- The world without us by Mireille Juchau
This is the second novel by the exciting new Australian novelist, Jane Harper. Harper again features the character of Detective Aaron Faulk who was central to the story of “The Dry”, which was a hit with bookclubs and all readers in 2016.
This story is based on a group of work colleagues, who are sent on a workplace teambuilding hiking adventure. The team is divided into two groups, with the male members heading off on one route, and the five females heading off on another route. The plan is to meet back at the starting place after two nights out in the bush. The men make it back in plenty of time, but after a long delay, only four women return.
Like her last novel, Jane Harper builds the tension of the mystery disappearance gradually. The reader knows that one of the hikers will not make it back, but it is quite sometime into the story until we know who has actually disappeared. Leading up to this point in the story, and through the various interactions of the different characters, we learn of their different relationships and the numerous tensions that already exist amongst them. I certainly spent a great deal of my reading time in a state of suspense, wondering what was going to happen and to whom!
When the unfortunate event occurs it is both unexpected, but also unsurprising. The relationships between the various characters have been built up in such a way that the reader comes to various conclusions as to who might be at fault. It is only through the careful investigation by Detective Faulk and his colleague that the full story and chain of events is revealed.
This novel, much like “The Dry”, is a guaranteed good read for most readers, so if you are still wondering what to get for the “hard to buy for” person on your Christmas list, “The Force of Nature” will solve that problem.