Staff's Favourite Reads - April 2021

Our wonderful team are back with another round of reviews and recommendations for you – here’s what kept them engrossed throughout the month of April.

View March’s list here

Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass

Chosen by Jadine, Customer Experience Officer

This young adult mystery follows Maris as she is sent to spend her summer in a wealthy beach town with her estranged father and his new family. Very unenthusiastic about the prospect of watching her dad play perfect parent, she has very low expectations of the vacation. However, Maris ends up rescuing the mysterious Finn, who is revealed to be the boyfriend of her new step-sister and suddenly the summer takes an intriguing turn.

Happily and Madly feels partly like an easy summer read where you can enjoy illustrations of seafood, boat trips and forbidden romance, but it still keeps you engaged with secrets, lies and complicated relationships.

A Winning Betrayal by Louise Guy

Chosen by Janine, Customer Experience Officer

Imagine sharing a lotto prize pool of $10m – how would you react and how would you spend all that money? This is the predicament that Frankie and Shauna are faced with!

Shauna works for a PR company and had her ticket bought for her by her mother as an afterthought because she forgot her daughter’s birthday and now plans to sue Shauna as she believes she is entitled to half the winnings. Frankie is happily married to Tom and has two daughters. They have lived very frugally and such a huge amount of money is overwhelming for Frankie, especially as she bought her ticket with a $20 note she found on the footpath.

This was a believable and fascinating story about how money changes lives, sometimes not for the better. Written by Australian author, Louise Guy, who writes great fiction, and is available from our catalogue and in digital form.


The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Chosen by Sandra, Branch Manager

I loved this book. This is a debut novel for this young writer and it follows the story of a young Nigerian girl called Adunni and her search to have a “Louding Voice”. A Louding Voice seems to be one that is an  educated and determined voice. Adunni realises from a young age and from the determination of her mother, that an educated girl will be an independent girl. When her mother dies and she is sold off as a child bride by her traditional father, Adunni’s search for herself and her struggle for freedom and an education begins.

This book is in the first person and written in Adunni’s broken, uneducated English which gives it a beautiful naievete that is often heartfelt and funny. Despite the very grim circumstances Adunni endures, the book made me both cry and smile. Adunni will not be silenced.

The Loudness Of Unsaid Things by Hilde Hinton

Chosen by Sue, Team Leader

Heartbreaking, hopeful, challenging and awesome! The tragic story of a quirky little girl who feels guilty when she fails to save her dying mother. Left alone but not lonely, Susie has a vivid imagination and a heightened sense of responsibility. I hope Hilde’s life wasn’t really like this but I’m afraid it probably was.

For readers of Australian psychological fiction and also of interest to fans of Hilde’s younger brother, Samuel Johnson.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Chosen by Michael, Digital Marketing Officer

Despite its themes of suicide, depression and angst, A Long Way Down’s dark humour plays off these themes in a beautifully narrated way. Set on New Year’s Eve, four lost souls meet on the roof of the building they had all individually planned to jump off and connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line.

If you’ve read any Nick Hornby before, you’ll be familiar with his signature themes of good feeling clouded adequately in despair. This book paints pictures of several intriguing and unique characters, each looking for a reason to simply carry on and finding that in one another.