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Staff's Favourite Reads - January 2021

Our wonderful CCL team have put together a list of the books they just haven’t been able to put down at the start of this year.

The Hidden by Mary Chamberlain

Chosen by Jenny Bremner, Customer Experience Officer

A story about the German occupation of the Channel Islands in WW2 and is set in Jersey. It centres around 3 elderly people Dora, Joe and Geoffrey whose peaceful retirement is shattered by the arrival of a young German girl who comes to find out about a mystery woman whose photograph she finds amongst her mother’s possessions. The shocking truths about what each had to do to survive under the German occupation are as shocking as they are heart wrenching.

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland

Chosen by Sue Walters, Team Leader

I recently enjoyed The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland. Shirley rescues her husband Frank from the nursing home and takes him on an adventure back to their hometown of Geelong. Their road trip is interspersed with memories from their long life together with glimpses into the pain of losing your partner to dementia. A heart-warming story about a clever little old lady and her journey from innocence to empowerment.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Chosen by Janine Kimberley, Customer Experience Officer

Firefly Lane spans more than three decades and plays out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women Tully and Kate and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

American author Kristin Hannah has been on my radar for a while now as I have heard good things about her writing and I was not disappointed.   This book had me reading into the early hours of the morning and I laughed and cried my way through, I immediately went on to read the sequel – ‘Fly Away’  while the characters were fresh in my mind and I do recommend you do the same as it continues their story to a very satisfying conclusion.

I am so looking forward to watching the Netflix adaptation of this book which begins in February. Another of her books – The Nightingale, has also been made into a film which will be coming out at the end of 2021 – a historical fiction novel set in France in 1939 – a very different book to Firefly Lane, so will definitely be reading more of this author’s books. Highly recommended for readers of contemporary women’s fiction.

The Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Chosen by Jess Topham, Customer Experience Officer

The Ash Princess is not your typical young adult fantasy novel filled with glorious battles; Ash Princess is all about the battle of the minds, with a little bit of action thrown in. Theo is a strong character, and though she does make some questionable decisions throughout the story (what main character doesn’t?), her determination makes for a very interesting story. I will say that some of the character development, lore explanations and plot lines do fall just a tad short, but the overall outcome makes up for it. A great first book for the trilogy and the world Laura Sebastion has created.

Phryne Fisher Murder Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood

Chosen by Courtney Rushton, Branch Manager

I have started the year getting into the Phryne Fisher murder mystery books by Kerry Greenwood. I know, I’m a bit late to the game – they’ve been out for a while – but so many books, so little time!  I love that these books are set in Melbourne and its surrounds (places I know and have been) and while I am not a reader of historical fiction (like, ever!) I am enjoying the education these books are giving me on 1920s Australia. The books are not too long, so I enjoy that I can devour them in a day or two but they are still cleverly plotted and I find myself as immersed in the mystery as Phryne is, although I’m not the great detective she is as I rarely guess the killer!  Great plots, great characters, great books!