I’ve been reading some early arcs of late, hence the lack of reviews coming through the blog. I don’t usually read so far ahead of release but a couple of highly anticipated titles came through and I just couldn’t resist. I thought I’d share two here with you as they were both five star reads. I’ll have full reviews for each up on the blog here in line with release dates, but these are my initial thoughts.
The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock
Published by HQ Fiction AU
Released 7th July 2021
Meet Mercy Blain, whose house has just burnt down. Unfortunately for Mercy, this goes beyond the disaster it would be for most people: she hasn’t been outside that house for two years now.
Flung out into the world she’s been studiously ignoring, Mercy goes to the only place she can. Her not-quite-ex-husband Eugene’s house. But it turns out she can’t stay there, either.
And so begins Mercy’s unwilling journey. After the chance purchase of a cult classic campervan (read tiny, old and smelly), with the company of her sausage dog, Wasabi, and a mysterious box of cremated remains, Mercy heads north from Adelaide to Darwin.
On the road, through badly timed breakdowns, gregarious troupes of grey nomads, and run-ins with a rogue adversary, Mercy’s carefully constructed walls start crumbling. But what was Mercy hiding from in her house? And why is Eugene desperate to have her back in the city? They say you can’t run forever…
The Riviera House by Natasha Lester
Published by Hachette Australia
Released 1st September 2021
Paris, 1939: While working at the Louvre, Eliane Dufort falls for talented painter Xavier. But when the Nazis occupy the city, Xavier leaves for England and Eliane must send her sisters to the country. Broken-hearted, she finds herself working with the mysterious Rose Valland on a dangerous secret mission for the French Resistance: to record all the priceless national treasures the Germans are stealing.
Present Day: Desperate to escape her grief, Remy Lang arrives at a stunning private estate on the French Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalogue of artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall in Sydney. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?
Lush, engrossing and deeply moving, this is the story of the brave women who worked against the Nazis, told by the international bestselling author of The Paris Secret and The French Photographer.