Amanda Ryan

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Smashwords book reviews by Amanda Ryan

  • Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope on Oct. 18, 2013

    After reading a great but horrific novel about a backpacker, a crazy and a crocodile in the Outback of Australia's Northern Territory, I have been looking around for other books to read to give me more insight into this place. I have now discovered this one, it is a real life story about a family which lives and grows in an aboriginal community in Arnhem Land, with the central character moving from childhood to an adult and working across the NT. The story is told both through the eyes of the father in the family and the son, and this works well. It is a moving story about the way this place has developed, the joy and pain of aboriginal development and the commitment made by various people. It also gives much information about other parts of the NT and life on cattle and buffalo stations It is also full of interesting little stories and anecdotes, including a real life crocodile attack which the main character is incredibly lucky to survive. The only fault is it could do with a little more editing to trim it a bit in some places, but this is a minor fault. Well worth a read if you want to know more about this part of Australia. And if you want to read the novel I have just read its link is https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364141 There are some interesting parallels between the two stories. Could they be connected? (reviewed within a month of purchase)
  • The Old Balmain House on Nov. 10, 2013

    I loved this book.It is one of those books that is both beautiful and sad at the same time, so poignant and moving as the story comes together. It will live in my mind as one of the loveliest books I have read this year. A simple family story and yet with much more besides. I really encourage others to read and keep reading. The second half of this story is wonderful
  • Lizzie's Tale on Dec. 19, 2013

    I have recently discovered this author and like his work so much. This book maintains the great standard, though it will no doubt go through some more editing to polish more. But for something that was only written in November I think it is great. The only thing I suggest is that if you have not read The Old Balmain House yet, which is the first book in this series, then do so. While the story stands alone it is improved further after reading this book
  • Just Visiting on Jan. 20, 2014

    I have just re-read this book for the second time and think it is great. It seems to capture the Northern Territory with great authenticity. No surprise after reading the author's own memoir. But it is also a really good story about how something which begins as love turns to horror and yet some of the love remains. The characters are such a mix of the good and the bad which is in us all.
  • The Diary on March 12, 2014

    I just love this author and this story. As a first draft there is clearly lots of room for improvement and tidying up with editing but the basic story has got me in, and the character of Susan as a person trapped by circumstances and logical but bad decisions is gripping. Her increasing social isolation and mental deterioration is an angle I had not thought of with such a bright and bubbly character in Book 1. My only suggestion is that a bit more work is needed on the logical consistency and flow of the story from Just Visiting to this book
  • The Empty Place on June 03, 2014

    yet another wonderful book from my new favourite author. I only downloaded yesterday and stayed up late into the night reading. A great story, well worth getting. Now I want the next book to be written