on Sep. 25, 2014 :
‘Six Weeks in Summer’, written by Helen Meikle has a strong voice.
The protagonist, Meg Cornwell, a freshly widowed, isolated woman, pulled at my heart- strings. A woman who had been overshadowed by her husband and his family, gradually begins to find herself and blossoms, as she discovers her strengths and shakes off the past.
Meikle captivates her audience, drawing them into a group of disparate characters. These lives very soon become entangled and there I, too, felt part of this coterie, and not wanting the story to finish.
The bullying antagonists are duly dealt with in an inventive way, bringing joy and warmth to the fragility of those broken lives.
For those of you who have enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith’s tales of Scotland, here is an Australian story that is equally charming.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Sep. 2, 2014 :
Much as Alexander McCall Smith is evokes Edinburgh in his 44 Scotland Street series or Botswana in his No. One Ladies Detective series, Helen Meikle brings Sydney to life in this charming tale of starting over. As a matter of fact, she even brings a house to life, in a way. We meet the house and the central character, Meg, right after her husband dies in hospital. Floundering a bit, Meg returns to the house, the ancestral home of her husband, which has always been a slightly menacing presence in her life, there to face life alone as a widow. Lurking in the shadows is Monica, her long-dead mother-in-law, who never approved of Meg and surely now, ghostly presence that she is, still doesn't. Add to that the presence of a sister-in-law who feels certain there can be no earthly reason for Meg remaining in the house especially when her own son, the dastardly Adam, would benefit so much more from it. And that sets the stage for how Meg, lovely, sensitive, and kind, gathers her wits, her courage, and a motley crew of lost souls under her wing and begins anew. Meikle gives you, the reader, the ultimate luxury of abandoning yourself to the story never to be jolted back into realizing you're reading by ridiculous dialogue or plotting. This is a feel-good novel but not a sappy, schmaltzy one. Real people, all carrying some sad burden, come together to form a family unit and overcome the sometimes cruel and wanton blows of life. And, of course, there is the charming Rupert. I can't wait to read a sequel.
(review of free book)
Christine J Randall
on Aug. 29, 2014 :
This delightful story from Helen Meikle is told from an omniscient point of view, and is set in the Sydney area. The author's voice reflects her Australian background, and her well written words evoked many images from my life.
At first, I found the view-point disconcerting, but that eased once I realised it was the writing style - not accidental head hopping.
This is the first time I've read a digital novel. I became so engrossed in the story, that I didn't notice the page numbers whipping by (106 pdf pages on my laptop) and it seemed to end suddenly. I wanted more!
In my honest opinion, any book which reduces me to tears is a good book. I have no hesitation recommending it to you. I would happily pay for any future novels by Helen Meikle. I would pay for this one.
(review of free book)