7 - 11 February
Next of Kin
(Rhiza Press, May 2015)
About the Book:
Fanny Franks was raised to believe in honesty, equality and acceptance, regardless of background or circumstances. When she meets brothers Jack and Jim, she is drawm to them by the alienation and injustice which seems to pervade their lives. She is determined to intervene and help them find happiness, until a trauma in her own life brings discrimination and shame for which she is ill prepared. While she deals with her own struggle she comes to understand what Jim and Jack are going through - and they find where they truly belong.
About the Author
Carol lives in Wollongong with her husband, Neil. She is a psychologist and has a part time private counselling practice, as well as being an author and speaker. Carol enjoys spending time with her children and four grandchildren, as well as bushwalking, gardening and holidaying overseas with her husband. One of her hobbies over many years has been family history research.
It was this research which started Carol on the journey of writing novels. Her first trilogy is about the Oakes Family; Suzannah’s Gold, Rebecca’s Dream and The Price of Peace, which takes the reader from 1838 when her great great grandmother, Suzannah Casey was transported from Ireland, through to the end of the First World War. Carol’s fourth novel, The Face of Forgiveness, is about two young women who are transported to Australia in 1839.
Carol has also written the Turning the Tide Series, based on her mother’s family, which begins with the First Fleet of convicts to Australia in 1788. These include Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets, and Truly Free. Next of Kin is her ninth novel. For more information about Carol’s books and her other interests she can be contacted on her website: www.carolpreston.com.au, on her Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/
or her Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/
This is an interesting, Australian historical read. It took me a little while to get into it but then the further into this story I moved, the more I enjoyed it. It tells the story of Fanny Franks who is accepting of others regardless of where they are from. She works for Hans and Marlena Giese. It is at their European Hotel where she meets their nephews, Jim and Jack. Jim and Jack, after a troubled childhood thanks to their mother’s second marriage, have virtually cut off all dealing with their mother. This is a book about relationships and the things that can affect them either directly or indirectly. It also deals with issues like forgiveness, the differences between cultures and prejudice both racial and religious.
I really liked the strong, determined and, at times, outspoken character of Fanny, although I struggled from beginning to end with the name. Somehow to me it just didn’t suit the character. But that could be because I have an aversion to the name. Marlena Giese is a lovely warm character and I liked the contrast in personality, behaviour and approach of the two nephews. There is a violent incident in the story, but it is not graphically described. I found this an enjoyable read that gives good glimpses into Australia’s landscape, attitudes, history and heritage.