‘A Passage of Love’ by Alex Miller


Genre: Autobiographical Fiction 

This is my current read and my first Alex Miller. During my time at the bookstore I never got around to reading any of Miller’s books because I felt that if everyone else was reading him….I should read something else.

For those who are unfamiliar with this author Alex Miller is a well-known Australian author who has won the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award twice as well as many other writing awards for his works. Some of his works include ‘The Ancestor Game’ and ‘Journey to the Stone Country’.

His latest work ‘A Passage of Love’ is based on his own life, specifically his first marriage in his twenties when he worked as a stockman in Victoria and was desperately working to become a writing.

The story  that starts in the 1950s when Robert Croft arrives in Melbourne with the ambition to become a writer. While working a stockman in far North Queensland Robert meets the beautiful, well-educated and rich Lena. To Lena, this man is handsome and comes from an exotic world far beyond anything she’s ever experienced. Soon the strains of a deeply troubled relationship begin to surface- Robert’s obsession with becoming a writer and Lena’s desperation to leave the confides of strict middle-class upbringing. It describes itself as a story of ‘the dread and bliss of youthful love’

It’s a period of incredible loneliness and sadness despite this intense love because Lena studies in Melbourne and Robert works on a farm. Lena’s struggle was much harder because she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life but that first year had a sense of liberty and freedom that can rarely ever been experienced i.e. the life the of a writer.

Immediately I can feel the refined eloquence of the writing but it could do with a bit more editing. This very common with award winning authors- as the years progress the books get thicker as the expectations start to arise so cutting and slimming down doesn’t seem to be a priority- that’s what I noticed through my years at the bookstore.

Miller describes himself as being very vulnerable with writing this book but by being honest and by describing what they’re doing and what sort of people they are. He’s been working on this novel for 20 years.

The book’s described as autobiographical fiction, a phrase first coined by Virginia Woolfe with ‘To the Lighthouse’.

It’s a story that explores the concepts of masculinity, marriage and trust and though I’m not yet halfway through I’m fascinated to see where the story takes me- albeit as someone in their early twenties it makes me question getting married anytime soon…

If you’ve read this or something similar I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Vanessa x





Books on my Beside Table


University break is upon us! It’s a time to catch up on study and clock up some much needed sleep. For me, it’s also brings the air of freedom to read what I want.

The air is warm and breezy here in Sydney at the moment….i.e. my absolute favourite time of year because it means Summer is coming which means Christmas is just around the corner!

So this morning I donned some summer slacks and made a pile of books I’ve been meaning to read but just haven’t got around to it. Books that have no obligations attached to them- just pure enjoyment.

What made the cut: 

New York by Edward Rutherford 

Diamond Sky by Annie Seaton 

I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith 

Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw 


What’s on your To Be Read pile?

If you’ve read any of these books I’d love to hear what you thought?

If anyone needs me I’ll be curled up on the couch drinking too much coffee


‘Koala Bare’ by Jackie French Illustrated by Matt Shanks

Genre: Picture Book


Jackie French. She is synonymous with my childhood bedtime stories (specifically Diary of a Wombat) and she’s written dozens and dozens since and her latest ‘Koala Bare’ continues her Aussie theme Jackie is legendary for.



A grumpy koala. Need I say more? What I will say is that can never sound more like a tourist by saying ‘koala bear’. The character reminds me of me when I was little, my mother likes to say, as the youngest of 5, I ‘ruled the house with an iron fist’ and so does this fella.

Super cute, you can’t go wrong (:



‘Danny da Vinci- The Secret of the Mona Lisa’ by Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley


Genre: Picture Book

A new venture for me, reviewing a picture book (although I don’t know why it’s taken me so long…I collect picture books!) This is another in the Danny da Vinci series with Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley


Anyway, this is a new on from Harper Collins and another work by Rosie Smith, author of some well known kids books like ‘Can’t Jump’ and ‘My Dad’s the Coolest’, and famous illustrator Bruce Whatley, well known for the Wombat Dairy series and ‘Pete the Sheep’.

I was super excited to receive a copy of this one because I really don’t know a lot about The Mona Lisa and so I was hoping for a quick crash course on this masterpiece. Unfortunately, it’s not that, but rather a fun and made up story of how da Vinci found his very famous subject- a woman named Lisa who’s always moaning hahaha.

It is rather text heavy, so I wouldn’t recommend it too soon for the little one’s (like I was planning for my 2 year old nephew) but it’s a picture book so I’m sure they’ll happily look at the pictures.

A short and sweet review, just like all good picture books


PERSONAL FAVOURITE ‘The Dangers of Truffle Hunting’ by Sunni Overend


Genre: Fiction/Romance

This book was my holiday read- a book to sit by the pool, drink my bellini and soak up some good old fashion R&R. I’m glad to say that this book delivered.
A story for the senses. A story to give you the feels. A story to make you feel glamorous! This is the story of Kit Gossard, who is a food photographer working for a food stylist magazine called Hamper. Kit comes from food royalty, with her owning one of the oldest and biggest wineries in Australia. She also is engaged a famous interior designer, Scott and to everynoe, they’re a perfectly stylish couple. Kit seems to have the perfect life, so why does she feel incomplete, unsatisfied, hungry for more? It’s only when a Raph, a new employee at the winery to arrive for Kit to realise that something is missing in her life- that her creativity and sexuality are being stiffled.
What can only be described as a juicy, luscious read, it’ll have you craving breads, cheeses, trips to France and hot nights.
Great for fans of Candace Bushell will love this book. It has lust, love, fame, wine, rich people, the whole shebang. What caught my attention was the beautiful settings! Gorgeous images of french countryside, picturesque vineyards and trendy city bars!

Feast for the senses (: