Sunday, March 19, 2017

17. Lyrebird Hill

read by Eloise Oxer, gorgeously!
listened to on Audible
2015 Simon & Schuster Australia
416 pgs.
14 hrs. 11 minutes
Adult CRF / Historical (flipping back and forth)
Finished 3-19-17
Goodreads rating: 4.0 (584 ratings)
My rating: 4.5
Setting: 1898 and 2013 New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia

First line/s: (Prologue, August, 1898) "It is midnight.  I am hunched on the cold floor of the library, scratching these words."

My comments:  4.5 I couldn't wait to get back to this each time I had to leave it.  The story, though a little drawn out in places, was for the most part believable and excellently told.  It flipped back and forth between 1898 and 2013.  Eloise Oxer, the reader, was fantastic.  Her lilting voice and Australian accent put me right there in the bush, at Lyrebird Hill, or in Tasmania, immediately.  Unfolding are two different stories, of great-granddaughter and great-grandmother, more than a century apart.  In a way, perhaps because of the setting and alternating chapters back and forth, it reminded me of one of my favorite books, also set in Australia, The Forgotten Garden.  Delicious storytelling.

Goodreads synopsis:  When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?
          Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.
          Traveling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.
          Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.
          Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.
          A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself...

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