Review: The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

There is a reason why The Importance of Being Earnest is still a very much loved play today. A comedy of mistaken identity, it perfectly sends up the 19th century British upper class. (It is branded as a trivial play for serious people and, somehow, the title fits perfectly.) The plot revolves around two friends, Ernest and Algernon. Jack wishes to marry Algernon's cousin. Algernon is opposed to the idea, and when he discovers that Jack has been taking on two different identities--he is Jack when he is at home in the country and Ernest when he is in the city, Algernon comes up with a plan. He visits Jack in the country posing as Ernest, where he unintentionally falls in love with Jack's ward. Suddenly all hell breaks loose and things become more and more farcical and, consequently entertaining. (The resolution certainly is fun.) This is such a fun examination of mistaken identity, manners and ego. Obviously it is a play, so reading it doesn't give quite the same impact as

Review: The Book-Lovers' Retreat by Heidi Swain

Bestselling British author Heidi Swain delights readers with her latest offering. The Book-Lovers' Retreat tells the story of Emily, who, along with her two friends has booked the holiday of their dreams. They are to stay at a cottage in Lakeside where the adaption of their favourite book Hope Falls was filmed. (And also became their favourite movie.) Things soon start to go wrong--Emily loses her job and suddenly has to make a huge decision about whether to keep working in the same unfulfilling field or if she should risk everything and start her own business with her true passion, sewing. Rachel's boyfriend is becoming more and more controlling and as for Tori, well, she can no longer afford the trip because her wealthy father has cut off all of her income and is insisting that she (finally) make her own way in the world. Fortunately, the owner of the cottage is able to set Emily and Rachel up with Alex, another avid Hope Falls fan who is keen to stay at the cottage.  Then

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Review: Back, After the Break by Osher Günsberg

There is no denying that Osher Günsberg is a household name across Australia. From starting his career as a midnight to dawn on-air host on B105, a top rating radio station in Brisbane, to hosting popular television shows like The Masked Singer, The Bachelor and Australian Idol Günsberg's career has certainly had some bright moments. (And we hope it continues for a long time to come.) For those things alone, his memoir would make an entertaining read. Back, After the Break goes much deeper than that, and Günsberg speaks confidentially to the reader about his experiences with mental illness and addition and how he has come to live a healthier and more authentic life. Back, After the Break makes for entertaining and, occasionally heartbreaking, reading. The author details his childhood, born in London but moving to Adelaide with his parents--both doctors--and his brother when he was just a few months old. While he was still in junior primary the family would move to Brisbane and h

Review: Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

Beyah's childhood has been one of neglect--most of her childhood has been spent living with her mother, a meth addict while her father has been, well, off doing something else and scarcely bothering to stay in touch. Still, Beyah is getting things sorted. She has a job at the local McDonalds and she has worked hard to earn herself a scholarship to a good university. Then, two months before she is due to leave for college, she arrives home to find her mother dead of a suspected drug overdose. With the rent due on the family trailer that she cannot afford to pay, Beyah does the only thing she can think of to survive. She tracks down her dad, fails to tell him that her mother is dead and asks if she can come for a visit. Surprisingly, her dad pays for her airline tickets and asks no questions. Then Beyah makes a surprise discovery. Her dad is wealthy, has a wife and a stepdaughter and the whole family is welcoming her into the fold with open arms. Surely something is amiss ... right?

Review: How We Love by Clementine Ford

Love her or loathe her, there is no escaping the fact that Clementine Ford has started a very raw and real conversation on what it means to be a feminist in twenty-first century Australia. In How We Love she offers readers an honest and tender memoir about her own experiences of the many different types of love she has experienced in her lifetime--from her relationship with her mother, to the idolisation of a predatory manager, to her friendships, to various romances, to her ex-husband and, finally, to her son. Each is a unique story and the reader learns how love can shape a person. This was an interesting memoir on a number of levels. Like me, Clementine Ford spent her adolescence in the outer suburbs of Adelaide albeit at the very opposite end of Adelaide. In the same way, her experiences of life and people have been very different to my own. Yet there were many things that felt so universal--as though in telling her own story, the author was in a way telling the story of what it m