on the writing & reading trail

Book review

Book Review

All naked & bare

Janice Gallen

Published by FeedARead

ISBN 978-1-78299-272-1

This is a book for readers nostalgic about the mid 1950s in Australia or those interested in a slice of social history for the period.

The story is set in Merthyr Vale, a small village in the coal-mining Hunter Region of New South Wales when pits were not always safe and were being threatened with closure and union members were restive.

During the eventful year covered in the novel we are introduced to the close-knit Carpenter family. Polly balances care for her mother who is gradually succumbing to dementia with supporting her husband Chip who works in the mine, and doing her best for her clever daughter Kathryn.

Secure in her role as wife and mother and with a keen interest in her extended family and the wider community, Polly enjoys the freedoms of new appliances but worries about broader changes afoot and the impact they may have on Chip, Kathryn, their sons and their families.

Through the Carpenter family connections the tenor of village life and the times come alive – for the miners, the soldiers back after World War II, pre-teens coping with fantasies and new emotions, young women struggling with motherhood, tensions within extended families, the steady march of progress.

Polly has always been the tough, coping one but her strength is tested and events undermine some of her firmly held opinions and beliefs.

Older readers will have their own views about which changes in society have been for the better. Younger readers will be amazed at transformations which have occurred in the last 50-plus years, and are likely to be thankful for them.

Find the book on Amazon, Smashwords and FeedaRead websites.

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Comments on: "Book review" (2)

  1. karenwrites19 said:

    Congratulations Janice on your Review. You must be proud! … Karen 🙂

  2. Thank you for this wonderful review, Winfreda Donald. You’ve captured the essence of my book

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