Book Connections

Books by New Zealand Authors

Today I am sharing five  contemporary New Zealand authors I have read or intend reading. New Zealand has many authors although I confess I read only a few of them. Mainly that’s because of my taste. Another day I’ll share some of the previous NZ authors I’ve enjoyed. Some of the books have a NZ setting and some are set elsewhere.

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New Zealand author Nalini Singh is a favourite of mine as you may have guessed. I have come to love her paranormal series and I’ve read a couple of her contemporary romance.

A Madness of Sunshine  is set in the South Island of New Zealand, is a murder mystery set in contemporary times. I have read it and really enjoyed it. Published 2019.

book cover When it all Turned to Custard by Danielle Hawkins is one  I own and bought after I read a review by an Australian blogger. I haven’t read it yet but its in the queue. It too is set in New Zealand. Hmm I just see a recommendation on the back by one of my favourite Australian authors – Fiona Lowe who says ” An entertaining read full of humour, heart and soul.” I should move it up the list. Published 2019

book coverSoraya Lane has written both romance and women’s fiction. Its the latter that I enjoy. The Spitfire Girls is set overseas and is an insight into  the courageous contribution women made in both England and the USA towards the WW2 endeavours. These women were willing to put their lives on the line and take on piloting planes to where they were needed. And… they were very successful.

Soraya M. Lane does an excellent job helping us get inside the lives of such young women. Often they were up against ‘the establishment’ and the attitudes and prejudices of the populace.  Published 2019.

book coverWhat a honey of a book. I was originally enticed into this book by the US edition with its warm tones on the cover, however as I read the book I came to love this cover too. Sugar is a treasure and the amazing ‘family’ of people she gathered around her was endearing and satisfying. As it says on the cover – a novel of honey, love and manners.

So The Wedding Bees – awesome. Loved Queen Elizabeth 1 and 6. Witty, warm and charming is one way to describe this book. It does explore some important issues in a very gentle way. Well done Sarah-Kate Lynch. Raising my glass to The Wedding Bees and the Buzz-off Bride.  Set in the USA. Published 2014 Unfortunately Sarah-Kate has moved on to writing scripts for TV shows so no recent books!

book cover Finally a book I bought this week. This is by Farid Ahmed about his wife, the Christchurch massacre and his journey to forgiveness. All royalties go to St John Ambulance. As the one year date for this awful shooting and I heard about this book o the radio, I was immediately interested in reading it. Farid’s wife was killed in this massacre. I believe the book will build my understanding of the experience of another New Zealander.

 

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Review

Hearts of Resistance by Soraya Lane

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Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 10th January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 324
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating 4.5 stars
Goodreads callout

At the height of World War II, three women must come together to fight for freedom, for the men they love—and for each other. When Hazel is given the chance to parachute into Nazi-occupied France, she seizes the opportunity to do more for the British war effort than file paperwork.

Alongside her childhood friend, French-born Rose, she quickly rises up the ranks of the freedom fighters. For Rose, the Resistance is a link to her late husband, and a way to move forward without him. What starts out as helping downed airmen becomes a bigger cause when they meet Sophia, a German escapee and fierce critic of Hitler who is wanted by the Gestapo. Together the three women form a bond that will last a lifetime.

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Hearts of Resistance starts with a short prologue filled with danger that immediately starts me both worrying and asking questions about will these women survive?

Then we are taken back in time and introduced one by one to three women, whom by the time the book finished I did not want to leave. Three women – one English, one German, one French and their lives are utterly changed by WW11.

There is Hazel – English – engaged and watching her fiance go off to war, and in an environment that did not believe women were capable of contributing significantly to the cause. Hazel will prove that wrong, once recruited by the SOE.

There is Sophia – a young German girl already helping Jewish people to escape from Berlin and hiding her Jewish boyfriend in her apartment. The horrors of the Nazi regime and her own father drive her from Germany and into the Resistance.

Finally Rose a young French woman married to her dearly loved husband and as the war carries on also finds herself by circumstance caught up in the covert operations against the Germans.

Eventually these three come together – work together – carry out mind and heart stopping work that really counts. They are highly trained, ready to kill if necessary and hugely passionate about the extremely dangerous work they do. Three powerful women.

These three women, while fictitious, do represent so many women who showed that they were very capable and courageous during this period of history.  Soraya M. Lane obviously researched this well, and she has presented an extremely wonderful tribute to these brave women.

I loved the strength of these three women and the bonds of friendship that they formed. While not always an easy read it was a very realistic and eye opening read. If you coped with Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale – you’ll manage this one too.