1 August 2011

a little book talk (and giveaway)

grevillea
rosemary-leaved grevillea

The photos are unrelated; I'm just enjoying the blooms of late winter so I thought you might too.

winter mist
Standing in my driveway one wintry morning, looking across the road

Do you read Rae's blog? If you don't, you really should. It's quite a gem. And now she's written a book. A book! I feel ridiculously proud of her, my imaginary Canadian friend who lives this exotic life with her husband and four children in India and has now written her first novel. I think I'm the last person to review Rae's book The Eve Tree, for which I feel bad, but, well, there were reasons. At first the book didn't arrive, so the publishing company sent another one, but it was in the middle of essay-writing time so I didn't get to pick it up, and then (you know what I'm going to say, don't you?), the first book turned up. So now I had two unread copies on my bedside table, taunting me, wafting waves of guilt over my head as I slept.

dew
um, a photogenic clump of grass. with cobwebs.

But lo, the day arrived when semester was over and I was free to read whatever I WANTED to read, and that included Rachel Devenish Ford's The Eve Tree. (It also included Geraldine Brooks' Caleb's Crossing, and Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, two very different but equally unputdownable books. So it's been a rather rewarding semester break in terms of my personal reading).

hardenbergia
hardenbergia growing along the roadsides everywhere

The Eve Tree is a tale that will resonate with anyone who has a connection to the land they call home, or who has faced the threat of natural disasters, or has a complicated relationship with her mother, or mental illness, or makes cheese or keeps goats or has a mother. Everyone basically. Rae writes simply and honestly about a family living in the redwood forests of California, dealing with each other and the very real threat of losing their beloved farm to a forest fire.

the froth of euphorbia wulfenii
the froth of euphorbia wulfenii

The central character Molly, is beautifully drawn. She's fragile but with a powerful undercurrent of ferocious strength and determination, she is flawed, cranky, loving, contradictory. Molly will get under your skin and live on in your brain long after you close the book with a sigh and put the light out. She's very real. The story feels very real and there are some lovely little pearls of poetry in the deceptively simple language.

daphne on the verge of
daphne in my garden, about to do its thing

I'm kind of in awe when people I know write books. Even imaginary people who live in my computer. And I'm thrilled to hear that another novel from Rae is in the works already.

daff
the first daffs, also in my garden

Anyway, remember I said I ended up with two copies of The Eve Tree? Well with Rae's blessing, I am giving away one copy to one of you. Leave a comment if you would like a chance to receive this beautiful debut novel, and I'll pull a name out of the virtual hat next week. Or if you can't wait to find out if your name is the one drawn, go here and buy a copy now.

Edited to add, lots of people are asking so I should clarify that yes, I will post internationally. Enter away.

64 comments:

Jen said...

USA readers allowed? If so, I'd love to be in the drawing.

Elizabeth said...

I'd love to read this book.

Tania said...

It’s yonks since I read Miss Smilla but I adored it and remember it with a real sense of 'still' (although that could have had something to do with all that snow).

Thanks to you and others, I now have a reading list up to my chin and now you have added another.

And if it's any consolation, last month I received a package that arrived via Madagascar. This happened for reasons not entirely obvious to myself, although I have little doubt that it is a package with a big tale to tell.

Nice florals.

Annie said...

What a lovely review, and such gorgeous photo's. It always feels odd to remember that my imaginary friends in Australia are looking forward to spring when I am looking forward to autumn, and odder to think that they live in a land where flowers bloom in winter.
I'm off to read more about the book, and if UK readers are allowed I'd love to be entered into the draw please :D

Kathy said...

By the time I'd reached the end of this post, I'd already downloaded the book to my Kindle. I'm just about to finish Amanda Eyre Ward's latest and this sounds like a good followup!

That view of the misty trees across your road is just breathtaking. And I'm so glad to hear that your first daffs are coming up -- if spring is coming there, that means autumn will surely come here. This summer has been absolutely brutal in Texas. We need a break.

Lucette said...

Please add my name to the drawing too. Your photos are stunning- is the purple one an orchid?

Penelope said...

Oh what beautiful photographs, just mesmorising. Sounds like my kind of book ad if you are sending to the UK please could I be in your giveaway. Thanks for pointing out Rae's blog, I'm off to enjoy it xox

Knitcoach said...

Love contests and books so please may I enter.

Isabelle said...

And me! (Happy to refund the postage to the UK.)

I don't precisely grudge you the spring but if you don't mind, we'll hang on to the summer here for a bit. Not that I can understand how you have daffodils in what should be your January-like month. Our daffs don't appear till April, which is like your ... oh, I'm confused... October or something.

Anyway - lovely flowers, whatever.

Jessie said...

Oh, I would love to read this, thank you!
My verification word is so lovely `i thought it should be recorded: "implogl" - doesn't it sound like a bumbling implosion?

foxflat said...

I like that our seasons are opposite each other...the photographs are beautiful, especially in contrast to the hot muggy weather here.

If being a U.S. entry is okay, I'll throw my hat into the ring. :)

zephyr said...

thank you for reminding us about this book. And, if U.S. readers are in the running, please put my name in...i'll buy it, but would love to see postage from Australia in my mailbox. Which i would gladly pay for.

Love this set of photos.

Thimbleanna said...

I'm sorry -- were you saying something? Your photos are SO GORGEOUS, that I couldn't concentrate!

Ok, I'm only sort of joking. The book sounds wonderful and now I'm off to find that new-to-me blog.

ponto guloso said...

Fabulous photographs. I absolutely love the one with the misty/foggy trees.
To get the book would be great, but I can already say "thank you" for sharing these Nature experiences.

Lizzie said...

What a great opportunity, thanks.
It's quite amazing isn't it, how we feel so attached and emotional to our friends that live in the hard drive of our computers? Oh I just love blogging...
Lizzie
xxx

librarygirl said...

You know how much I hate books so I'm in!
Loved Miss Smilla years ago, loved it.
I wanted to BE Miss Smilla...

DrChopSuey said...

I'd love a chance to win the book... and I just had to add - absolutely beautiful pictures! Wow!

Susan said...

I'm in need of a good book (and some time to read it!) Love the photogenic clump of grass!!

Helen said...

sounds like a great read.

LuisaM said...

I am always in for a book!

Tracee said...

I would so love to win this book~only 5 weeks till my term starts and then NO fun reading for me:(
Plus the novelty of mail from Australia is too much to pass up!

tut-tut said...

I've just started my blog reading rounds after a long hiatus. Lovely photos and I'm glad you've put that novel front and center

tamara said...

In the spirit of sharing verification words, mine's 'surifl'. kind of like a sniffle, but with interest.

I'm after a good novel - i need what I call a 'denial book' to distract me from current stresses: we're moving house in 2 weeks, and all is chaos around me!!

Love the pics too; I always feel like winter's going to go on forever, then suddenly when it's still frigid July/August the daffs come up and I think, 'surely not! It can't be time yet!' ...and then there's the race to finish the knitting projects so that they don't tangle up over summer.

michelle said...

That does sound like a wonderful read. Please count me in!

Fairlie said...

I laughed at your description of the appreciative audience: "anyone who has a connection to the land they call home, or who has faced the threat of natural disasters, or has a complicated relationship with her mother, or mental illness, or makes cheese or keeps goats or has a mother. Everyone basically."

So it appeals to a narrow demographic then? :)

Sounds like a great read.

flowerpress said...

I was just talking about Miss Smilla the other day talking books with Beck. Amazing. That one really stayed with me.
Must check out your other recommendations on Tania's post.
Please throw my name in the hat for this book, sounds fascinating :-)

kate said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Lovely photos too. We are experiencing a lot of rain and less of the gentle mists here in Western Australia...

Stomper Girl said...

I loved Miss Smilla too, so then I tried another of his books and lasted about 3 chapters.

Leonie @ Cuppa and Cake said...

Yes, yes count me in! I'm looking for some good reads!!

herhimnbryn said...

Yes please! I would like to go into the draw.


Gorgeous pics by the way. We too are surrounded by Hardenbergia and mist and sooooooooooooooooo much rain.

Moonwing said...

Did you say goats??? My Mr complains that I will only watch films if they have goats in....so I could stretch that rule to novels couldn't I? Yes please count me in, then I could send it on to my chain of goat-loving friends to enjoy. What is it about goats?

embracingitall said...

Sounds like a great read. I seem to be finding (rather stealing) time to read at the moment and books are flying off my bedside stash and my kindle backlog has diminished somewhat.

Isn't there some beautiful blooms starting to burst out at the moment. My Daphne has been sending forth her heady scent this past week. Jacinta

kelly said...

what a beautiful part of the world you do live in.
a book giveaway? oh yes please, count me in.
thanks for your generosity - or I guess; 'muddled-up middle of essay writing time'!!

kathleen said...

Thanks for the recommendations I just purchased the Eve Tree for my ereader so don't send me the book I just wanted to let you know I always appreciate book recommendations. Beautiful pictures.

Shammickite said...

Every time you recommend books that you have read, I reach for my scruffly dogeared little "BOOKS" notebook and write down the title and the author and next time I toddle off to the library, I see if any of them are available. You're given me lots of hours of happy reading so far, and I'm sure the titles that you mention in this post are just as good.... in fact, you're actually giving one away! Woohoo! Even if I don't win it, I'll still make sure I read it eventually!

Lyn said...

Ah, so it's called euphorbia wulfenii. I had one years ago, and never knew its name. Thank you for the lovely winter photos too(another warm day today too - 22?). And for the itriguing book review.

My word verification is truly terrific, well at least it's 'trofic'.

Penni said...

I almost feel ashamed to add my "me too, please" to the list; so many of your commenters say what I would love to have said: lovely dreamy photos, great inspiration for good reads, winter there, hot hot hot summer here, ah well. "Me too, please"

melissa said...

this is a beautiful review! and now i am dying to read the book. thank you for the chance! :)

kt said...

So many people have said what a great read this book is....I'd love to be the lucky winner!

Andrea said...

It sounds like a story i'd like to read. Thank you for the opportunity.

Sheep Rustler said...

I love 'Miss Smilla'. And your photos are just beautiful :)

Rae said...

Lovely review, Suse. Thank you! (And I'm so glad you loved Molly. She's one of my favorite imaginary people!)

Sonya said...

I would love to enter the book draw. By the way, my ten year old son thinks that your son's hobbit staff if completely awesome!

omlette said...

Count me in, sounds like a great read! :o)

Serena said...

I have been wanting to read her book, so please count me in!

shadygrey said...

The book sounds wonderful. And re Peter Hoeg's book, did you lurve Miss Smilla? She is one of my very favourite characters.

Kylie said...

I'd love to be in the running to read her book. It sounds wonderful.
Kylie

katiecrackernuts said...

Oh, I know that feeling of guilt when a new book sits beside the bed unread. I have many. But, I am getting through them at the moment. A winter return to reading has been nice.

Duyvken said...

Oh please count me in! You, who always manage to have perfectly separated paragraphs in spite of using blogger - a feat I have not managed to achieve in almost 5 years of blogging. Caleb's Crossing has been recommended to me but it is always on loan at the library and the kindle version is not available to Australians. I haven't gotten to the bottom of why some kindle books are region specific but I would love to know. I also love Rae's blog - she's living one of my alternate lives :-)

gill said...

I'd love to read The Eve Tree!

diane_s said...

I just checked and it isn't in my library yet . I owuld love to read it.

The Coffee Lady said...

I'm not the one to turn down the chance of a lovely book. And that photo from your drive? SO JEALOUS.

christinelaennec said...

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the recommendation and the chance to win a copy. (I had to laugh at your list of things that most people can relate to - you're so right!)

Prism said...

I love to see what is happening in your life on the other side of the world. I love your pics--you take the photos I wish I could!

Also, please enter me--my house could use some more neglect as I read instead of doing anything useful!

My word verification is "pardwolo"--I think it sounds rather Aussie, myself!

fifi said...

I was just going to say "THAT'S very nice, about the jumper, then I got distracted by the flowers and the cobwens and all that.
and THEN I see a prize. I like prizes, and books, both.

driftwood said...

gosh your photos are just amazing x

Ullhärvan said...

I would love to win this book!

love those cupcakes said...

Fab pictures. Fab giveaway. (If I'm lucky enough to win, please don't tell the mister here. You see, I'm meant to be clearing the book shelves).

sewjourn said...

Sounds good! Please pop my name in the hat. And great photos as always. Oh, an Happy Birthday!

Tish said...

If you're still accepting entries, please put my name in the hat. My second daughter got married this past Friday so I've not had a chance to read any blogs for the past couple weeks and am late for the party.

jamsandwich said...

Would love a chance to win what sounds like a great read. Thanks for reminding me about Miss Smilla which had somehow dropped off my list of must reads.
Lovely view from your driveway all I have is a bus stop, a busy road and the physios opposite (useful for a bad back though)!

Anonymous said...

hello,

love the recommendations and am definitely up for a new read:)

thank you!

Maureen said...

Would love a chance to win!

Noelle said...

'hardenbergia growing along the roadsides everywhere' photo is stunning! Just stumbled on your blog by the way and loving the photos!
I would also like to add my name in the drawing if open to US residents.
Blessings,