A Diamond in the Dust, Frauke Bolten-Boshammer (Simon & Schuster)
In the popular field of contemporary memoir, Frauke Bolten-Boshammer’s story stands out. From her childhood in Germany, to her nomination for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2001, Frauke’s life is full of incident, tragedy and triumph. In Sue Smethurst’s retelling, she stands out as an enterprising woman of fortitude, resilience and good humour. Initially appalled when her husband Friedrich Bolten tells her that the family, with three young children, will be moving to a farm in Kununurra, she grows to love the northwest of WA. Through Friedrich’s suicide only three years after that move, her second marriage to Robert Boshammer, the birth of two more children, the death of her son Peter, and her gradual establishment of what is now a world-renowned jewellery business, Kimberley Fine Diamonds, Frauke is undaunted. This is a modest celebration of a remarkable woman, her family, and the environment that becomes her home.
Traverse, Tineke Van der Eecken Wild Weeds Press
A new book by Belgian-born Australian writer Tineke van der Eecken, Traverse is a mix of travel narrative and personal memoir. Married to geologist husband Dirk, Tineke has relocated their family to many new locations. With Dirk away for months at a time, she juggles the demands of family life. On a visit home from a survey trip to Madagascar, Tineke feels Dirk has become distant. Uncovering the reason for this, and in an attempt to save her twelve-year marriage, Tineke decides to accompany Dirk on his most demanding trek to date. During the 350-kilometre expedition, Tineke wins the confidence of the team, and along the way she captures a written and photographic record of the physical terrain. Many times during the trip Tineke pushes to the limits of her levels of endurance, but at the same time she discovers her personal strengths and, ultimately, a path forward for herself and her family.
Where the River Runs, Fleur McDonald (Allen & Unwin)
For readers who love rural fiction, Fleur McDonald’s latest offering, Where the River Runs, is a must-read. The story follows the journey of Chelsea as she returns home to the family farm with her four-year-old daughter Aria. Chelsea has recently quit her career as a concert pianist and her homecoming is tense. As Chelsea’s story unfurls and she navigates her new life in a small community, we encounter some terrific characters, including a past favourite, Detective Dave Burrows. Without giving too much of the plot away, Where the River Runs is a compelling family drama with a good dash of romance and murder mystery thrown in.
Filthy Fergal, Sigi Cohen, illust. Sona Babajanyan (Yellow Brick Books)
What do you do when you are the filthiest and most repugnant thing in town? So much so that the rats leave town and the Mayor proclaims your stench as a problem requiring “fifty crates of super-strength detergent”? You set off to find a place where you can belong. Filthy Fergal is the follow up to Cohen’s highly successful debut picture book, My Dead Bunny. Matching clever rhymes and an obvious love of all things grotesque, Sigi Cohen delivers a stinky character who embraces his uniqueness despite what others think. Sona Babajanyan’s illustrations enhance the murk and filth of the narrative, resulting in a story you will want to fully embrace yet possibly follow with a quick hand sanitiser afterwards.