The Woman Next Door
The book was named her book of the month by Erica Spinks on her Creative Dabbling blog. Her comments are below.
“My favourite novel this month is The Woman Next Door. I cherish Liz Byrski’s novels because she shows the rich lives of older women. There’s so much to learn about how to live a fulfilling life from her characters and I can imagine them living next door to me. That’s a sign of a good writer – creating believable and likeable characters – isn’t it?
It’s not all beautiful sunsets and happy days, either. That’s another aspect of Byrski’s novels that draws me in – these could be real people. The characters are so well-drawn and the author’s empathy is evident as she portrays their feelings, frustrations, disappointments and loves.”
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviewed the book for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age newspapers – see her comments below.
“After a long and successful career in journalism and broadcasting, Liz Byrski turned her hand to novel-writing in 2004 and committed herself to writing fiction with a mission: to tell the stories of women past their childbearing years who need to find answers to the question of what they will do with the rest of their lives. This is her ninth novel, and like the others is carefully crafted and well written. It explores the lives of an assortment of characters in Fremantle, including a married couple who make an unorthodox decision, a colourful actress in her 80s who has begun to forget her lines, and a 60-something screenwriter who, against her better judgment, falls in love. Byrski also tackles with great success, and through more than one character, the realities of illness and death.”
William Yeoman reviewed the book in the West Australian on Thursday 14 July. You can see some of his comments below and read the full review here.
“Byrski’s characters age with her — that’s been one of the greatest appeals of her novels. Now in her early 70s, Byrski here unflinchingly looks age and illness in the face. And what does she see there? Acceptance, yes; but also possibility, continuity and renewal. We all get old. Get over it. And grow with the flow.”
The international eReading site Kobo Books has named The Woman Next Door as its book of the month for July. This is quite rare for an Australian author.
Beauty and Lace have recently reviewed the book. You can see some of their comments below and read the full review here.
“Byrski’s characters are authentic and relatable as they share their lives with us; their hopes, their fears and their friendships. This book is entertaining and heartbreaking, it could be any one of us and I loved it. The characters, the setting and the beautiful little community these families have built on Emerald Street, and the way the circle of life completes and renews as the story closes. A must read for everyone. Thanks for a wonderful story Liz Byrski.”
The Woman Next Door has been selected as one of iBook’s Best Books of the Month for July.
The West Australian newspaper ran an interview with Amanda Ellis on Saturday 25 June 2016. You can read it online here.
“With The Woman Next Door, Liz Byrski creates some wonderfully recognisable and sympathetic characters, drawn with depth and intelligence. Each of the many strands of their lives contain deeply moving stories that are seemingly about ordinary lives but touch on existential crises that we can all relate to –what’s the point of it all, as we get older, when the children have left home or when our brain isn’t functioning as it used to? It’s a story that utterly absorbed us and we were sad to say goodbye to these characters as we headed for the final pages.”
Maggie Christensen invited me to ‘visit’ Cafe Carla where we talked about the book – you can read our conversation here.
Emily Paull has included a review on her blog: “I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I gave it four out of five stars“. You can read the review here.
In Love and War – nursing heroes
The Last Post magazine ran an excerpt from the book in their 2015 Remembrance Day summer edition – From The Last Post – review in love and war.
Good Reading magazine included a feature written by Angus Dalton in their May 2015 edition – good reading in love and war feature.
Karen O’Brien Hall for Startsat60.com said in her review:
Liz Byrski is an author highly regarded for her works of fiction including Gang of Four, Belly Dancing for Beginners, Family Secrets and my personal favourite Last Chance Café. Her memoir Remember Me is excellent reading, full of life and love.
Now in her latest book, a work of non-fiction, Professor Byrski tells a story unfamiliar to most of us, about heroes, the man who tried to make them whole, the village who welcomed them and the women who nursed them. At the same time, she takes a journey into her own childhood and we learn more about the woman behind the books.
I’ve been privileged this year to read some great books. In Love and War: Nursing Heroes by Liz Byrski, however, is not a great book … it is an outstanding book by an outstanding author who is equally at home with fiction and non-fiction.
The Melbourne Sunday Age newspaper ran a feature written by Karen Hardy on 29 June 2014 – Sunday Age review – family secrets.
The West Australian newspaper included a review on 8 July 2014 written by Amanda Ellis – The West review – family secrets