Book reviews: July 2015


If you’re heading off for some well-deserved R&R, there’s no better time to grab a great read. Peta Stavelli reviews some of the latest offerings from New Zealand publishing houses.

Wheat Belly Wheat

William Davis
Harper Collins NZ, $23

Do you have any of the following: sleeplessness, high cholesterol, diabetes, aching joints, high blood pressure, IBS, cataracts, irregular heart-beat, mood swings and persistent belly fat – despite exercising and eating well?

World-renowned cardiologist William Davis has successfully treated more than 2000 chronically ill patients with a range of debilitating conditions and diseases, simply by removing wheat from their diet. He explains in clear terms why modern wheat strains are toxic.

As a former gestational diabetic, I am also gluten intolerant. I pay a hefty price for eating foods containing gluten, but this book explains why Davis’s lengthy research has led him to believe that just substituting gluten-free foods is not the answer. I read the entire book from cover to cover.

Recipes from my French Kitchen My -French -Kitchen

Allyson Gofton
Penguin Random House, $45

Being a long-time fan of The Australian Women Weekly, I had been keeping up with Allyson Gofton’s monthly columns as she and her family adapted to life in the French countryside. It wasn’t all roses for Allyson who admitted to feeling depressed as she came to terms with her new home.

From having very little language at the outset, she gradually adapted and went from surviving culture shock to thriving. Fortunately for Allyson, she is fluent in the universal language of food cookery. And that’s fortunate for us as well, for this is yet another fabulous cookbook for Francophiles and foodies.

That Girl From Nowhere That -Girl -from -Nowhere

Dorothy Koomson
Penguin Random House, $37

That Girl From Nowhere is an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family from the popular author of The Ice Cream Girls and The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend’s Girl. Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. When she decides to return to Brighton where she was born, Clem has no idea she’ll meet someone who knows all about her.

As the truth surfaces, Clem is forced to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay for knowing who she is and where she came from.

Wish You Were Here Wish -you -were -here

Catherine Alliott
Penguin Random House, $37

When Flora, James and their two teenage daughters are offered the holiday of a lifetime in a chateaux in the South of France in return for one simple good deed, they jump at the chance to escape the confines of Clapham, the weight of the mortgage and anxieties over their future for a blissful break.

But Flora didn’t anticipate a mysterious guest and a whole heap of family baggage to come too. With James developing a schoolboy crush on a famous opera singer and Flora distracted by ghosts from her past, their dream holiday suddenly takes some very unexpected turns.

Prodigal Son Prodigal -son

Danielle Steel
Penguin Random House, $37

Danielle Steel is one of the world’s most popular and highly acclaimed authors, with over 90 international bestselling novels in print and more than 600 million copies of her novels sold.

In Prodigal Son she explores the relationship between bitterly feuding twin brothers who are reunited after 20 years apart. One has always been the good son, the other bad. But things are not always what they seem, and Steele weaves together a riveting novel of family secrets, salvation, and redemption.

A Vintage Wedding

Penguin Random House A-vintage -wedding
Katie Fforde, $37

This romantic romp about three women looking for love has been auspiciously described as ‘modern Austen’.

Beth, Lindy and Rachel are looking for change from their humdrum lives in a small Cotswald town, so they decide to set up a small business specialising in affordable vintage weddings. It’s a success and soon they are wildly busy organising other people’s big days. Little do they realise their own perfect endings are just around the corner.

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