#SheSociety has compiled a list of must reads for the summer. So whether you are at the beach, beside to pool or cosied up on the couch, dig into one of these titles to relax and take some downtime.
Being Black n Chicken and Chips
Author: Matt Okine
Soon to be a major feature film.
Mike Amon is a regular teenager. All he wants is to fit in. He wants to sit at the cool bench. He wants to be a star athlete. He wants his first kiss. He also wants his mum to survive.
When his mum is suddenly diagnosed with advanced breast and brain cancer, Mike knows it’s a long shot, but if he manages to achieve his dreams, maybe it’ll give his mum enough strength to beat an incurable disease.
In the meantime, he has to live with his African dad whom he doesn’t really know, a man who has strange foreign ways – and who Mike doesn’t really feel comfortable sharing his teenage desires and deepest fears with. He doesn’t even want to think about what it might mean if his mum never comes home from the hospital.
Based on his award-winning stand-up show, and the loss of his own mother when he was 12, Matt Okine’s coming-of-age novel, Being Black n Chicken and Chips, is a funny, heart-warming, and sometimes surreal look at how young people deal with grief, the loss of loved ones, and becoming an adult – all whilst desperately trying to fit in with the other kids.
The Giver Of Stars
Author: Jojo Moyes
The brand-new standalone novel from the Number One bestselling author of Me Before You, After You and Still Me.
Inspired by a remarkable true story, the unforgettable journey of five extraordinary women living in extraordinary and perilous times.
Alice Wright has travelled halfway across the world to escape her stifling life in England. Handsome American businessman Bennett Van Cleve represents a fresh start. But she soon realises that swapping the twitching curtains of suburbia for newlywed life in the wild mountains of Kentucky isn’t the answer to her prayers. But maybe meeting Margery O’Hara is. The heart and backbone of the small community of Salt Lick, a woman who isn’t afraid of anything or anyone, Margery is on a mission.
Enlisting Alice, along with three other women, all from very different backgrounds, to join her, the band of unlikely sisters battle the elements and unforgiving terrain – as well as brave all manner of dangers and social disapproval – to ride hundreds of miles a week to deliver books to isolated families. Transforming the lives of so many is all the impetus they need to take such risks.
And for Alice, her new job and blossoming friendships become an unexpected lifeline, providing her with the courage she needs to make some tough decisions about her marriage. Then a body is found in the mountains, rocking the close-knit community and tearing the women apart as one of them becomes the prime suspect. Can they pull together to overcome their greatest challenge yet?
Author: Dylan Alcott
The incredible life of an astonishing athlete
Dylan Alcott has never let his disability get in the way of what he wanted to achieve. His family treated him no differently to any other kid, and it was the best thing they ever did. Growing up, Dylan always had a positive attitude to life. So when he discovered sport, he’d have a go at anything and could always be found at the centre of the action, giving his best and playing to win. Then he tried wheelchair basketball and tennis and was hooked.
Fast forward ten years or so, and the now three-time Paralympic gold medallist, Order of Australia recipient, Grand Slam tennis champion and philanthropist combines elite sport with a love for music (he’s a triple j radio announcer and is famous for his crowd surfing). But Dylan’s greatest passion is changing the way those with disabilities are perceived, and to inspire young people – whether they have disabilities or are able-bodied – to achieve their dreams. It’s a passion that drives him every day of his life.
In Able, Dylan shares his story. It’s the tale of someone who’s proud of who he is, who has a go, does everything with heart and soul, who always sees the upside and never takes himself too seriously. As inspiring, honest and funny as its author, Able proves that for every one thing you can’t do, there are 10,000 other things that you can.
Author: Ceclia Ahern
The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling PS, I Love You now!
It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life. She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.
Reluctantly, Holly beings a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…
The Diamond Hunter
Author: Fiona McIntosh
The new historical blockbuster by the bestselling author of The Pearl Thief.
It won’t matter how many diamonds you find if you lose the love of your child.
When six-year-old Clementine Knight loses her mother to malaria during the 1870s diamond rush in southern Africa, she is left to be raised by her destitute, alcoholic father, James. Much of Clementine’s care falls to their trusty Zulu companion, Joseph One-Shoe, and the unlikely pair form an unbreakable bond.
When the two men uncover a large, flawless diamond, James believes he has finally secured their future, but the discovery of the priceless gem comes at a huge cost. A dark bargain is struck to do whatever it takes to return Clementine to a respectable life at the Grant family’s sprawling estate in northern England – while the diamond disappears.
Years on, long-buried memories of Clementine’s childhood in Africa and her beloved Joseph One-Shoe are triggered, as she questions who she can trust. To solve the mystery of what happened to her loved ones all those years ago, she must confront a painful history and finally bring justice to bear.
From the harsh desert of Africa’s Kimberley diamond mine to the misty, green plains of northern England, The Diamond Hunter is a breathtaking adventure story about trust and betrayal, the ultimate quest for truth, and a love that is truly priceless.
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.