A moving and absorbing story

  • Book: The Swooping Magpie
  • Location: Australia
  • Author: Liza Perrat

Review Author: hdsteel22@gmail.com



This is the second book in the author’s Australian series set in the 1970s. Lindsay Townsend, high-school beauty and daughter of wealthy parents, seems to have it all, but appearances are deceptive. Her father is a bully and her mother a bundle of nerves, addicted to her headache powders. On the surface, Lindsay is popular at school, but none of the friendships turn out to go very deep. In truth, she’s often lonely. When her school’s hunky PE teacher, Jon Halliwell, takes an interest in her, she rapidly falls for him. They begin an affair, and the vista of a happy life opens up. Sadly, it’s not long before the inevitable disaster occurs, and Lindsay’s dreams are dashed, but along the way, she makes true friends and learns to face life with all its sorrows as well as its joys. The author uses a true-life scandal to add drama and poignancy to the story. She’s also excellent at evoking the country with its fascinating wildlife, and the times, from Vietnam war protests and the emergence of women’s lib to swirly orange wallpaper and lime green sofas. The heat of the Australian summer rolls off the page! At the start of the book, Lindsay isn’t the most endearing of heroines. She’s vain and arrogant, but the way she changes over the course of the story is part of what made this book such a success for me. I recommend it if you’re interested in books with strong psychological insights into their characters’ lives and a serious underlying theme.

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750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

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Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020