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  • A Home Like Ours

    A contemporary novel that covers modern day social issues faced by many communities, especially more regional and remote. Beautifully written; I wanted the best outcome for each of the main characters, it was easy to become immersed in their stories. A story that makes you question your own beliefs and reactions to life events.

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  • My take away time.

    Again Fiona has not disappointed me, I love her books for the fact that when I need to disappear to my reading world, Im so immersed in her stories, that it’s like everything is so real and I’m just part of the characters. Whenever I see a new book of Fiona’s I just have to buy it. Thankyou for such a wonderful story and how it relates to how many of us accept the ever changing stories from those who have come from far away to make Australian their home.

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  • A Home like Ours

    Loved this book. The characters were introduced beautifully into the novel using current situations to highlight the plight of so many. Hopefully a greater understanding of the hardships so many experience will enable all of us to live a more accepting lifestyle.

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  • A modern heart-warming tale of hope and acceptance

    I thoroughly enjoyed this Australian book by Fiona Lowe and will definitely pursue further books by her. It was topical and dealt sensitively with issues besetting the less advantaged in our society, whilst spinning what was ultimately a heart-warming tale where common sense prevailed.

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  • A thought-provoking and heart-warming read.

    8 Show more Review A Home Like Ours is the fifth novel by Australian author, Fiona Lowe. Some three and a half years after her inauspicious arrival in the little Murray River town of Boolanga, Helen Demetriou is deeply involved in community projects. She coordinates the Boolanga Community Garden, living in an old cottage adjacent, as well as bringing left-over food to the town’s parks for the homeless. When Fiza Atallah, a Sudanese refugee, expresses interest in gardening a plot, and access is blocked by Judith Sainsbury, the Garden committee’s petty bureaucrat, Helen arranges an extension of the garden on some vacant land, and Fiza and a group of Hazara women establish new garden beds for their traditional foods. Helen reminds Judith: “the garden’s on shire land and it exists to reach the broader community regardless of age, gender or country of origin.” At nineteen, Jade Innes is accustomed to critical comments about her youthful motherhood from people like the snooty Baby Time mums at her main refuge, the library, but she’s determined to do a better job of raising Milo than her mother did with her. In the flat she can barely afford on her Jobseeker allowance, scrimping and saving to feed and clothe her boy, she’s bored and lonely. Milo’s father is mostly absent except when he has needs to satisfy, and contributes nothing to Milo’s upkeep. On a walk by the river, she spots the community garden, and helps out with harvest in exchange for some fresh veggies. She’s wary of the Hazara women, but soon finds they are genuinely friendly and never critical. Milo’s racist dad forbids their contact with his son, but in his absence, Jade makes her own judgement. Tara Hooper is at a loss. The mother of two has worked hard to be trim and attractive for her husband, to no avail. Jonathon, owner Hooper’s Hardware, Timber and Steel, is so gorgeous that Tara is the envy of the town’s female population, but she begins to agonise over the reason their marriage seems to be failing: a number of unwelcome possibilities fill her mind… she distracts herself with more fitness activity with her dishy personal trainer. Jon seems to value her business input more than any intimacy, and sends her off to the Community Garden to explore sponsorship with the Gardens’ coordinator. Meanwhile, their store seems to be the target of vandals and thieves, and the local cop is convinced that the African youths are to blame. Lowe’s story touches on many topical themes, including racist attitudes towards refugees, poverty, chronic illness, and local council corruption, as well as the age-old subjects of prejudice, friendship, loyalty and betrayal. She easily evokes her setting and the small-town mindset. She gives her characters passion: homelessness, its very existence in the little town denied by most, is an unenviable fate to which Helen is no stranger, and she tirelessly lobbies the shire council to approve a sustainable tiny houses project for homeless older women, who are the fastest-growing homeless demographic. Tara’s preoccupation with her first-world problems, and her reaction to them, may paint her as shallow, but when it is blown out of the water by an unanticipated explanation, she finds her awareness of the issues troubling her neighbours and those less fortunate in the town, is heightened. Lowe throws together unlikely allies who, when push comes to shove, bring the perfect mix of initiative, inventiveness, pragmatism, fieriness, stoicism and guts. She gives them wise words: “People think it’s the bad things that undo us. But in my experience, it’s often the good stuff that trips us up, reminding us what we had, and what we miss the most” and “When a crisis hits, it’s never the people you expect who step up,” are examples. A thought-provoking and heart-warming read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and HQ Fiction.

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