Anyone who is writing a book with the title 'The Dangerous Book for Menopausal Women', is worth a second look - and school librarian Loretta most certainly is. Primed for change, she is drawn to a hut in a wetlands, as are Chance, a teenager in a combative relationship with her overbearing mother, and Riva, who, following a dramatic and intentional change in her life, is restoring the wetlands. Each is seeking a way to move forward with their lives, and achieve their 'quiet spectaculars'.
With its beautiful descriptions of the natural world and finely drawn empathetic characters, this contemporary New Zealand story celebrates the power of friendship and the satisfaction of dealing with life's challenges. [Larger font]
Everyone loved this book - the language and its sentiment.
Overall reaction to the book was lukewarm, with no strong theme to pull the three parts of the story together it felt uncohesive and was judged sadly unspectacular.
Our opinion of this book was quite divided. Those who enjoyed native plant gardening or recognised the location loved it. Others found the book disjointed and some of the characters very unlikeable.
The majority enjoyed this book although most of us found it a bit 'all over the place' at the start but once into it, we liked it. One lady didn't like it at all. We all liked the characters but disliked Chance's mother. We were all waiting for the missing women to be floating in the wetlands or in the hut but that part of the story didn't go anywhere. Good discussion and actually discussed the questions which generated lots of theories and realised there was more to the story than we initially realised. Good story - have read her other books previously and have just bought her new one.
A very well received book, enjoyed by all. A very nostalgic experience for some members from the South. Laurence Fearnley has a wonderful gentle style, and most of us felt a certain affinity with the characters.
I think the overall feeling of the group was that it was a little too quiet. We all enjoyed the wetlands and the challenges of the women involved. We liked reading about the struggles to overcome obstacles but found lots of red herrings ( the missing woman) and underdeveloped characters. We all empathised with Trudy who was portrayed as overwhelmingly bad - we would have liked to see some insight into her life.
A bit of a mixed reaction to the book. We like Fearnley's sense of place and characterisation, but some members found it a bit slow.
This was a greatly enjoyed book by all of the group. The cover art work, and that contained within it, enhanced our reading pleasure. The relationships between the key characters were well drawn, and the setting clearly depicted. We discussed bravery as a key element of the book, as well as relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. Highly recommended.
Whilst we enjoy the way Laurence Fearnley writes, we did not think the plot of this book was very strong. There were a lot of things that just went nowhere - the missing woman for example. And the character who did sewing for Riva. We thought the choice of taxidermy by Chance quite odd too. Her description of cancer also seems quite dated.
Well written and enjoyable , and easy reading. The book meandered a little , so we felt it took a long time to get anywhere!
We enjoyed this author's thoughtful writing. Sound characters, although some found Loretta boring. The setting and people were recognisable as being in New Zealand. Someone suggested that Trudy could have had a section of her own with her own voice.