Official Review: Aussie Bush Yarns by Jennie Linnane

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Official Review: Aussie Bush Yarns by Jennie Linnane

Post by bluegreenmarina » 07 Nov 2018, 16:09

[Following is an official review of "Aussie Bush Yarns" by Jennie Linnane.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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To be honest, I was slightly hesitant when selecting Aussie Bush Yarns by Jennie Linnane, as I tend to prefer longer novels with a single storyline. Other collections of short stories have often felt disjointed to me, highlighting my preference of getting to know the characters and location setting more deeply than a short story typically allows. I am happy to report that this compilation did not cause the same reaction; in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars.

The primary difference in the experience of reading this book is that despite each story focusing on a new set of characters and events, they all have a unifying theme. The stories are all set in the (fictional) town of Yabby Creek, in Australia’s wild and rugged bush country. The characters in the stories all share a similar cultural outlook – one that develops naturally from the rustic and rural setting, and the residents’ dependence on local weather patterns, knowledge of wildlife, and responsibilities on the homestead.

Even with all of these commonalities, each story is unique in its focus, and the selection provides a fascinating mix of human emotion. The language is weighty and descriptive, and each character comes across the page in a rich and vivid way. It is obvious that the author is a close observer of human nature, and she is able to depict the nuances of multigenerational families with authentic dialogue and scene descriptions. The fact that all the stories take place in the same location creates a feeling in the reader that he or she is getting to know a whole community of people, one family at a time.

Some of the topics of the stories include romance and jealousy, farm labor and toil, grandparents and their relationships with their grandchildren, and the natural dangers and predators one encounters in the bush country. In a few short pages, the stories relay profound joy or deep despair, as well as nearly every emotion in between. The details are carefully chosen, and each sentence contributes to the stories’ larger point. I was also impressed with the thorough editing, as I found no spelling or grammatical errors. At no time did the book feel like a chore to read, and the wide range of topics kept me turning the pages from one story to the next.

The experience of reading this book is something like a mosaic, with each individual story filling in a piece of the larger image of the community of Yabby Creek. Though it is a fictional town, it is clearly based on real places, and the characters read as authentic in their imperfect humanity. Readers who are likely to enjoy this collection are those that appreciate the culture of small, rural communities, and who find beauty in the seemingly mundane experiences of hardworking folks. There are lessons buried in these pages, reminding us to appreciate our home, our family, and the simple things in life.

Aussie Bush Yarns
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 Nov 2018, 09:22

I do like a good collection of short stories sometimes. It's nice to have a little bits and pieces to digest quickly. I'm glad there's a unifying theme to this one and that they don't feel incomplete. That is definitely a downfall of these types of collections sometimes. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Sirlimu01 » 08 Nov 2018, 21:41

I will love to read this book myself to see the reasons and lesson it remind us to appreciate our home and family. Good review work.

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Post by sonya01 » 09 Nov 2018, 06:11

I like what I read from your review. I am a great short-story fan, and as long as there is something special or distinctive about each one, I generally really enjoy them. It seems as if these stories are mostly character-driven which disappoints me slightly - I do like a clever plot in them as well. Still, I may give this one a try. Many thanks for your comments.

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Post by Franc93 » 09 Nov 2018, 07:48

In my opinion, all great books are mere compilation of short stories but with a clearly defined continuous plot :D , thus i have always appreciated them. This wouldn't be any different considering the proper review you have given it.
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Post by Dael Reader » 09 Nov 2018, 08:38

I general prefer novels to short stories too. But I'm starting to gain a new appreciation for the genre. It sounds like this collection will help me a long in that respect. Thanks for this review.

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