Author: Alan Thomas
Synopsis: Nobody wants to grow old but what would you give for the chance of eternal youth? In this gripping novel an ambitious scientist sets out to prove that ageing is a ‘disease’ that can be cured – a quest that has devastating consequences.
Wealthy businessman Dimitry Yablonsky finds it unbearable to witness his beloved father’s descent into old age. So he decides to award a prize of $100 million to anyone who can find a way of halting the human ageing process.
Dr Jonathan Palmer, a brilliant Cambridge scientist, aims to do just that. Despite the opposition of his deeply-religious wife, his colleagues and the Law, he is determined to let nothing stand between him and the ultimate prize in science.
But Palmer’s work sparks off a chain of events that bring both joy and hope, bitterness and betrayal in their wake. He is prepared to sacrifice his marriage and even his life in pursuit of his quest, while Yablonsky risks losing his reputation and his liberty if a guilty secret is revealed.
This is not a genre that I normally read, however, I found the Synopsis intriguing.
The story is well crafted and has some quirky issues that draw the reader into the plot. The background to Dimitry Yablonsky is interesting and he is certainly a ‘man of mystery’. Having decided to offer a very large prize for the person who can successfully halt the aging process, we then meet an interesting cast of people who take us on a fateful journey.
The main character is Dr Jonathon Palmer whose brilliance is matched by his impulsiveness and ruthlessness. His wife, Julie, is obsessed by her religious background and her devotion to her Chapel. Many other characters enter the story which by now has become quite complex. The testing of advanced anti aging systems on humans leads to some dramatic and fateful results. The conclusion is stunning and breathtaking.
The plot has a good pace and the storylines intertwine into a complex web of deceit, fantastical probabilities, and a touch of sci-fi.
A fascinating debut novel that promises much for the future.
I found no significant errors
Rating: *** Three stars
After an enforced break and much care and cosseting I am recovered from my Cardiac surgery and have once again picked up the pencil to write some reviews. My rehab has been supplemented with the reading of some good and bad books. I will omit the bad, but over time I will review some of the good books that have helped me recover.
I will also be adding some interesting snippets about my family history that I uncovered whilst recuperating
Its nice to be back!
The romance novels have got lots of remedies and have many clichés used to advise one how to fix a broken heart. You know, the mournful C & W music, the bottom of a bottle, walking the streets at midnight. All those types of remedies.
No, I mean the physical kind of heart that has found that a less than perfect diet over the years, maybe not enough hard exercise, perhaps a tad too much red wine, has caused the arteries to become blocked with a build-up of fatty, waxy deposits on the inside of my arteries.
These deposits are made up of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood. Plaque deposits can clog the coronary arteries and make them stiff and irregular. This is called “hardening of the arteries.” There can be a single blockage or multiple blockages, and they can vary in severity and location. These deposits slowly narrow the coronary arteries, causing my heart to receive less blood and oxygen. This decrease in blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or other symptoms.
Well, you guessed it, that is now my problem and the solution is to have a Coronary Bypass Operation. Coronary artery bypass grafting, or “CABG” (pronounced “cabbage”), is a common heart procedure. A surgeon takes a section of a healthy blood vessel from my leg, chest, or arm. The vessel is then connected (grafted) to my coronary artery slightly past the site of the blockage. This creates a new path for blood to flow around (bypass) the blockage in the artery so it can get to my heart.(Acknowledgements here to Medtronic Inc of Sydney)
Now, there will be some who will be amazed that there is in fact a heart in there at all! Sorry to disappoint!
You know, there has been some pretty amazing heart stopping moments in my life so far, but none that will match this event. I am told that I will be attached to a heart-lung bypass machine whilst the surgeon does the grafting. Awesome!! The gruesome pic at the right is what is proposed and when completed will give me a new lease of life.
So, to all my handful of followers and to any other interested bystanders, there will be a pause in my blogs (unusual!) and in my other normal activities, but like all bad pennies and annoying smells – I shall return!
I can only marvel at the fantastic Medical Service that we have in Australia and am so grateful for what they can achieve. This enforced rest will give me the time to read and review more great Australian authors. Kath and I will fight this together and maybe even write a book about How to Fix a Broken Heart.
Author: Nicole Alexander
ISBN: 978 1 74166 943 5
Stars: * * *
Synopsis: The sequel to The Bark Cutters, full of romance, tragedy, family secrets, and misunderstandings.
Past and present interweave in the continuing legacy of the Gordon family. It’s the early 19th Century and Hamish Gordon has a massive rural holding built on stock theft and is determined to ensure that his son and heir, Angus, will inherit an enlarged property. Embarking on a final stage of land acquisition, a ruthless plan to buy out his neighbours, Hamish’s actions nearly destroy Wangallon and have serious repercussions for generations to come. Luke, Hamish’s eldest surviving son from his first marriage is a wild man, at odds with civilized society. Deeply affected by the untimely deaths of his siblings and mother some 30 years earlier, he feels deserted. His unrequited love for his young stepmother leads him to choose a life as Wangallon’s Boss drover, an existence which keeps him away from the property most of the year. When Luke learns that his father has engineered events to keep him on the property he must choose between a chance at a new life and the protection of the only home he has ever known. In 1989 two years after the death of family patriarch Angus Gordon, Sarah Gordon now runs Wangallon with the assistance of her fiancé, Anthony. Their relationship begins to deteriorate when a power struggle develops between them. Sarah’s problems escalate with the arrival of her Scottish half-brother, Jim Macken who is intent on receiving the inheritance bequeathed to him by Angus Gordon. Unable to buy Jim out and with the possibility of losing one third of Wangallon, Sarah finds herself fighting the law, her half-brother and Anthony. She has the same inescapable Gordon qualities that will ensure both and her Wangallon’s survival—but will it be at the expense of her happiness?
Status: Read in June 2013 – from Holdfast Bay Library
As sequel The Bark Cutters, this book develops more of the complex characters, in particular Sarah who is having difficulty accepting her passion and love for the family cattle station, Wangallon. Her love for Anthony becomes overshadowed by the terms of her grandfathers Will and her discovery of a half brother in Scotland who wants his inheritance.
The story is well crafted with many twists and turns but moves at a slow pace until the conclusion.
The characters are all somewhat shallow and this made it difficult to empathise with anyone. However, in the tradition of a fine family saga, all turns out well in the end with a fitting conclusion.
Available: Amazon, Google Play, Fishpond
Author: Nicole Alexander
ISBN: 978 74166 942 8
Four Stars: * * * *
Synopsis: The Bark Cutter is a gripping family saga that centres around a family property. Past and present interweave in a story that traces the Gordon family from the arrival of Scottish immigrant Hamish Gordon in the 1850s to the life of his great-granddaughter Sarah.
Status: Read on June 14, 2013 – copy from Holdfast Bay Library
My thoughts: This is a fascinating if somewhat slow story of two strong characters in Australia’s bush history. The past and present are interwoven in the family saga of the Gordon family. Beginning with the painful story of Scottish, Hamish Gordon, who immigrated to Australia in the 1850s to the life of his great-granddaughter Sarah, on their family property, Wangallon, in the magical bush of north eastern New South Wales.
The growing up of Sarah is the focus of this saga and the influence of her Grand-father, Angus is strongest on Sarah. She adores her older brother Cameron who is the apple of his dysfunctional parents’ eyes. The story is further enhanced by the arrival of Anthony, an excellent jackeroo of Cameron’s age and Sarah now has two heroes to worship.
This is an accurate and fascinating tale of the love of the land and the obsession of dynasty which will fracture a family and yet build and strengthen the love of two young people.
Available: Amazon, Google Play, Book Depository