What we’re reading: May, Billingsley & Steinkellner

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on, or the music we’re loving.


Lian Hingee is reading Wahala by Nikki May

I just started reading Wahala, a debut novel about three women whose close-knit friendship is blown apart with the arrival of a fourth woman. Boo, Simi, and Ronke are three anglo-Nigerian women who became friends while at university. Now in their thirties, each of them are struggling with aspects of their lives. Boo feels trapped in her domestic role as a mother and wife, Simi suffers from crippling imposter syndrome is desperately trying to avoid getting pregnant to her clucky husband, and Ronke just really wants to settle down and find someone to spend the rest of her life with. When the glamorous, rich, and well-connected Isobel inserts herself into their group she seems to bring a breath of fresh air that the others desperately need, but it’s not long before it becomes clear that Isobel’s intentions may not be entirely honourable.

This is a fast-paced read with well-rounded, believable, and sympathetic characters. The uneasy unwinding of the mystery at the heart of the novel reminds of Liane Moriarty, and indeed Nikki May has said that she wanted to write ‘a brown Big Little Lies’. She’s succeeded brilliantly, I can’t wait to finish it.


Angela Crocombe is reading A Murmuration of Starlings by Franny Billingsley

Set in a slightly magical Western landscape, the story focuses on the experience of a young girl known only as Robber Girl. She lives in a cave with her boss and mentor, the leader of a criminal gang, known as Gentlemen Jack. But when a plan to rob a stagecoach goes awry and Gentleman Jack ends up in jail, wild Robber Girl must go to live with the town judge and his grieving wife.

The pull between her wild life and the comforts of a proper home is palpable and the reader is totally engrossed in Robber Girl’s journey, along with many other characters in this unusual town. This is a beautifully written adventure story set in a unique world that good readers aged over 10 and adults alike will enjoy. Now, excuse me but I need to find out what happens!


Lucie Dess is reading The Okay Witch series by Emma Steinkellner

This week I read both The Okay Witch and its sequel The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow. They are both fun, easy reads about thirteen-year-old Moth Hush who is witch-obsessed. The problem? Moth lives in a town with a history of hating witches.

But everything changes when Moth accidentally casts a spell on two bullies in her school … and discovers she comes from a generation of powerful witches that the town used to hunt. Moth’s adventures are so much fun and also explore bullying, racism and staying true to yourself. The illustrations are beautiful and there is nothing better than a graphic novel in full, vibrant colour. PLUS, there’s a talking cat. What more could you possibly want?



Nikki May

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