Archive for April, 2016

(The original review can be found on Goodreads)

The Drago Tree, the name and the cover appealed from the start, and then from the first page, I was in love with the beautiful prose, the elegantly constructed sentences, which promised an intelligent and insightful story, sensitively told.

I was not disappointed.

The novel is set on the island of Lanzarote, brought to life by an author who knows it intimately. With confidence, she lavishes poetic descriptions of its unique landscape, placing you there; making you feel, see and fall in love with the place.

For example, the character Ann sees from her car window: “Several calderas pimpled the land to the south-west. The lava plain, to the south of her now, rose to meet its mother, La Corona, a monolith of black in the fading light.”

The author applies her talent for intricate detail to her characters as well. The trio we focus upon are complex, flawed, vulnerable…

It is Ann’s journey we follow, and I really enjoyed the snippets of her past that were revealed to us, providing intriguing, and at times, disturbing encounters with her sister.

The island’s past and history is also heavily featured; and I could not help but champion and understand Ann’s sympathy for an island ravished by tourists, its past and culture presented in superficial and sensational ways to serve as a diversion to the damage being done to natural habitats.

Through Ann we are able to connect with what is natural, meaningful and raw – she is despite her troubled and haunting past, an idealist, an artist – a cloud catcher!

I found it a delightful and enjoyable read… the believable relationships explored in the novel developed, expanded and evolved swiftly, adding sprinkles of romance and mystery to an inner journey taking place in an exotic location.

I recommend this novel if you like superb writing and reading a novel that has something meaningful to say about people, places and life.                                5 Stars

Composed by Michelle Saftich, Port of No Return.

 

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Last month I found myself on a fast train from Edinburgh to London. Too tired to read, I spent the whole journey gazing out the window. Recollecting that journey, one memory stands out: the number of wind farms, none of them that far from residential areas. I mentioned this to the couple seated by me, and they said that people are used to them. They realise the necessity. I have no idea if that is true, but their comment had me thinking how absurdly precious Australia can be.

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Also, we passed  a solar farm, tucked beside the railway tracks. Obviously someone decided those panels would generate enough power, despite cloud.

I know, as do many, that Australia could be 100% renewable so easily. We could be running all our vehicles off grid too. Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

So I ask myself, why is this country so embarrassingly backward when it comes to alternative energy? Is it because a small group of mining magnates have our politicians by the short and curlies? If so, then that is corruption, plain and simple.

Maybe we need a People’s Commission. Challenge these power-crazed dullards and their minions with their fracking and their blasting and their dredging. Drag them over their own hot coals.

A People’s Commission, now wouldn’t that be novel? But I doubt the citizenry of Australia is all that motivated. Too many are out to lunch on their sun loungers?

Well, on the up side, if you want a real estate bargain, buy a house in Toora, South Gippsland, a town situated near a wind farm.

http://stopthesethings.com/tag/toora-wind-farm/

http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/wind-storm-sixty-minutes-story-about-wind-farm-woes-at-toora-wind-farm-victoria/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-18/a-wind-turbine-at-toora-wind-farm-in-the-south/7180670

Good news is prices in Toora are low, they are right down there with properties in towns in decline due to the endless dry.