In Conversations with Strangers
This is a book that is difficult to assign to a genre. We suppose Literary Fiction would be the most fitting. In any case it would not have been a usual read for any of our reviewers. But one took a chance and was so enthused he recommended it to all of us—and we’re very, very glad he did.
You see, this is the story of a woman who abruptly uproots her life and goes on a journey across Australia. We don’t have a clear picture of why, but it doesn’t really matter, for the book is about the strangers she meets along the way and how they affect each other’s lives.
Every few pages of this book we found myself saying, “Wow, didn’t see that coming!” And that’s one of the highest compliments we can pay a novel. The editor read half the book in one sitting, anxious to discover what was around the bend.
Brenda Cheers, the author, has an uncanny knack for telling stories and you will never guess what’s coming next while thoroughly enjoying and savoring every single word, every twist and turn, which she divulges slowly and carefully. Each encounter is told with emotional impact so deep that the reader is left caring for each and every one. ‘In Conversations with Strangers’ is a journey both for the reader and we suspect the author..
We loved this book on so many different levels. It gives us a glimpse into Australia that we perhaps missed until now. It introduced us to so many fascinating characters. It was at times sensitive and heart wrenching. At times it even gave us a insight into our own past relationships, especially one much like Janine, the main character, who wants to be left alone yet must somehow function in society. It made us wish we had read this many years ago so we would have known how to handle that special young woman.
As the story reached conclusion we had a terrible foreboding of how it would end and we were correct… The fact that the ending had such an effect just proves what a skilled writer the author is. It thrilled us, saddened us, grabbed us, was at many points heart wrenching, and most of all made us think and feel about ourselves and our loved ones.
What a story teller, what an astonishing read! We couldn’t find a single thing to improve.