Meredith Grant

Meredith Grant
Meredith Grant is an emerging Regional Victorian writer. She has been shortlisted for the Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Lit. Awards for Prose, runner-up for the FAW Qld. Soapbox Article competition and most recently been awarded runner-up in the Writers Victoria Regional Members Writing Competition. She has also contributed to on-line Journals and had articles and personal memoirs published on-line. She studied Professional Writing and Editing at Ballarat University and has a strong focus on writing non-fiction. Her goal is to become a freelance writer where her contributions will cover her experience and knowledge on topics that sit close to her heart, including Australia's homeless epidemic, teenage depression and Australian adoption matters. She is currently working on her full length memoir she hopes to have published, until then her short memoir works are being submitted to various opportunities and competitions which she hopes will help raise her writing profile.

Book Reviews

May 2016

Well, while I'm still reading this wonderful book, I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying it. It breathes life into a time where I think we all need to stop and take stock of our lives, and to look at the direction we're heading in our relationships, our careers and the goals and ambitions we have put off for too long or not even contemplated yet. That's what this book is so good at teaching; teaching us to just stop for a moment and perhaps follow those dreams new or old, to fulfill our lives with necessary change and stuff the consequences, what is meant to be, is meant to be.

July 2016

Wow! I now realise what everyone has been talking about. 'Wild' is a memoir I feel most of us can relate to at least one time within our lives; perhaps we've lost our way whether briefly and need to find some kind of inner resolve to pull us from the depths of despair. 

This openly honest account takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride revealing the author's deepest and inner-most personal experiences and thoughts that will leave you humbled by the raw truth of it all. 

When Cheryl Strayed felt she'd lost everything following her mother's death, a family breakdown and her failed marriage, she stumbles by chance upon a book titled The Pacific Crest Trail, Volume 1, California. At first she puts the book back only to return and purchase that very same book that would shape her life forever. 

What did she have to lose? After all she was alone, separated and the idea of trekking this jagged line upon a map called the Pacific Crest Trail left her with a feeling of both promise and mystery.

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail takes a special kind of courage, especially when you're a woman and doing it alone and without any prior hiking experience. It would take eleven-hundred miles to complete, crossing ever changing terrains, sleeping out among the wilderness, crossing deserts and forests, coming face-to-face with Brown Bears and Rattle Snakes, forming bonds with fellow hikers while living in solitude and confronting demons that appear inescapable. 

It's a test of will where it breaks your soul before healing it. It's about bravery and determination, about never giving in and never turning back and that's how this memoir moves, with the author trekking from the town of Mojave on the Mexican border to just beyond the Canadian border at Cascade Locks with her only companion Monster, a backpack which is larger and heavier than any hiker would like to believe. 

Cheryl Strayed's journey along the PCT takes the reader on more than just a trek through the wilderness, it reveals heartbreak and regret, it confronts some of life's biggest uncertainties and challenges, it allows the reader to view things from their own perspective, to engage, to associate, to heal, to sympathise and empathise, to laugh and to cry. 

I highly recommend this read to anyone and everyone in any position in life, for we all can learn a thing or two from this experience. 

July 2015

So now that I've finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, I am neither highly elated nor deflated by the experience. This must come across seemingly critical and I should however clarify I did enjoy the read, but was somewhat let down by all the ends being so neatly tied-up at the conclusion.

Don and Rosie's character's were likable and kept the story moving with Don's "eccentric" behaviors, along with the inclusion of Gene (Don's best friend), who identifies with much of real life scenario's or what most people would call experiencing a mid-life crisis.

I loved the intertwining stories of the two projects being played out concurrently; and it became obvious that this story does lend itself very much to a screenplay, and how fitting that would be, how much more enjoyable - from my perspective- that would make this story, watching each character come alive right before you, and I can see myself truly being immersed in their antics, in the humor, in the painful truth of looking for love and possibly never finding it.

The Rosie Project is definitely worth the read, and yes, I think I will have to read The Rosie Effect even if it's just for curiosity sake.

One last thing: This book did win the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for unpublished manuscript in 2012
Madeleine: Our Daughter's Disappearance and the Continuing Search for HerMadeleine: Our Daughter's Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her by Kate McCann

A raw first-hand account given by the mother of the widely publicised disappearance of her four-year-old daughter Madeleine while holidaying with family and friends.

Following Madeleine's disappearance from the Ocean Club resort in the village of Praia da luz Portugal on 3 May 2007, Kate McCann takes on critics to deliver her personal account of what happened on the days leading up to, and the four years that follow with their on-going quest to find her daughter through their tireless efforts and help from benefactors that include J.K Rowling and companies like British Airways and Vodophone in helping launch The Madeleine Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned, and the Find Madeleine website.

While questions are raised over Madeleine's disappearance such as, was she abducted? Was it a burglary gone wrong? Did Madeleine wander off, or more sinister did her own parents play a role in her disappearance or worse her murder? These confronting issues soon expose a series of incompetent inaccuracies made by authorities throughout the entire investigation raising problems from judicial secrecy laws, translation, unnecessary delays, propaganda, suspects and false sightings which all hinder the search for one small innocent child.

To add to the McCann's growing frustration in finding their daughter, their translator Robert Murat becomes a key suspect in the investigation only to be cleared later with no circumstantial evidence, and instead the McCann's are put under the spotlight where they face not only the guilt of leaving their child alone that night, but mounting speculation from media and police focusing in on them as suspects themselves, changing the dynamics of the investigation from not just looking for a missing child; but looking for a conviction.

The age-old question of 'What if" is endlessly raised throughout Kate's recollections of events, times she draws on where she may have otherwise met with caution but instead overlooked and admits ,"This decision, one that we all made, has naturally been questioned time and again, not least by us. It goes without saying that we now bitterly regret it, and will do so until the end of our days."
This is truly a book you wish you didn't have to read but none-the-less must. As your heart goes out to the family in search of their precious daughter, hope for Madeleine's return remains paramount, a true sense of humanity is found among these pages along with the unfortunate set of appalling circumstances that will leave you wanting to scream with despair.

View all my reviews

This would have to be one of the most funny and entertaining reads I think I have ever encountered. 'A Tiny Bit Marvellous,' is a bloody hugely bit hilarious!  If you haven't read this you are truly missing out on an experience; what are you waiting for?  Go and read it...
Through a Glass Darkly by Caroline Jones

This is a book I read some time ago; not that long ago, although probably a few years ago now. For anyone who has lost a loved one through illness; especially a father, I highly recommend this book.  An unknown force drew me to buy this book after my father passed away from related health issues after sufferring dementia. 
Yes, parts of the book were very close to home, but that's what I liked about it.  I was able to relate very closely to Caroline's personal journey, allowing me to sit back and say, hey, I know where you are coming from.  I will always hold this book close to my heart as I do the memory of my dad.

I came to say goodbye by Caroline Overington

What a compelling read.  A story that intertwines the lives of mix race and intellectual motive.  Ironically the storyteller shares the same name as myself, although abbreviates it to Med. 
I can share with you - without spoiling the plot - that this book reaches into more than the everyday lives of a family who have faced misfortune and missed opportunity.  Med, who narrates the story through a letter to a magistrate, shows the reaader the heartache he and his family are succombed too, following a string of events that would test any familys loyalty to one another. 
It brings the reader in touch with the system of child protection, one which paints a very different picture than you would expect, and one which questions whose best interests are at heart when they make the descions they do.
There is a mix of emotions felt throughout along with some unexpected twists in the storyline that leave you gasping with grief and horror. 
Anyone with compassion to family ethics should really read this one.


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