In fear for their lives after the sudden death of their mother, Adéla and Klára must flee Prague to find refuge with their uncle in Australia. Later, Adéla becomes a film director at a time when the local industry is starting to feel the competition from Hollywood. But even while success is imminent, the issues of family and an impossible love are never far away. And ultimately dreams of the silver screen must compete with the bonds of a lifetime.
Silver Wattle confirms Belinda Alexandra as one of our foremost storytellers. Weaving fact into inspiring fiction with great flair and imagination, this is a novel as full of hope, glamour and heartbreak as the film industry itself.
©2008 Belinda Alexandra (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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"a really terrific read"
This is one of the best books I have ever read or listened to. I found the setting of Prague fascinating and then secret migration of the young sisters to Australia kept me in suspence as the story unfolded. Having spent my childhood in Watsons Bay, but of course at a later date, it added extra personal interest for me. The narration by Caroline Lee was excellent. I couldn't wait to start the next Belinda Alexandra novel.
This book was a joy to listen to. Caroline Lee is a wonderful narrator and draws you into the story until you feel like you are truly a part of it. I felt my palms sweat with the intrigue and suspense, my heart break with love that is denied, and tears prickle my eyes with the unexpected light in the darkest of times. This type of book really isn't what I usually go for, but I was not disappointed with it on any level.
"Rivals 'Golden Earrings', my all time FAVORITE"
Wonderful detailed story. Love how she takes you through numerous chapters of her characters lives. And, Caroline Lee is one of my top favorite narrators. She brings the book to life.
"Groan, Snore and Wince!"
This novel is like a rag rug, pieces of other people’s masters. Alexandra tries to create an interesting and complex fiction but ultimately bores with too many conflicts, characters and ideologies!
Silver Wattle’s conflicts journey along; murder, mental illness, polio, tuberculosis/consumption, high risk pregnancy of twins, murder AGAIN, and (I jest not) a snakebite. Besides the protagonist, characters comprise in part of, sister, mother, father, step father, step father’s girl friend, aunt, uncle, uncle’s wife, nephew, landlord, boyfriend, husband, lover, sister’s husband, landlord, camera man… and sooo many more. Everyone is proficient! There is a prodigy piano player, renowned interior designer, expert doctors, brilliant photographer, successful scriptwriter, movie producer, biologist, entrepreneur... REALLY! I wished there had been an accomplished author.
The locations that are expounded on are Checkesolvokia and too many places in Australia to care. We encounter a castle, a shanty, a shack, a cinema, a mansion, a cottage... are you beginning to feel the groan?
We visit social concerns like animal cruelty & vegetarianism, racism & discrimination, woman’s liberation, high society, philantropy & poverty, greedy Americans & altruistic Europeans, Catholicism & spiritualism (complete with ghost and apparition), wincing yet?
The inappropriate lover vs. husband tension is simply resolved by the death of one them. Writer’s copout! Which brings me to the lack of strength and morality of the protagonist, perpetrating such betrayal and dishonor on her husband. Albeit, she would never have acted that way towards an animal!
Lewd writing was minimal but that “rag” was in there too. A descriptive scene of touching a naked body part cheapened the read, in my opinion, to porn.
In conclusion, Narrator Caroline Lee did a good job except for the fact I could hear her eyes rolling to the back of her head. Too many words, no respect for words and certainly not a master of them! Avoid at all cost.
"Best Belinda Alexandra so far"
Yes, very entertaining. Often listen on commute back and forth to work. Helped to break away from the work mode.
I have never heard a book narrated by Caroline Lee I haven't liked, so far. Intrigued, by her ability to change accents to the occasion. Love it.
"Hated to have it end!"
I choose this book because of the narrator but I enjoyed it so much that I've just chosen another title by the same author. Very interesting period piece with characters who kept you invested and caring about what happened to them. The inclusion of silent pictures in the story and all of the detail in that was very interesting. Very enjoyable story! Moving on to the Golden Earrings with much anticipation.
"Not what I expected"
It's been a while since I listened, so I don't have the vivid memory of it I'd like to while reviewing. I did enjoy the book, however.
I appreciated its twists and turns, thoughtful reflection, and interesting background regarding the film industry.
Caroline Lee is one of my favorite readers. In fact, the reason I selected this book in the first place was because she'd be narrator.
This book was very well written and kept my attention all the way through. Sometimes I would forget that it was not a true life story as I would be so enraptured with the characters.
The reader was first class and I will look forward to listening to more of the authors work.
Having read previous reviews that this book may have been overwritten, with too many plot lines and unnecessary details I was a bit apprehensive about choosing it. I like a fast plot line as much as next reader, I think. But I found that as I became enamored with the leading character I did not feel bogged down by the details of her life but felt they made her more real. In the end I, as always, was sad to hear the end of the tale. It was worth the read for sure
I loved this book! It took me from Prague to Sydney, murder to integrity, humans to fauna. Maybe I'm too easy, but I felt the settings. The mood and era seemed so real, so well-drawn. As we're the characters. The plot took me to so many interesting ventures, challenges. I'm not expressing myself at all well. Just use your credit! You won't be sorry!
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