Mrs Rickaby's Lullaby

Fiction - Mystery - General
214 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Julie Anne Thorndyke graduated with merit from the Master of Creative Writing program at the University of Sydney. She has published poems and stories in many literary journals. A winner in the US based Tanka Splendor competition in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, she was also awarded an honourable mention in 6th International Tanka Festival Competition 2009 (Japan). She facilitates a local tanka-writers’ group, participates in collaborative poetry presentations and leads creative writing workshops. Julie won the 2011, 2015 and 2017 FAW Pauline Walsh short story competitions and the 2018 John Kelly Short Story for an original myth, folk or fairy tale. Two collections of her tanka poetry are available from Ginninderra Press. Her picture book with Anna Seed, Waiting for the Night, is available from Interactive Press. In 2017, Julie was appointed editor of Eucalypt: a tanka journal by founding editor Beverley George. Her novel Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby was published by Ginninderra Press in 2019.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby is a work of fiction and interpersonal drama by first-time novelist Julie Thorndyke. Set in an initially tranquil retirement village in Australia, we first meet the titular character in her neat little life with her cat, Missy, and her flowers and her music. But when Eileen Rickaby’s friend Irene brings home a younger man, whom she says will be her new husband, trouble begins. As the village falls victim to strange happenings, thefts and moments of violence, Eileen sets out to protect her friend and neighbor by any means she can think of. What follows is a light and entertaining drama with much to say about friendship and the journey of getting older.

This compact and delightful first novel would make an excellent holiday read for anyone seeking tranquillity, quirky characters, and true entertainment value in their dramas. Author Julie Thorndyke puts her previous experience with poetry to use in this debut novel, which is filled with skilled wordplay and gorgeous imagery right from the start. The dedication to character in the development of Eileen makes her feel like a real character you could go and visit in her home, with every detail laid out and fully thought through. This attention to detail extends out into a quintessentially Australian supporting cast and village location, bringing all kinds of authenticity and amusement to the plot as it unfolds. Overall, Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby is a fully emotive yet light and enjoyable novel, with beautiful construction and a poignant feeling to its conclusion.