Book: The White Pearl
Author: Kate Furnivall
Set in Malaya during World War II, Connie Hadley’s world is turned upside-down and the fight for life is on. On the surface, everything appears successful, but Connie is haunted by the dark secrets of her past, and the pressures of a failing marriage. Tragic everyday events build up to the eventual attack on Pearl Harbour. Suddenly the Japs are in the game, and death is too close for comfort.
Connie plans an escape from the ravaging war. On board her boat, The White Pearl, are her husband and son, three friends, two native siblings, and a mysterious man named Fitzpayne. Almost everyone has motives of their own, and Connie is never quite sure who she can trust - including herself.
This, a war story not without death and heart-wrenching action, is also a love story and a journey toward freedom. The frequent cussing is forgiven by the intensity of war, but the book is not for the faint at heart. I loved the intermingling of action, romance and mystery.
By Sandi Mallinson
Artist: Florence and the Machine
When Lungs was released a few years ago I fell in love with a new kind of music. Florence and the Machine immediately became one of my favourite bands and I have eagerly awaited the release of their next album. I listened to every song on Ceremonials as soon as I could and came to the conclusion that they are still as good as I had hoped. Florence Welsh, the lead singer and actual icon of the band has outdone herself in so many respects with this album. The alternative rock, folk and pop that she performs has been toned down into a mellower and darker album than Lungs, which is a welcome addition to their sound for me.
Some songs are louder than their first material, like ‘Shake it Out’, and they pull this off very well. Some songs are also a lot softer, like ‘What the Water Gave Me’. So in many respects Ceremonials is a polarisation of their sound. However, I doubt it will cause a polarisation of the fans.
The music still has the same essence and feel, the same quality and beauty. Welsh’s voice reaches new even greater heights and the music is written seamlessly and is hauntingly beautiful.
This band is not for everyone – their sound is really quite alternative and even unnerving for some. However, if you are a fan this is a must-have addition to your music collection.