Cover Image: Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

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EXCERPT: 'It's good you're here for a while, Julia. She needs someone. She's changed. I guess we all have, but she's . . . she won't bend.'

'I am a bit concerned she's avoiding anything much to do with the town. She used to be involved with half the things that went on there. Is this self-imposed exile something to do with Audrey?' Julia had tried to bring up the topic of Audrey before Eve left for Adelaide but the conversation had been diverted.

'Pretty much the whole thing is to do with Audrey. Has Eve talked to you about it?'

Julia shook her head.

'It's a bit of a story . . .'

ABOUT 'BIRDS OF A FEATHER': Eve has been a partner in a Wallaby Bay fishing fleet as long as she can remember. Now they want her to sell - but what would her life be without work? She lives alone, her role on the town committee has been spiked by malicious gossip and she is incapacitated after surgery. For the first time in her life she feels weak, vulnerable - old.

When her troubled god-daughter Julia arrives at Wallaby Bay, she seems to offer Eve a reprieve from her own concerns. But there is no such thing as plain sailing. Eve has another house guest, the abrasive Lucy, who is helping her recuperate and does not look kindly on Julia's desire for Eve's attention.

But Lucy, too, has demons to battle and as each woman struggles to overcome their loss of place in the world, they start to realise that there may be more that holds them together, than keeps them apart.

But will these birds of feather truly be able to reinvent what family means? Or will the secrets and hurts of the past shatter their precarious hold on their new lives ... and each other?

MY THOUGHTS: The story focuses on three women of different ages who are thrown together by circumstance. Eve, Julia and Lucy, although of different generations, are decidedly similar - they are all strong, independent women used to making their own decisions and who resent being told what they should do and how to do it, and none of them are comfortable with accepting help, no matter how badly it is needed.

Birds of a Feather is about female friendship, the unlikely places it can be found and the strength in letting go - of secrets, of resentments, of fear.

It's a quick and enjoyable read, heartwarming, and I loved the small town setting of Wallaby Bay, South Australia.

⭐⭐⭐.7

#BirdsofaFeather #NetGalley

I: @triciastringerauthor @hqstories

T: @tricia_stringer @HQstories

#australianfiction #contemporaryfiction #familydrama #sliceoflife #smalltownfiction

THE AUTHOR: Tricia lives in the beautiful Copper Coast region of South Australia, often exploring Australia's diverse communities and landscapes, and shares this passion for the country and its people through her authentic stories and their vivid characters.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Birds of a Feather by Tricia Stringer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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Fabulous book by Tricia Stringer.  Five stars all the way!  What a great story, and it kept me turning the pages into the night!!
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Oh my goodness. I loved this book.  I’ve never read a Stringer book before and I love her smooth flowing writing style.
This one just flowed and had no low points. 
3 generations of women who are so far apart in their lives, but are brought together to help Eve recover from shoulder surgery and there, their stories come out and what starts as a tense time, becomes the beginning of love and friendship for 3 wonen who were not expecting it.
Can’t recommend this one highly enough.
Thankyou for the opportunity to read a book I may never have picked up.  I will definitely be looking at more from Stringer in the future.
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Loved it. This isn’t a genre I normally read, so I’m very glad I’ve found one I really loved. The empowerment and support the characters gave each other was great to experience.
Very highly recommend.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

Sweet story that is strong on character, not drama.  Took some time to warm to the characters, particularly the 3 main women but I did. There are still enough unlikeable people to make it realistic.
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Three independent women of three different generations are at the centre of Tricia Stringer’s 14th novel, Birds of a Feather.

Septuagenarian Eve Monk is not at all pleased when a shoulder injury requiring surgery threatens her highly prized independence, and it’s with great reluctance that she hires registered nurse Lucy Ryan as home help. With her partner, a FIFO worker, often absent, young mother of two, Lucy, is uncomfortable with juggling work and childcare, and isn’t sure working for Eve is good idea. Nevertheless, the two slowly warm to each other, much to the annoyance of Eve’s goddaughter, Julia, who arrives unannounced after finding herself at a professional and personal crossroad.

Exploring the themes of independence, friendship, careers and family, among others, each woman, though at different stages in their lives, struggle with similar issues in Birds of a Feather. This is a character driven story as Eve, Lucy and Julia confront the spectres of their pasts and find the courage to determine new futures.

To be honest it took me a while to warm to all three characters. I initially thought Eve to be brusque and demanding, Lucy overly anxious, and Julia rude and selfish. As the story progresses however each becomes more nuanced and I came to admire their many strengths. The development of their friendship is gratifying, and I was cheered by the supportive bond they formed, and drew strength from.

Set in mid 2021 Stringer doesn’t overlook the impact of the CoVid-19 pandemic, which has affected both Lucy and Julia, but it doesn’t have an active presence in the story per se. Most of the novel takes place in a small coastal town, named Wallaby Bay, on the Spencer Gulf in South Australia. I liked the depiction of the community, whose main industries include tourism and prawn-trawling, and the minor conflicts of its residents add colour and interest to the story.

Warm, sincere and thoughtful, Birds of a Feather is an engaging contemporary novel sure to delight readers, new and old.
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There's something comforting about reading a Tricia Stringer book. Like drinking a hot cup of tea tucked up in a cozy blanket. Stringer has very well developed characters in Birds of a Feather; the 70 year old Eve, the prickly god-daughter Julia and the guarded nurse Lucy are all formed by their life circumstances. All three women are thrown together in unusual circumstances and a gradual friendship is formed. 

The themes of friendship run strong in this story and sometimes it's the friends you choose who become your family. I enjoyed watching this all unfold and learning about the challenges these strong women have faced and how the support of friends and family helped them to address these challenges and move past them with strength and dignity. There are glimpses of us all, or people we know, in these characters and Stringer fleshes them out so well that they feel very real. A thoroughly enjoyable read
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Birds Of A Feather - Tricia Stringer 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. From the first page, I was sucked in and couldn't wait to get back to these characters. 

I really enjoyed following Eve, Lucy and Julia as they each help one another find their way through these tough spots in their lives. They are each fiercely strong and independent with secrets and pasts that are weighing them down. 

I loved the setting of coastal Wallaby Bay, and the small town characters that pop up along the way. 

This is the first book I have read with a strong Covid storyline, and I thought I would hate reading about it, but I was wrong. It's inclusion worked perfectly with the story and was really well handled. 

Overall, a beautiful story of friendship and family, sometimes one and the same. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Netgalley and HarlequinAus for the chance to read and review this gorgeous book.
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This was my first Tricia Stringer book and it won’t be my last! I really enjoyed Birds of a Feather – the story of Eve, Julia and Lucy. Three very different women who all come together under unusual circumstances.
Eve is a 70-year-old widow who has lived in Wallaby Bay forever and worked in the prawn industry for most of her life. Julia is Eve’s god daughter and a research scientist who has lost her job and her way. Lucy is a registered nurse, a cleaner and a mother of two whose husband is a FIFO worker.
When Julia arrives in Wallaby Bay to stay with Eve, she discovers Eve already has a house guest. Lucy is helping Eve recover from surgery. Together under one roof, things get a little prickly. Julia isn’t used to sharing her god mother. Tensions rise when circumstances lead to Lucy and her children temporarily living in Eve’s house.  The story navigates each of their own personal struggles as well as the challenge they then work on together to acknowledge and recognise the town’s prawn industry.   
Having worked as a research scientist myself, I loved that this was a role in the story – the careers of scientists are often not well publicised! I also really enjoyed the information about the prawn industry. I look forward to buying prawns at Christmas and forever thinking about this book and the work that goes into harvesting these creatures! I wasn’t sure about the Covid angle at first but in the end I think it worked. 
Birds of a Feather is a lovely story detailing the challenges life throws at people and how female friendship can work to overcome these.  Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Oh there were lots of happy tears from me when I got to the end of this fabulous story, this one had me turning the pages as I got to know three women, who are similar in many ways, they are strong, independent and very capable of making their own decisions and not impressed when others try to help, but they are bought together by unusual circumstances and Eve, Julia and Lucy find that spending time together opens up a new bond that brings happiness to them all. I do hope you come along to the small coastal fishing town of Wallaby Bay in South Australia and meet these true lovely ladies.

Eve is seventy now and has lived in Wallaby Bay seems forever she is widowed and her grown-up sons don’t live close, she has been a huge part of the prawning fleet and the town always but times are changing and gossip has kept her away from the committees and spending time alone at her beautiful home. When she is injured and needs surgery she also needs help at home, not easy to accept for Eve.

Lucy is a nurse and a young married mother of two children her husband Alec works as a FIFO and so she spends a lot of time as a single mother and her past makes her very protective of her children and relying on other people is not easy for Lucy even her in-laws who live in the Bay, but when she is asked to help Eve with her recovery she steps up to help not realizing how her life will change.

Julia forty five is a research scientist, Eve’s goddaughter and lives in Melbourne things have suddenly changed for Julia and decisions need to be made for her, in her work life and personal life and a trip back to Wallaby Bay might be just what she needs to make these decisions and she is looking forward to surprising Eve, only when she gets there she finds Lucy helping Eve and this for some reason doesn’t sit well with her.

Tricia Stringer has bought these woman together in such a beautiful way, all three had secrets and pasts that really needed to be talked about and bought out in the open before any of them could honestly look to the future and see the happiness that could be there and like birds of a feather they came together, opened up and found the bond of love and friendship, together through ups and downs they battled the past demons and became even stronger and so much happier.

I loved this one from start to finish and cannot highly recommend it enough, this is one for the keeper shelf and Eve, Lucy, Julia and the many other wonderful characters of Wallaby Bay will stay with me for a long time to come.

My thanks to Harlequin AU for my copy to read and review.
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Can I just open with saying I want to live in Wallaby Bay. Tricia Stringer envelopes coastal living in her latest offering Birds Of A Feather, and I could easily insert myself into this book and live there forever.
The story of three strong women and how their lives become intertwined as they are brought together by quite interesting circumstances. Eve the town stalwart and owner of a local prawning business, Julia her narky God Daughter who arrives for a visit out of the blue and Lucy, the nurse in charge of Eve after a shoulder surgery.
All three have their own idiosyncrasies which immediately clash and makes for an interesting narrative that will keep you invested until the very last page. Tricia Stringer is an auto read for me and I was so extremely pleased to be able to review one of her books and give my honest thoughts. Birds Of A Feather is a beautiful book full of torment and emotion and all in a magnificent coastal town in South Australia. I absolutely love stories set in Australia and I am certain this book will be devoured by anyone who picks it up, a perfect weekend read. I must mention Tricia’s handling of the current pandemic which does emerge throughout the story, it was done tastefully and with care and I think she hit the mark perfectly. Another beautiful story from a great Australian author. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for the early reading copy. Birds of a Feather  is out now.
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Having now read a few books by this author I am very happy to recommend this book.
The story centres on three women, Eve in her seventies, Julia in her forties and Lucy in her twenties.  Each has reached a pivotal point in their lives, in terms of career and putting up solid emotional barriers to protect themselves.  When Eve injures her shoulder, it seems to her like the last straw and she is forced to concede that her fierce independence is not enough to manage by herself.
Julia and Lucy both come into Eve's orbit and given that they are all strong and independent this will either make them or break them.  Can they crack open their barriers and let someone else in? Can they show any weakness to these other formidable women?
The setting for the story is Wallaby Bay, a small coastal town in South Australia and it was a lovely location for a cracking good story!
Thank you Harlequin Australia, HQ (Fiction, Non Fiction, YA) & MIRA, HQ Fiction and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this digital ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Another wonderful contemporary fiction novel by Tricia Stringer.
Lucy, Alec and their two young children have relocated to Wallaby Bay to be closer to Alec’s parents, especially as he is a FIFO worker. Lucy is offered the opportunity to use her nursing skills when Eve,  the independent matriarch figure of the local fishing fleet injuries her shoulder. 
At the same time Julia, who is Eve’s goddaughter decides to stay with Eve as she takes time to decide some major life’s decisions. Thrown tighter, feathers are ruffled but through understanding and a united font over Eve’s care and local town gossip and lovely friendship grows.
I really enjoyed this latest offering from Tricia Stringer. I could imagine each of these characters and the interaction they had with one another. Really it is just a lovely story to pass a number of hours.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
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‘Sometimes you just get sick of fighting to keep your head above water.’

Birds of a Feather is the latest offering from Aussie favourite Tricia Stringer. Her books always strike a chord with her faithful following. On this occasion, Tricia gives us a multi generational family drama but with the emphasis on what exactly is family? A fantastic theme to ponder in these new and uncertain times.

Tricia brings together three very different women under the same roof - none of them are technically family - yet they embrace to be a ‘family’ for each other in their time of need. There is the retired Eve who required help after shoulder surgery. Middle aged Julia (Eve’s goddaughter) who has come to stay between jobs. The younger Lucy who is employed by Eve to assist with her recuperation. 

‘I wasn’t perfect and neither was life … we have to make adjustments and understand that we all have foibles and make mistakes. It’s how we deal with the lumps and bumps of life that make us.’

Each of the women are at a stage of their life where they have questions and concerns. Currently living under the same roof, they come together through cups of tea or glasses of wine to provide the support that a family traditionally would. As they talk about their past or present dilemmas an unlikely friendship forms.

‘Well,” she said. “You really are b …” She harrumphed again. “You really are birds of a feather.” Then she turned on her heel and left the hall. Norma scurried after her. Lucy shook her head. “Was that meant as an insult?’

Once more Tricia proves her mastery at highlighting current issues many face. Whether it be purposeful living in retirement, expectations of marriage or challenges faced by FIFO families as a few examples, she sensitively addresses these very real life situations for people. Written in 2020 Tricia addresses the elephant in the room - the Covid pandemic. She explains that in her small way she wished to pay tribute to the front line workers and, although not a priority in the story, Tricia does acknowledge its existence and impact.

‘We have to learn how to stop being controlled by it. Things happen in life, good and bad; you chalk them up to experience and move on. It took me a long time to work through that.’

This book is cleverly crafted to provide three inter generational viewpoints on a range of contemporary issues. It provides much to consider and contemplate. I only wish I could sit around with Eve, Julia and Lucy to have a cuppa whilst sharing our fears and failures, our hopes and dreams. 

‘It’s made me rethink many things. To begin with I was looking backwards, wishing life was how it had been before, but now I think I need to focus on a future where I may need to do some things differently.’






This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.
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Tricia Stringer is one of my ‘go-to’ authors, anyone interested in a warm read with strong women and plenty of family connections, should definitely invest the time!
I loved the characters in this book, their connections were real and believable! The storyline kept my interest and pulled at my heartstrings, a superbly written must read!

Thanks so much to the amazingly talented Tricia Stringer, NetGalley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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‘Eve Monk would never forget where she was and what she was doing the day she got the call to say her husband had been killed.’

That was in 1988. And now, in the middle of 2021, Eve is one of the matriarchs of South Australia’s (fictional) Wallaby Bay and a long-time partner in the Wallaby Bay prawn fishing fleet. Town gossip has seen Eve withdraw from her position on the town’s committee and now her partner Spiro wants to sell out. Eve is not sure, and then a shoulder injury shatters her independence. 

Lucy, her husband Alec and children Noah and Poppy have moved to Wallaby Bay. Alec’s parents live there as well, which is helpful. But while Lucy is grateful for their support because Alec is a FIFO worker, she really doesn’t want to rely on them too much. Lucy is a very protective mother. While Lucy has a nursing background, she’s reluctant to return to nursing. For now, she is happy to do cleaning work. 

Julia, Eve’s goddaughter, has been working on a research project in Melbourne. But, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, priorities have changed leaving Julia out of a job. While she considers what to do next, Julia decides to surprise Eve by visiting Wallaby Bay. Julia has had one failed relationship, and wary of commitment, she is also seeking a break from her current partner Glen while she works out whether she wants the relationship to continue.

Three very different women, drawn together by circumstances. Eve needs assistance after her shoulder injury and then after the surgery required to fix it. Lucy is employed by Eve to help her, but she and Julia really do not get on. Each of the women is battling past demons. As the women talk to each other about their fears and concerns, an unlikely but supportive friendship is formed.

I really enjoyed this novel, with its coverage of topical issues (including the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges faced by FIFO families, and life after retirement0. Ms Stringer brings her characters to life, as well as the sometimes claustrophobic ‘feel’ of a small town. 

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia, HQ Fiction for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Lucy, Alec and their two children Noah and Poppy hadn’t been in Wallaby Bay long but having Alec’s parents nearby was helpful for Lucy when Alec was away with his FIFO position. She was very protective of her children and felt uncomfortable leaving them with Alec’s parents. When Alec was home for a two week break, the opportunity came up for Lucy to once again use her nursing skills. The elderly Eve, one of the town’s matriarchs and long time partner in the Wallaby Bay fishing fleet, had injured her shoulder and as she lived alone, was struggling – although she didn’t like to admit it. When Lucy took Eve to Adelaide to see the specialist, he confirmed she would need surgery on her shoulder, so Lucy’s care was timely.

Julia had just completed her research project in Melbourne and was without a job, so decided a holiday with her beloved Eve, her godmother, in Wallaby Bay would be perfect. She hadn’t seen Eve for awhile and decided to surprise her with her visit. Eve was shocked to see Julia, and both Lucy and Julia didn’t hit it off at the beginning. Eve was grumpy because of her pain, Julia because of her problems and Lucy because of her worries. Would things settle between the three women? Then when Lucy took Eve to Adelaide for the surgery, Julia was put out…

Eve was feeling low; her pain wouldn’t leave her; she couldn’t do anything – she felt old and useless. Julia was at a crossroads in her life and couldn’t make any decisions while Lucy missed Alec and worried for their future. What would be the outcome for these three very different women who had become firm friends, while Noah and Poppy delighted Eve, giving her joy…

Birds of a Feather is another exceptional novel from Aussie author Tricia Stringer and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the feisty Eve, felt her heartache over events when she was in her mid-thirties, could associate with her loss of independence. Family is important to most people, but Birds of a Feather makes it easy to see that family doesn’t always have to be blood related. The cementing of friendships into the closeness of family is special – we’d all love to have friends of this nature. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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An interesting read set in a small town about women working together. An easy read that I would recommend.
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A fabulous read about three strong women and how they cope with the setbacks of everyday life. A realistic inclusion of the pandemic in 2021 made the story even more relevant. A thoroughly satisfying read.
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Birds of a Feather is the fourteenth novel by Australian author, Tricia Stringer. Eve, Julia and Lucy: they are probably the least likely trio to gather by intention, but life and circumstances have thrown them together in Wallaby Bay, and they need to make the best of it. 

Evelyn Monk has hit seventy without depending on anyone, so she’s most displeased that a (surely minor?) shoulder injury needs surgery and homecare thereafter. While her self-imposed exile has already cut down on many of her community activities, not being able to drive, to be independent, is unthinkable!

While research work is always dependent on funding, to lose her job at forty-five has Julia Paterson reassessing her priorities, and the best place to do that is back home in Wallaby Bay, where she can catch up with her brother on the family farm and stay with her godmother, Eve. A break from Glen Walker, the man she has kept at arm’s length for three years, won’t hurt either.

Registered nurse and mother of two, Lucy Ryan has had an extended break from nursing after a scare during the previous year. While her de-facto, Alec is often away doing FIFO work, the move to Wallaby Bay has allowed their children to better get to know his ageing parents. At her mother-in-law’s suggestion, she warily agrees to provide in-home care for the rather cranky prawn-fishing matriarch of Wallaby Bay, Evelyn Monk.

While their first few encounters are a little prickly, Lucy and Eve soon come to an understanding and get on rather well. When Julia and Lucy meet, though, they seem to instantly rub each other the wrong way and barely do more than tolerate each other. Their grudging but necessary cooperation for Eve’s sake gradually morphs into friendship, surprising them both.

Stringer’s setting in a small town on the Spencer Gulf in South Australia is well-rendered, and no wonder, as she is very familiar with the area. Her depiction of the community, with its gossip and loyalties and petty jealousies, is convincing, as are the townspeople who inhabit it. 

The challenges that Stringer throws her protagonists highlight various topical issues including feeling relevant after retirement and the unique problems faced by FIFO workers and their families. Her characters are appealing for all their faults and foibles, and it is heartening to watch them triumph over the adversities that life poses, and help each other doing it. 

The story starts in June 2021, and it’s certainly tricky to set a novel in the undefined landscape that is the aftermath of a pandemic: who could predict a Delta variant that throws states back into lockdown? Nonetheless, the pandemic aspects of the story are handled realistically without being overwhelming. A thought-provoking and heart-warming read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Australia.
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