“I am ashamed to say I have had a advanced copy of BLACK COW on my Nook for months and finally read it recently when I saw in "The Compulsive Reader", Ms. Ball's wonderful online review newsletter, that the novel would be released February 24th.
I loved her previous novel, SLEEP BEFORE EVENING, and BLACK COW is another fabulous story with universal themes all readers can embrace.
Ms. Bell has also written a couple of books of poetry, REPULSION THRUST and QUARK SOUP. Lyrical, almost poetic passages, play a part in BLACK COW,too, along with some really gritty sequences.
James and Freya Archer seem to be on unhappy hamster wheel when the reader first meets them. Their jobs are extemely stressful, but they feel they must deal with the the never ending demands so they can provide the life and things everyone else seems to have for themselves and their children.
Their two teenagers, Cameron and Dylan, may have all the electonic gadgets they need, but they have other issues to battle and their parents are often absent due to work demands.
After some serious health issues, James and Freya wrestle with making big changes in their lives and lifestyle. Can these changes bring happiness and contentment, or just new stresses?
The novel is set in Australia, but the issues the characters deal with are ones people everywhere struggle with. The author gives insight in to each of the family members and we see them "warts and all".
BLACK COW takes some complex concerns and work them into a compact novel that is highly readable and thought provoking. I look forward to more excellent tales from Ms. Ball in the future.”
bookworm51 wrote this review Sunday, February 19, 2012.