Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Minnow by Diana Sweeney

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.





The Minnow by Diana Sweeney
Published May 28, 2014 by Text Publishing
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: A girl called Tom. A flood that has taken the lives of her parents and sister. A guy called Bill, who has let her down. A grandmother who knows her secret. A good friend called Jonah, and a little catfish called Sarah. And the Minnow.
Strangers aren't always welcome in The Crossing, but reading The Minnow is like being a visitor to this small town, and going on a guided tour via the eyes of an innocent fourteen year old girl, Tom. There is so much detail to Tom’s story; she’ll introduce you to characters like Bill, a man who took her in after the flood, Jonah, her best friend, and Nana who resides in the Mavis Orstein Home for the Elderly. Right from the start you’ll be swept up in her tale of a town still recovering from a natural disaster.

There’s quite a dark undercurrent to this story, the blurb includes a subtle warning, but I was still extremely saddened by Tom’s life. The flood killed her parents and her younger sister Sarah, and even though almost a year has passed, Tom thinks about them constantly, even seeing Sarah in a little catfish and conversing with her. Tom is a naïve young girl who is also keenly observational and fascinated by word. Reading this I felt immersed in her world and enjoyed her funny and sometimes odd perspective.

Once Tom’s secret is revealed I just wanted to wrap her up and keep her safe, so it was good to see she did have supportive people around her, like Jonah, Nana, and Jonathan. I adored Jonah for sticking by Tom, I loved Nana and her funny old sayings, and Jonathan for driving her to and fro, and encouraging her to think about everything.

Set in a fictional town, this story had such a strong Aussie feel to it, from the lingo – a twenty dollar note is referred to as a lobster, to the setting, to the characters, you could slot this town into any state and it would fit there perfectly. 

The writing is beautiful, it’s no wonder this debut novel won the 2013 Text Prize. It’s descriptive yet each word feels chosen with care, it’s captivating and it’s bleak but the occasional funny or touching moment shines through the depths and reminds you that there’s hope despite the death and loss.

According to Tom there are perfect jam-doughnut days: clear and sunny, but also quite cool and crisp, and preferably in autumn, so the release of The Minnow feels perfectly timed: grab yourself a copy, a jam doughnut, then find a comfy place to read and settle in for a sad, heartbreaking, bittersweet novel.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Text Publishing for my review copy.

Purchase:  Angus & Roberston  /  Booktopia  /  Bookworld  /  Fishpond (intl shipping)


Text Publishing always have the most amazing covers and this is definitely the case for The Minnow. I knew I had to recreate this underwater look on my nails.



I started with a base of Orly Liquid Vinyl.




Then I used acrylic paint and very fine brush to paint some of the images from the cover: the little crab, the feet, leaves, branches, and shells.



I've worn this for the past two days and I've grown quite fond of the little crab.

30 comments:

  1. I love the cover of this book and I love the nail art you did for it! So cool and so pretty! *__*

    I've been hearing good things about this book! I'm glad to hear you liked it, and I can't wait for the book to come out so I can get myself a copy! It's nearly summer over here (well, it's supposed to be summer but it's gone a bit cold again *sigh*), but I'm sure I can enjoy a jam-doughnut day with this book too. Jam-doughnut days sound wonderful! (:

    Cynthia @ Jellyfish Reads

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  2. These nails look fantastic!! The little crab is so cute. Great job! (:

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  3. The cover of this book is so busy but you captured it well on the nails!

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  4. That cover is awesome and I love those nails! I have never heard of this one, I will have to add it to my TBR!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  5. The little crab is adorable! This is one of my favorite manicures yet :) This book sounds sad but heart-warming at the same time, it's going on the TBR.

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  6. oh wow, such detailed nails. You did a great job.

    Sounds like an odd, but lovely little novel. :)

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  7. Your nails are mindblowingly detailed and neat, Mands, and they seem a little Studio Ghibli esque, like something from Spirited Away or Ponyo. Very nice.

    I don't think I'll read this book, at least not at the moment- it sounds like you really enjoyed it, and I do love the writing style you describe, but I don't feel like it would suit me, plot-wise, though perhaps I'll change my mind in the future! Funny, I've never heard the term lobster before!

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  8. such a cute mani Mandy! great freehand work! I agree I really like the crab too it's cute! :)

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  9. OMG YOUR NAILS. THEY ARE ABSOLUTE GENIUS THERE. And I looove this one too. x) I gave it a 4. It was so sweet and sad all at once, and I kind of loved how she still had her "family" around her, even if they were...*cough* ghosts. I loved the Minnow....gah, so stinkin' cute, and she was barely ever described. But yeah ,Tom went through so much and wow....I can't even imagine.

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  10. Woah, sounds dark and beautiful, I love how it has that Aussie vibe to it. I'll have to track this one down sometime! Lovely review and nails, as usual.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  11. What a wonderful mani, and the book just went on my "to-read" list at Goodreads. :)

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  12. wowww...fantastic design! This crab stole my heart :D

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  13. Your nails are always so amazing, no idea how you manage to do that on nails. This is the second review I have seen for this book and I am quite intrigued by it. I was put off by the Bill aspect, the other review seemed to hint at a child abuse side to the story but I am not sure if I was reading it wrong. I feel like this book will make me sad. Great review :)

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  14. I can totally appreciate gorgeous writing and I love the small town setting, but now so excited about the big sad! Love the nails, Mands. You are so talented.

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  15. It looks totally awesome!:)

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  16. Gorgeous nails as always! I'm glad you enjoyed the writing in this one, it sounds like Tom has been through quite an ordeal and I'm glad the writing conveyed the emotion of her situation with a bit of humor. Lovely review!

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  17. My goodness, your nails! Absolutely stunning Mands, gosh, they're beautiful!

    I was lucky enough to be sent a copy too and will be starting mine next week. Your review is so emotional, little Tom's story sounds truly heartbreaking. I think k I'll have to break put the tissues for this one. Beautiful review Mands.

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  18. Once again, you've done really well with your nails! I wish I had half your talent. I know my nails need a really good makeover.

    As for this book, I've seen Cait's review of it, and it seems absolutely stunning. I really wish to have a copy of this but it seems that will have to take a while considering I'm hardly in Australia (geographical rights and all that... psh, semantics!). I'm very intrigued by the intricate writing... I love it when it has that dream-like feeling, where words you know aren't there just for being there, when they have meaning.

    Awesome review, and once again, awesome nail polish ^.^

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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  19. The writing sounds really wonderful! This book is new to me but you have me curious.

    Your manicure is amazing! I love the cover.

    A great review Mandee.

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  20. The book sounds amazing! And I loved your review. I'm adding it to my to read list right now!
    You have such a talent for painting nails! I wish I could do something like this. You should totally paint fake nails and sell them (I'd probably be the first buyer if it wasn't for my work :(

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  21. I think the age of the main characters are younger than would appeal to me but the cover is interesting and beautiful as is your manicure, Mandee! :)

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  22. Wow what a cool book cover and matching manicure! I like the idea of jam doughnut days & this book sounds lovely.

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  23. Great review, sounds like a great book so I will be on the hunt for it!

    FAB nails, love them!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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  24. I'm very excited for this. And gosh, that cover is just gorgeous! Text have done it again! I adore your matching nails too Mands. Lovely review :)

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  25. This looks like a really interesting book! I love your nails too, the chalkboard-y underwater design is so unique!

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  26. The best thing about your blog is that I see so many Aussie books that I haven't heard of. The worst thing is that I need to save money to ship all of them over here.
    And wow -- love these nails so much!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  27. Now I want donuts. Also, I am loving this manicure.

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  28. I am just in love with that MANICURE, AHH. And I'm also in love with the book (because it just sounds amazing and so was your review) and I really need to pick it up or find it somewhere!

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  29. Beautiful review. I'm really keen to read this, I'll definitely have to stock up on jam donuts first!

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  30. I want to read this book just based on your nails lol Gorgeous!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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