Read Stillwater Creek by AlisonBooth Online


Pianist Ilona Talivaldis has moved to the remote coastal town of Jingera in New South Wales following the death of her husband. As the weeks pass, both Ilona and her nine-year-old daughter Zidra get to know the townsfolk. But a gruesome discovery shows that Jingera is not quite the utopia Ilona imagines it to be....

Title : Stillwater Creek
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781741669312
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 346 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stillwater Creek Reviews

  • Sharon
    2019-01-31 18:16

    In 1957 after the death of her husband, pianist Ilona Talivaldis decides it's time for her and her nine year old daughter Zidra to make a new beginning. Ilona The first person they meet once arriving in In the coastal town of Jingera in New South Wales is the local butcher, George Cadwallader. George shows Ilona and Zidra her to their little cottage and explains how things work such as the oven. Being a refugee from Latvia and a concentration camp survivor Ilona has endured more than her fair share of hard times. With limited money, which won't last long, Ilona set out to advertise her piano lessons and hopes it won't be long before she receives her first paying customer. In time both Ilona and Zidra meet some of the local people who seem to be friendly enough and Zidra makes friends with a girl named Lorna who is Aboriginal. Their days spent together at school or in their neighborhood is filled with playing and enjoying each others companionship. It doesn't take Ilona long to see that there are secrets in Jingera, but what are they and what does this mean for Ilona? Stillwater Creek was a very enjoyable read and I can't wait to read the remainder of this series. A beautiful story which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  • Marjorie
    2019-02-14 17:25

    It is 1957, and recently widowed Ilona Talivaldis and her ten-year old daughter Zidra move to the small town of Jingera on the south coast of New South Wales. Ilona struggles to establish herself as a piano teacher and finds a place in her new community. Zidra’s challenge is to carve out a niche for herself in her small school with its tightly knit groups. Her greatest empathy is with Lorna Hunter, an Aboriginal girl of her own age; and with Jim Cadwaller the slightly older butcher’s son. Stillwater Creek is told from the points of view of six characters, including Ilona and Zidra. The others are Cherry Bates the publican’s wife, George Cadwaller the butcher, Jim Cadwaller his son, and Peter Vincent, a local farmer. Two of the characters are children. One of the hardest things to do well in fiction is to write from a child’s point of view, and the author does this brilliantly. Latvian born Ilona has survived both the horrors of a concentration camp and the trauma of losing her husband. Peter was a fighter pilot during the war and was interned in prison camps. Cherry has escaped an unhappy childhood only to find herself trapped in a loveless marriage. Although she has found a new love, she is held back not only by inertia but by her fear of the terrifying consequences should the nature of her love become public. But soon she discovers something so horrifying that her own concerns fade into insignificance, and she decides she will have to act.The town of Jingera is a marvelous little world that has a life of its own, and in which the extraordinary cast of characters play out their dramas. The six main characters all have secrets. The issues of unhappy childhood and of displacement are particularly explored. The characters’ stories, weaving in and out of the narrative, become closely intertwined as the book reaches a dramatic and vividly drawn climax. Each character’s viewpoint is presented from a deeply personal perspective. The interior monologue, interspersing the spoken dialogue, emphasizes the sometime striking contrasts between what a character thinks and what he or she says, sometimes with humorous consequences.There is an intensely cinematic quality about the novel, enhanced not only by the way the chapters are constructed but also by evocative descriptions of the landscape. One can almost smell the bush and the smoke from a bushfire, see the bruised sky, and hear the pounding of the breakers and the screeching of the cockatoos flying over the lagoon. There are also little objects that connect the stories, such as the tiny toy elephant that moves across scenes as it is passed from character to character, and Ilona’s vivid green swimming costume that performs a similar role.Stillwater Creek is a wonderful heart-warming story. It upholds the notion that another person can be a safe place, and that the good in human beings can sometimes trump the bad.

  • Brenda
    2019-01-31 19:34

    Alison Booth is an Aussie author, and it's not hard to tell! The descriptions of the bush, the towns, the wildlife, the beautiful beaches and lagoons in this story are so incredibly real!The story is set in 1957 in a little town in NSW called Jingera, population 750. Ilona Talivaldis, who is a refugee from Latvia and a concentration camp survivor, and her daughter Zidra, move to Jingera from Sydney after Ilona's husband died, so they could start afresh in a quiet, safe and peaceful environment. They rent a beautiful vine covered cottage on the edge of the lagoon, and Ilona is hoping to make a living as a piano teacher as Zidra attends the local school.As the spring months move into summer, the weather becomes much hotter, and the townsfolk venture to the lagoon and the beach beyond to swim, fish and surf, to ease the heat. They gradually get to know some of the townsfolk, including the kind hearted butcher George Cadwallader, who loves to gaze at the stars; his son Jim, who is destined for great things; Peter Vincent who was a prisoner of war, and a former wartime pilot, with demons he is still fighting, and Cherry Bates, the publican's wife, who works tirelessly in the town's only pub. Zidra also makes a friend at school, Lorna, who is Aboriginal, and together they have a lot of fun, playing and getting into mischief. But everything is not what it seems in Jingera, and things begin to heat up in more ways than one. Cherry makes a horrifying discovery, and doesn't know what to do about it, and suddenly Ilona and all she holds dear are threatened.I really enjoyed the dramas and excitement, reading and remembering how Australia used to be, and also trying to work out which direction the characters were headed, and being shocked at some, and happy with others. But as this is the first in a series of three (I just found out), I am really looking forward to beginning the second, The Indigo Sky The third is to be released in 2012.

  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    2019-01-27 20:07

    ‘It was all too easy to misunderstand and be misunderstood.’In September 1957, Ilona Talivaldis and her daughter Zidra travel to the town of Jingera in coastal New South Wales to start a new life. Ilona, a concentration camp survivor from Latvia, has recently been widowed and plans to teach piano and hopes to find a peace which has so far eluded her. While the story starts with Ilona and Zidra, and is mainly focussed on them, it encompasses many of the people living in and around Jingera.I enjoyed this novel, and I especially liked the conclusion with its promise of brighter futures for a number of the characters. Two of the themes that caught my attention were dispossession and difference. In a number of ways, the experiences of Ilona and Zidra were similar to those of the indigenous girl Lorna Hunter and her family. Except, ironically, that in the Australia of the 1950s, Ilona and Zidra had a better chance of ‘fitting in’. On reading the novel, though, it became very clear that there are different degrees of difference and acceptance in Jingera.Yet while I liked the conclusion, I was not totally satisfied with the ending. On one hand, it was too neat, while on the other hand I wanted more.Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  • Anne_MB
    2019-01-30 19:14

    Great setting. I was looking forward to reading this book. The setting is often used to varying degrees and is much loved in Australian writing, that of a small coastal town in the recent past, a picturesque landscape, the bush, water, a farm, in a seemingly simpler time. However, I felt the author introduced too many diverse characters and introduced but seemed to skim over too many important themes. As a result I didn't feel fully connected to all the characters, even though I really did like some of them and wanted to get to know them in more depth. The undercurrent of unease was very strong and kept me interested until the end. I appreciated what the author was trying to convey: that the simple life and place and time can be an illusion or an impossible ideal, and that the truth of people's lives is much more complex.

  • James999
    2019-01-29 16:08

    Dazzling debut novel. The first of Booth’s series of novels is set in 1957 in the village of Jingera, on the south coast, and is story of redemption, the legacy of war, and the ties that hold families together. It begins with the arrival in town of the Latvian refugee Ilona Talivaldis and her young daughter Zidra. Stillwater Creek is told from their viewpoints as well as those of Cherry Bates the publican’s wife, George Cadwaller the butcher, Jim Cadwaller his son, and Peter Vincent, a local farmer. Ilona has survived both the horrors of a concentration camp and the trauma of losing her husband. Peter was a fighter pilot during the war and was interned in a PoW camp. Cherry has escaped an unhappy childhood only to find herself in an unhappy marriage. Although she’s found a new love, she is unable to act through fear of the terrifying consequences should the nature of her love become public. But soon she discovers something so horrifying that her own concerns fade into insignificance, and she decides she will have to take matters into her own hands.The novel would make a great film. The characters, plotting and descriptive writing are brilliant, and the story has a deeply satisfying conclusion.

  • Jill Moore
    2019-02-02 16:28

    Despite early niggles of doubt, I persevered with this story because I thought it might develop into something worthwhile along the way. It took far too long to get to the crux of the story, and then it was dealt with quite summarily - as though the author was not interested in the resolution of the story at all - it just fizzled out. Perhaps Alison Booth was also worn out by the long, dreary path she took to get there! Questions were raised and given prominence throughout, and were never answered. The solution to everyone's problems - ridding the town of the publican - was carried out far too neatly and quite lacked credibility. When I got to the last page, I had to wonder how it managed to be a fully fledged book when to me it still seemed an unfinished embryo. Disappointing.

  • Vero
    2019-01-25 13:32

    A skilfully constructed and charming novel, set in the 1950s. It interweaves the lives of half a dozen idiosyncratic characters, who become caught up in a threatening tragedy in a small coastal town after the arrival of a Latvian immigrant and her daughter. The author sympathetically enters the heads of the main characters, so that the reader becomes deeply involved with their anxieties and passions as the story moves inexorably to its dramatic conclusion. The characterization, plotting and evocative descriptions of the landscape are beautifully done.

  • Jill
    2019-02-17 14:21

    Set in imaginary town on south coast of NSW in 1950s, tells the story of a refugee from Latvia and her daughter who travel to Jingera seeking refuge and a livelihood teaching music. Simply written with beautiful descriptions of coastal scenery. Apparently simple country folk have hidden stories – some are a bit contrived and there are too many people with issues and problems, but otherwise an entertaining read. Part I of trilogy

  • Yi
    2019-02-20 16:20

    I read Stillwater Creak twice. I really enjoy it.I got to know the beautiful coastal town Jingera, its residents, their relationship, and their way of life and thinking. These make the town alive.I am an immigrant and arrived in this country only in the new century. Through reading this book, I felt understood and connected to the culture of Australia’s beautiful coastal towns.

  • Amanda
    2019-02-01 16:30

    Set in the 1950s in a small town on the south coast of NSW. Ilona is a survivor of the war in Europe, and has found herself and her daughter, a nice safe place to live. But is all as it seems? People everywhere have secrets, some in the past and some in the present. I really enjoyed this book, and the pacing of the story was very well done.

  • Cynthia
    2019-02-04 16:31

    Alison writes about a small coastal Australian town, describing it well. But all is not as picturesque as it seems - underneath the local identities are secrets - some not nice. The story portrays the time after WWII well, with government policy and people's prejudices. I enjoyed this book and its storytelling.

  • Peita
    2019-02-04 21:30

    This is a fantastic read; a wellpaced, stirring story with the interweaving plots of a rich cast of slightly eccentric characters. The book raises complex issues with in a subtle way, and has humour as well. I loved it, and also its beautiful evocation of Australian life and landscape in the 1950s.

  • Déwi Adam
    2019-02-14 19:30

    This was an enjoyable and easy read - like watching a good tv drama. Didn't realise it is the first in a trilogy until I went looking to see what else Alison Booth has written. Looking forward to reading the next two books.

  • Teena
    2019-02-10 17:05

    Enjoyable saga set in country Australia in the 1950s. Themes include refugees, romance, relationships, community spirit, the stolen generation, and child abuse - a dark undertone added to the romance/saga. Pleasant holiday read.

  • Charlotte Harper
    2019-02-13 19:29

    I liked this but found the sequel truly compelling. The third book is worth a read too.

  • Delores Bebbington
    2019-01-26 13:32

    First book in a Trilogy from this author. I enjoyed this enough to read the second and will read the third. watch this space for an overall opinion on the trilogy

  • Judith
    2019-01-27 16:10

    An interesting story line about a Latvian immigrant and her daughter unraveling life in a small Australian town.Ultimately, it did not work as the author attempted to cram in too many sub-plots.

  • Juveriya
    2019-02-22 16:29

    Reading this book paints a vivid scene and all the time i felt it was going on in front of me.I specially loved the name of the characters.Can't wait to read the sequel.

  • Sandy
    2019-02-12 18:32

    Liked the setting, but it was a little slow.

  • Kate
    2019-02-12 17:14

    I enjoyed it, loved the descriptions of the bay.