‘Bellevue’ by Alison Booth ~ @booth_alison @RedDoorBooks @RichardsonHelen #BlogTour #BookReview
‘Bellevue’ is Alison Booth’s brand new novel. It was published on the 16th March by RedDoor Books in paperback and is also available in eBook and Audiobook formats. I am delighted to be participating in this blog tour and would like to say thank you for inviting me to take part and for the review copy.
New South Wales, 1972. Following the death of her beloved Aunt Hilda, widow Clare Barclay inherits Bellevue, an historic property in the Blue Mountains township of Numbulla, Australia. Giving up her teaching job to move to the mountains, Clare plans to restore the house to its original glory. She also hopes to track down a box of missing documents that may shed light on why husband Jack secretly second-mortgaged their former home.
Clare makes friends with the locals, including a young boy, Joe, and soon hears of plans to redevelop Numbulla and to exploit the land bordering the protected wilderness area. As she joins the protest against the rezoning, it’s clear someone doesn’t want her there and they’ll do anything to stop her…
Written from Clare’s and Joe’s perspectives, Bellevue highlights cross-generational bonds that grow between them as they struggle, individually and together, towards an acceptance of the losses each has sustained.
I really liked the sound of this book and wanted to give it a go. I admit it was a bit different to what I would normally go for, but I am so glad that I read it. I loved the author’s style of writing throughout and the way the paragraphs were set out. The author was very descriptive, and I ended up wishing that I could see actual pictures of Bellevue, Numbulla and the wilderness.
Split into three parts, I thought this story was beautifully told. It was rich in Australian history, and I found the environmental and conservation themes very interesting indeed. I kept reading on itching to know what the outcome would be. I think I was just as horrified as Clare and the locals as to what was being proposed.
Out of all of the characters I warmed to both Clare and young Joe straightaway. They were both wonderful characters and they are what made the story work. I also really liked Iggy.
I feel that there is another story somewhere involving Clare and Iggy and I hope that one day the author does decide to write one.
If you are looking for a good read, then I recommend ‘Bellevue’. There is plenty to keep you interested. You will not want to put the book down and you will feel a little bit sad when the story finishes.
I plan to read more of Alison Booth’s books and will be keeping an eye out for any future novels.
‘Bellevue’ can be purchased from Amazon UK.
About the Author
Born in Melbourne and brought up in Sydney, Alison Booth spent over two decades studying, living and working in the UK before returning to Australia some fifteen years ago.
Alison has published seven novels, the most recent being Bellevue (2023). Her fiction has been translated into French and her short stories have appeared in international publications including Antipodes and New Writing. Her fiction awards include a Varuna Longlines Fellowship from the Eleanor Dark Foundation and the Highly Commended Award in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award. Alison is also Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and recipient of the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Economic Society of Australia.