Listen: Katrina Roe said farewell to Hope Mornings with a poem
Yesterday, Hope Mornings farewelled the wonderful Katrina Roe. But, before she left, the author and booklover left her listeners with her favourite reads.
- Jump down to Katrina Roe’s Final Poem to you, Hopeland
Katrina Roe’s Top 10 Reads
10. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Becoming is the memoir of former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama, published in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
9. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvellous spy. When she is, bewilderingly, made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The story follows the lives of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy – and details their passage from childhood to womanhood. The novel is loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters.
7. A Song for the Road by Kathleen Basi
It’s one year after the death of her husband and twin teenagers. Miriam Tedesco has lost faith in humanity and herself. When a bouquet of flowers that her husband usually sends her on their anniversary shows up at her work place, she completely unravels. With the help of her best friend, she realises that it’s time to move past these deaths.
6. Big Little Lies, What Alice Forgot and Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (yes, there was a three-way tie!)
Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that “sharing is caring”. So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, school-yard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Alice Love is 29, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over – she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time.
From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now that they’ve sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to “relax”. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud. But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?
5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends – and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, he embarks upon The Wife Project. Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical – most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent – and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie, and the realisation that love is not always what looks good on paper.
2. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
Brisbane, 1985: A lost father, a mute brother, a junkie mum, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli Bell’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart and understand what it means to be a good man, but fate keeps throwing obstacles in his way – not the least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.
But now Eli’s life is going to get a whole lot more serious: he’s about to meet the father he doesn’t remember, break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day to rescue his mum, come face to face with the criminals who tore his world apart, and fall in love with the girl of his dreams.
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
Katrina Roe’s Top 5 Children’s Books
5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Four adventurous siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change… and a great sacrifice.
4. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next door to a nursing home. When he finds out that his special friend, Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper is losing her memory he sets out to find what a memory is.
3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, an 11-year-old orphan, discovers that he is a wizard and is invited to study at Hogwarts. Even as he escapes a dreary life and enters a world of magic, he finds trouble awaiting him.
2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a severe facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep, Auggie wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid – but his new classmates can’t get past his extraordinary face.
1. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
When Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables, she surprises everyone: first of all, she’s a girl, even though Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew specifically asked for an orphan boy to help around the farm. And second of all, she’s not just any girl: she has bright red hair, a wild imagination, and can talk a mile a minute. Anne has a temper as fiery as her hair and a knack for finding trouble, and she also has a big heart and a positive attitude that affects everyone she meets.
Katrina Roe’s Final Poem to you, Hopeland
You may think I’ve never seen the rain,
These days turned out nothing like I planned,
I send a message to this Great Southern Land,
You’re the voice try to understand
On the highway to hell, you won’t get far,
Don’t be a passenger, drive the car.
So that I remember to never go that far,
Would you leave me with a scar?
Peeling off the layers like an onion skin,
Walking around with my heart caved in.
Trying to work out, what’s my scene?
Am I ever gonna see your face again?
Before too long, I’ll be gone.
Unstoppable on the wide open road,
With a heavy heart, it’s a cry in shame,
Knowing I’ll never be the same.
I’m torn, the honeymoon is over,
Oh, the flame trees revive the weary driver.
My happiness is slowly creeping back.
Someday someday, I’ll be singing with the choir,
Beating like a drum, fighting like a gladiator.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
So throw your arms around me.
Do you see what I see?
The power and the passion!
I’ll be dancing in the storm,
Under the milky way tonight,
Under the milky way tonight.
These here are crazy times.
Soon these will all be forgotten years,
And that ain’t bad.
So don’t change.
Don’t change a thing.
Don’t dream it’s over.
I better be home soon,
But help is on it’s way.
Just keep walking.
Listen to Katrina’s farewell to Hope Mornings in the player above. You can still hear Katrina on the Hope Book Club and Australia’s Invisible History podcasts.