Dysfunctional families, introspective protagonists, secrets, lies, tragedy and historical baggage crop up in several, but the key issue here is the voice. The settings of Greece and Australia, the varied perspectives of all ages, the rich layers of story, world, and characters you care about so much you want to reach in there and hold/shake/strangle them. Jessica Bell is an exceptional writer who adds more than literary skill to her work. There's an artistic and musical angle in her work, which adds its own aesthetic. She deals with a child's reverie and a drunk's rant with equal authenticity and gets right under your skin. This is a writer who is going to attract a passionate fan club.
String Bridge: Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage--and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits.
The Book: Bonnie is five. She wants to bury The Book because it is a demon that should go to hell. Penny, Bonnie's mother, does bury The Book, but every day she digs it up and writes in it. John, Bonnie's father, doesn't live with them anymore. But he still likes to write in it from time to time. Ted, Bonnie's stepfather, would like to write in The Book, but Penny won't allow it. To Bonnie, The Book is sadness. To Penny, The Book is liberation. To John, The Book is forgiveness. To Ted, The Book is envy. But The Book in this book isn't what it seems at all.
Bitter Like Orange Peel: Six women. One man. Seven secrets. One could ruin them all. If Kit could track down her father, Roger, maybe her perspective would change. The only problem-Roger is as rotten as the decomposing oranges in her back yard according to the women in her life. Against all three women's wishes, Kit decides to find Roger. Enter a sister Kit never knew about. But everyone else did.
White Lady: Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she's rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it's time to stop dreaming about slicing people's throats. While being the wife of Melbourne's leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she's determined to make it work. It does work. Until Mia, her lover's daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia's back. It isn't long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them. But is protecting the kids really Sonia's motive?