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A Taste of Life and Love in Australia Paperback – May 10, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in Sydney, Australia, in the mid 1950's, Margaret Sharp is the daughter of the late Frederick and Edna Willis. She has one sister, Helen. Margaret spent her early years living in an inner suburb of Sydney, at the age of ten, moving to a leafy outer suburb, well away from the hectic pace of her childhood environment. Considered to be a very talented student, she achieved excellent results in subjects as diverse as modern history, English, economics and mathematics. As a young woman, she studied Short Story writing and Freelance journalism over a period of five years, achieving, in the estimation of her teachers, a high degree of proficiency. Her writing was highly commended at the 2014 Hurstville Discovery Festival of Community Arts. She is keenly interested in swimming, having competed at club level for over thirty years, and is still competing with success. Another interest of hers is music, both as a participant and a listener. She plays both piano and piano-accordion, and likes both classical and popular pieces. She also enjoys painting in watercolour, and particularly likes to portray birds. She is married to Ronald Sharp B.E.M., the builder of the Grand Organ in the Sydney Opera House concert hall. He has greatly assisted her in the design and setup of her books. Currently she has fifteen titles available, her most recent being the two-romance anthology, 'Romance, 50's Style'.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461064724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461064725
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,332,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've just received a Literary Award at the 2015 Hurstville Discovery Writers Group presentation on November 7 - this time, a Second Prize in the short story section.

In addition, 'More Than a Mere Bagatelle' (one of my two entries) will be included in the group's anthology, 'The Art of Writing'.

In November 2014 I also won a Literary Award ('Highly Commended') in the Writing Competition of the Hurstville City Council 2014 Discovery Festival.

My name is Margaret Lynette Sharp, and I'm the wife of the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Ronald Sharp B.E.M.

I grew up in an inner city suburb of Sydney, moving to a pleasant, tree-filled outer suburb at the age of ten. Ron and I currently live in this same house, a small Federation brick and tile home.

I cared for my elderly mother until her death fifteen years ago, and shortly afterwards met and later married Ron. He has encouraged all my interests, and has turned his hand to editing books that I have written.

We have published six volumes: a series of four books of Short Stories entitled 25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia, A Taste of Life and Love in Australia, The Essence of Life and Love in Australia, and Reflections of Life and Love in Australia; a non-fiction, semi-humorous volume entitled 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences; and the latest, Long and Short Australian Stories. All these are highly readable and, I firmly believe, most entertaining.

'A Taste of Life and Love in Australia' was reviewed in April 2012 by Australian author Jenny Schwartz, and she rated it five stars, and pointed to its humanity and Australian flavour. So review wise, I'm off to a wonderful start!

Since writing the above, we've published another collection of Short Stories and vignettes: 'Encore'. It has been very favourably reviewed by Goodreads members Mark and Brenda.
Just recently, my first novella , Amelia's Call, was published, and has been favourably reviewed.
My second novella, the romantic 'Michaela Betrayed', was released in 2013, and has also received some lovely reviews. This book includes a bonus of selected Short Stories and vignettes.
Another release was a short, romantic work, 'Lauren Played'.
Next came the romantic 'Love, Desire and Betrayal', which has reached #1 in Australian and Oceanian Literature (Amazon Kindle Paid).
Additional titles include 'Of Love and Secrets', 'Sisters and Rivals', 'Whatever It Takes' and 'Romance, 50's Style'.

Over the few years I've had the honour of being a guest on the blogs of writers Tracey Alley, Rachael Johns, Nicole Alexander, Faith Mortimer, Pankaj Goyal and Sarah Jane Butfield.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Odie on March 27, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mrs. Sharp sent me a PDF copy of "A Taste of Life and Love in Australia" and for that I am forever grateful. I have read more of her books and have enjoyed them all very much. These stories if you can call them that being they are all really short are all highlighted with emotions involving relationships, romance, chance meetings and dialogue that although there may be a moment of grief she follows with a sense of purpose that true love conquers all. True love that may come in a form you never dreamed would happen.

Reading one of the 28 short stories takes little time and leaves you hungering to get into the next with a feeling of admiration for the places and feelings her stories transport you to. I would encourage you to not only read this book but all of her treasures from the land down under.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Schwartz on January 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
"A Taste of Life and Love in Australia" by Margaret Lynette Sharp is a collection of gentle, heartwarming stories that quietly reflect on life.

There is an effective simplicity to Margaret’s writing that means she, as author, doesn’t get in the way of her characters connecting with readers. Lines like “…the deep, limitless blue of our summer sky” from the short story, “A Storm in Summer”, draw you into a personal experience.

I can’t put my finger on why these stories feel distinctly Australian to me (I’m a woeful reviewer!), but they do. I think it may be the easy rhythm of the dialogue. It feels like natural speech to me as an Australian reader. That being said, as I read the collection I found myself searching for an elusive memory of where I’ve read such pleasant, companionable short stories before — the answer is the UK magazine, The People’s Friend. Margaret’s stories have the same compassionate, entertaining humanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By karen a einsel on October 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A Taste of Life and Love in Australia has 28 short stories about love. Each one different and unique. I enjoyed them for the most part, but I would have liked to see her expand on them. Give them a little more depth and feeling. They are well written, she does slip into telling mode occasionally, but I only found 1 typo in the entire book. I was a little disappointed though. I jumped at the chance to read the book because I have many online friends that live in OZ and even though the title is `A Taste of Life and Love in Australia', most of the stories could depict any part of the world. I'd recommend it. I give it 4 stars. It's a great book to read when you only have a few minutes and you want to get a quick story fix.

I was given a PDF copy for an honest review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shelleyrae TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
While grounded in an Australian setting with descriptions of familiar antipodean landscapes, A Taste of Life and Love explores the universal themes of love, desire and marriage.

While I think most of the tales within this collection are perhaps more properly vignettes or scenes rather than short stories, it seems a negligible distinction. Despite their brevity, Sharp neatly encapsulates each story, though there are some subtle links between scenes and characters.

Sharp writes of unrequited love, fateful meetings, romantic declarations and leaps of faith. Thoughtful and charming, each story is a window into the nature of relationships, sometimes blissful, at
other times difficult.

The writing is evocative, inspiring emotion with well-crafted prose and natural dialogue. Sharp's storytellers are a mix of ages and genders, told in first and third person. It's an interesting variety of perspectives and Sharp inhabits them well.

A Taste of Life and Love in Australia is one of six volumes by self published Australian author Margaret Lynette Sharp. This collection, contains 28 engaging stories that provide a pleasant afternoon's reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By video meliora proboque on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely, spare, melodic prose that simply exudes warmth, and simple, pinpoint-focussed stories, with nothing extraneous to distract from the single, clear feeling that Sharp wants to evoke -- sometimes a feeling of wistful loss, at others one of ironic, happy bemusement or unexpected contentment, at a serendipitous turn of fate. Sharp is delicately poetic yet linguistically precise, in these clear-eyed vignettes of love's intricacies found, and crafts her sentences with meticulous attention to metric contour that reflects a mood. They're pleasant to sound-read, like wind chimes. Her choice of mots is always juste, sometimes startlingly, out-of-the-blue felicitous, like "skerrick" (which I'd never encountered before, but it fit the sound pattern).

The outcomes are always quietly satisfying: sometimes, a childhood almost-connection restored after years of separation, sometimes a couple grown closer through unspoken understandings: the ultimately unnecessary fear of a spouse's unwise investment, which the spouse always knew better than to make, in the first place (and the amusing side-effect). I won't say more, because traduttore, traditore, and for these poetically minimalist vignettes, to summarize would be to give too much away.

Honestly, life is painful, and I, for one, don't want to read chronicles of excruciation, full of black moods. (I say this, because my book club seems to like them.) So I read Ms. Sharp's book, and I was happy for a bit. For anyone who wants stories free of emotional toxicity, these are a welcome relief. I recommend the book.
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