Dec 12, 2015

Australia Days Guest Post, Book Review & Giveaway: The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth

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Guest post
Fran Cusworth

Thanks for inviting me!

Why write? This is a question I ask myself sometimes, and I thought I’d write about it here. People talk about having a book inside them that they have to get out – I have always felt like this, at some stages of my life more than others. From childhood, writing for me was an itch that needed scratching, and I always kept journals. As I grew older and became an avid reader of novels, literature became like part of conversation where I had listened to other people for long enough, and I was bursting to have my own say. As a young adult who was not always articulate or confident enough to verbally express myself, writing became another, better way to get things out. As a new mother, writing novels took on a sudden urgency – I could keenly sense time passing, and felt that if I didn’t do it now, I would never do it. Writing time became ‘me’ time; thinking and dreaming, non-baby time. 

After my first novel was published, I hit a bit of a wall – the dream had always been to Publish A Novel. Now that was done, why was I writing? I had not spent 35 years dreaming of Publishing A Second Novel ... this didn’t have half the weight of motivation behind it. However, as I, my husband and two small sons had just moved to a mining town in the heart of the mining boom, my motivation grew to capture the crazy uniqueness of a modern boomtown; the relationships between the wives of the workers, and the old-town/new-town people, the pressures of international monetary forces on this small and beautiful place. After this came a third novel written within a PhD, and some of the motivations for that one sat a little uncomfortably with me; writing to fulfil the requirements of a scholarship. As much as I could I wrote to capture women’s lives and realities, as I always have done.

Along the way, I accepted I probably won’t make fame nor fortune out of writing, but I have loved the act of writing, and I love it when individuals make contact to tell them a book moved them, or meant something to them. The Near Miss, my recent novel, was really written from a place of fun and pleasure, having discarded ‘great expectations’, and it is telling that it is my favourite of all four novels. I will probably always write to make sense of the world I live in – it’s as good a way as any to do so.

Review by Suze

When Grace's daughter Lotte walks onto the street in front of a car she's being saved by Melody. Melody has a son, Skip, who's Lotte's age. Because she's so relieved Grace invites both Melody and the driver of the car, Eddy, for dinner. Grace and her husband are both hardworking people who don't like their jobs, but they are slaving away to be able to afford their mortgage. Melody is a hippy, a single mother who has just left a community. Eddy's a risk analyst who only has one goal in life and that is to marry his girlfriend Romy. She's unfaithful to him and isn't very keen. Because of the accident the paths of Grace, Melody and Eddy cross and then things start evolving and there's no turning back...

Grace, Melody and Eddy are all very different, but friendships are being formed. That is something I loved about The Near Miss. They're all struggling. Grace because her husband wants to be an inventor. He has done it before and wants to quit his job again to works on projects he loves. Only Grace is afraid that won't pay the bills. Skip and Lotte become good friends, they're an unlikely duo, but they get along wonderfully. Melody's main worry is money. How will she be able to pay the rent and where will the food on her table come from? Eddy is unlucky in love. He wants to keep Romy whatever it takes, but she doesn't want to be kept. All of these stories work. They're interesting, they're fascinating and moving from time to time as well. I couldn't put this book down and loved it from the first page.

A Near Miss is a story with several main characters. I liked that angle. They all have good and bad sides and Fran Cusworth is not afraid of showing them. I think that's a huge strength. It made me love this story even more. It's honest and it's realistic while it's also clearly fiction at the same time, a good combination. Especially since Fran Cusworth knows how to keep her balance. The story is wonderfully chaotic and so much is happening that it sometimes made my head spin, which is something I loved. It's fast-paced, but the story is also easy to follow. I can't express how much I enjoyed reading The Near Miss. it's absolutely brilliant.


One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a kindle copy of The Near Miss. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.


  1. This book sounds good and I will buy and send to my Honey.

  2. I like the sound of this. A helpful review thank you.

  3. A very intriguing title and impressive cover!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this book and author with us. =) I love your book reviews.

  5. Its really nice Australian book i love it because its all knowledge relevant to country culture and also this book tell us how to enjoy a event thanks for share it professional dissertation writers .

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