Book Reviews

‘Farrah B. Mandala, paints a kaleidoscope story of Rosie Lane, full of hidden secrets, hurt and an abundance of love. 

Her words are filled with lines of poetry, description and living in the moment but also pausing to reflect, to take in and to breathe. I now see the world in shades of colour and feelings that can be described in thoughtful tones from reading this amazing colourful book, Mad Woman Rocking!

You truely are reading through the eyes of artist, as Farrah paints descriptions in words that you can see, smell, and touch.

Farrah, weaves her pen to touch the soul and brings a lightness and breath of fresh air. It is reflective and you just want to embrace Rosie yourself. 

Nature is Rosie’s fortitude, her garden, her home. If only Rosie could let go of all the emotion, she will see the book she keeps putting off can easily be written with experiences and the warm embrace of those who love her and the beautiful surrounds she is in. 

A recent event, reminding her of her son, has conicided with the discovery of a secret within a hidden box.

Through the box and the secret it holds, comes the unpacking of memories, hurt, sorrow, love and through the complexity of relationships we learn who is telling the story.

Rosie needs to be kind to herself and let go, to just enjoy being in the moment instead of living in her head. Her retreat is her garden, where she is most in control; planting new life, watching the progress of growing and toiling the earth, this is reminiscent of her life, her own growth.

Her emotions, is the metaphor of a Mad Woman Rocking! However we all need to do this from time to time to comfort our self,  allow a moment’s peace; Rosie (Laney)  is not mad,  she is simply holding on to sanity!

Man Woman Rocking is beautifully written, reflective, descriptive, makes you pause to read, so you to can reflect on the words painted in this heartwarming story.

It is such an interesting read. To have an ending, you need a beginning, this book is a palindrome; cleverly done!


‘Mad Woman Rocking highlights the mental impact that loss takes on us, in the depths of foggy depression seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. While we learn to live in the love they leave behind, we need to let go of your guilt, life is too short to carry that baggage. Women are mad and together we rock in the good times and in the sad times, we rock back and forward to the rhythm that connects us. As it is when we are together, we find our inner strength, our resilience to keep stepping forward, to show ourselves kindness and kindness towards others. 

I adored the way Farrah B. Mandala writes about the Australian farming life and how she captures the beauty of the mountains, the early morning smell of the air, the sound of the kookaburras, the heat in the suns ray, that surrounds the character, Rosie. Farrah B. Mandala captured the passing of time though her novel, with the way she captures the ever-changing seasons of the Australian landscape.

Throughout the novel Rosie rereads her own poetry, poems she has been given or ones she has given to others. As Rosie searches for inspiration for her next journey, a novel. There is one poem in particular that makes me feel seen and valued as not only a mother but as a mother creating and changing my own mothering path as days, weeks and years change. Warrior Women showed me the beauty and strength I have within myself, the strength I didn’t realize until I read this one poem.   

There is something for everyone in this book, you will cry, hold your breath and feel the passage of time move with every turn of the page. There is no another book like this one, put this book on your 2022 To Read List you won’t regret it.

Aimee Oates

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‘I loved this book! An almost lyrical descriptions of the land, a place truely loved. Interwoven with passionate poetry, a love of art and the Australian bush. A story of tragedy, loss, grief, intrigue and finding happiness. One of friends and family loved and lost. A great Aussie summer read.’


‘From the very first chapter I could feel myself dropping down a gear and my blood pressure lowering. The story is set in the Australian countryside and it really evokes that laidback, no rush, no bullshit atmosphere (yes there is some swearing, I thought I would get in to the spirit of it).
This is a wonderful combination of a journey through the life of the main character Rosie a poet and artist who, at 70, is reminiscing and wanting to get her memories together to tell her life story, and a contemporary story of an Australian Catholic dairy farming family and their community as they deal with grief, loss and family secrets.
I’m not sure how much is based on the authors life, but it felt very authentic, from what I know of my own farming relatives and lost cousins.
This book reminded me strongly of Romulus My Father by Raimond Gaita and I am trying to work out why as they are very different stories. I think it is having the Australian country as not just a setting, but part of the narrative, and the powerful nostalgia as the characters lives are slowly being revealed.

I genuinely enjoyed reading this and would recommend it for anyone who likes reading about strong women’s lives or would like to know what growing up and living on an Australian dairy farm is like.’


‘The ups and downs, the good and the bad times and the hardships that farming and country life can bring. Yet the beauty of it all comes through; the scenery, the serenity, the joy of the garden and the friendships. A life that many of us can relate to.’


‘I love the focus on creativity, inner strength and friendship. Such a beautiful book!’


‘I finished a wonderful book last night. Couldn’t put it down and was so glad I read it. I really appreciated the beauty, reality and emotion.’


‘Real women are mad and rock, dealing with life and family. Sitting in my sister’s garden on the farm this beautiful book made me laugh, cry and pause to reflect. A life story with the many good time in life, the tough times and poetry. Take the time, enjoy the gentle storytelling.’


‘Mad Woman Rocking had me sipping my cup of tea, surrounded by a beautiful garden. I was taken back to a time and a place that is so very special and that created memories and friendships to span a lifetime. The authors ability to bring so many characters to life was captivating but most of all, I was reminded that we’re all mad women rocking – in some way or another!’


‘How refreshing to read something so relatable as an Australian woman! Set in the beautiful Australian landscape, the author’s ability to paint the scene is amazing, with every detail essential for the path of the story. 

With a range of characters, there’s someone everyone can relate to, and experiences we know too well. The themes of family connections, resilience and empathy are strong. A powerful story you will be glad you read.’