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Monday, December 4, 2017

Black Diamonds by Kim Kelly - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

It's 1914. Daniel works for Francine's father in the mine of Lithgow. Business is going well for the mine owners, however some of the other luck for Francine's family has run out. Francine and Daniel are getting to know each other because of tragic circumstances and even though they're from different backgrounds they have an instant connection. The next logical step is marriage, but then the First World War breaks out and Daniel feels a sense of duty and leaves for Europe.

Francine and Daniel are spending most of the first years of their relationship apart. Daniel is in the army and Francine stays in Lithgow, running the mine. Their love is being tested in many ways. Their values are constantly developing because of the social and political situation, they don't want to be idle bystanders, they want to do something. However, their limited communication isn't making things easy for them as a couple. They're grieving, celebrating, trying to enjoy what they have and risking their lives. Will Daniel and Francine have a chance together or will the war ruin everything good they could have had before their marriage even properly started?

Black Diamonds is a brilliant story about true love, war and duty. Francine is fabulously quirky. She's smart, talented and capable and she's always completely herself, which is something I absolutely loved about her personality. Daniel is grumpy and creative. He has a good heart, but that sometimes makes him take decisions for the greater good that aren't in the best interest of the people who are closest to him. Both Daniel and Francine are beautiful people inside and out. It was a joy to read about their adventures, the things that happen when they are together and when they are apart. I feel lucky that I had the chance to read about this amazing couple. They have a precious bond and it's the little things that are making this obvious over and over again, it's something I really loved about their story.

Kim Kelly writes about the impact of war in a terrific honest way. Her descriptive writing makes her stories come to life incredibly well. It felt like I could see and experience everything she was writing about. I love how vivid and vibrant her style is. She combines this with stunning words that are making the story even better. Black Diamonds is a fantastic impressive book. It has many surprising elements, it captivated me from beginning to end and it often moved me to tears. I absolutely loved this very special novel and highly recommend it.


If you love historical fiction you should definitely read Black Diamonds.

About Kim Kelly

Kim Kelly is the author of six novels exploring Australia and its history. Her stories shine a bright light on some forgotten corners of the past and tell the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. 

A striking characteristic of Kim’s writing is her ability to lead readers with warmth and lyrical charm into difficult terrain, exploring themes of bigotry, class conflict, disadvantage and violence in our shared history – issues that resonate through the social and political landscape of Australia today.

A widely respected book editor and literary consultant by trade, stories fill her everyday – most nights, too – and it’s love that fuels her intellectual engine. Love between lovers, friends, strangers; love of country; love of story. In fact, she takes love so seriously she once donated a kidney to her husband to prove it, and also to save his life.

Originally from Sydney, today Kim lives on a small rural property in central New South Wales just outside the tiny gold-rush village of Millthorpe, where the ghosts are mostly friendly and her grown sons regularly come home to graze. 



One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Black Diamonds and a beautiful book cover necklace.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Black Diamonds sounds like historical fiction with a sense of character and the celebration of two young people in love and desperate to be together.

  2. This was my first Kim Kelly book, and I absolutely loved it!!!

  3. The first book I read by Kim was The Blue Mile, which I absolutely loved. Then I read Paper Daisies and felt like I was two-timing her with her own book!

  4. Would love to win this book for my Mum who reads a lot

  5. Sounds like a very interesting book, I'd be very happy to won this.

  6. thanks, this looks like a book I could really drown in!

  7. Sounds like something I'd love to read. Thank you.

  8. I've never read a story set in Australia in this period so this would be interesting.

  9. I've really been enjoying historical stories lately. This will be another good one.

  10. Love story occurring in painful circumstances.

  11. This sounds a great social history of a country where my knowledge is almost non-existent. It would be a great education for me

  12. this sounds great. id love to read it

  13. I love history romance novels. I am a history buff but add a little romance and I fall in love <3

  14. it looks amazing even from the cover