Aussie Book Review: Stella Makes Good by Lisa Heidke

Stella Makes Good Lisa Heidke- Stella Makes Good

 Format- Paperback

 Source- I won a copy

 Publisher- Allen & Unwin

 Publication date- Jan 2012

 Synopsis- Stella Sparks is on good terms with her ex-husband, Terry, despite the fact he left her for another woman. Stella’s philosophical – the marriage had run its course, they remain friends and the wellbeing of their kids is central to both of them.
Stella’s two closest friends, Carly and Jesse, envy her togetherness and wish they could emulate it. Jesse’s husband, Steve, is a control freak who’s driving her crazy, but she has two small children and can’t see a way out. Carly, meanwhile, suspects her husband is having an affair and isn’t sure what to do about it.
Stella’s life takes a distinctly upward turn when she meets a handsome, apparently single – no ring, anyway – father at her son’s school speech night. For Carly and Jesse, however, the search for happiness and fulfilment proves more elusive…
Told from four points of view, Stella Makes Good spans one tumultuous week after Stella, Carly and Jesse meet for drinks and unwittingly stumble upon a sex party. What they see will alter the course of their lives and shatter long held beliefs, forcing them to re-evaluate the things that are truly important to them.
With a healthy dose of humour and romance Stella Makes Good is about the games we play, the secrets we keep, the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of female friendship

 Review- Stella Makes Good is contemporary women’s fiction set in Sydney’s northern suburbs. Stella Sparks is the mother of two kids, recently separated from her husband, Terry who has just moved in with a younger woman. Stella is not bitter about the divorce and is happy looking after the kids, caring for the mother-in-law, hanging out with her two friends Carly and Jesse, working in the local library and dodging dates with the good-looking doctor Mike from her son’s school.

Carly is a partier, loves to drink and gets herself into plenty of trouble while trying to avoid dealing with a stagnant marriage and the loss of her eldest son who has gone abroad to study.

Jesse is an anxious-worrier who tries to be the perfect wife and mother, but nothing she ever does is good enough for her controlling husband, Steve.

When Carly convinces Stella to go to a party following a night of drinking along with 3 spunky doctors (one of which is Stella’s admirer, Mike) they stumble across the north shore underworld of sex and swinger parties in one of Sydney’s classiest suburbs. If that isn’t awkward enough they spot their friend’s husband dressed up in a nappy, being punished by a dominatrix.

Much of the story is a build up to where it all goes horribly wrong. From secrets to revelations to facing the realities of relationships, friendships and parenthood- each of the characters end up in strife and have to find their way out of it.

A near-tragedy later in the story manages to bring everyone back together and help them reflect on what’s important in life and how to support their friends in times of trouble.

Stella Makes Good is an entertaining story about three women, their families and the individual journeys they take when one night out is the catalyst for much change in their lives.

3/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK

About the author: Lisa lives in Sydney’s Upper North Shore, has three children and spends her days writing when not chasing after her kids or procrastinating. More info @ Lisa’s website.

This book was read as part of the these two 2012 challenges:


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