BOOK CLUB: Harvest of the Unborn

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[Total: 5 Average: 3.2]

Harvest of the Unborn by Cheryl Sullivan is set in Sydney post-WWII.  The author introduces us to Charlotte, an investigative journalist.

As part of her quest to unearth the reasons for the strange disappearance of a young woman from a Kings Cross boarding house, she takes up a room there. 

Charlotte is kindly welcomed by Mrs. Parks the attentive landlady, but she is unnerved by her twin daughters and their odd behaviour.

harvest of the unborn

Charlotte becomes friends with some of the other boarders, and after another female from the house leaves without warning she becomes even more unnerved.

Charlotte strikes up a friendship with Detective Michael Devlin who is also invested in the case of the missing girls as his sister is one of them.  Charlotte shares with Michael her stunning discovery of what’s in the basement of the boarding house,  but having this knowledge now puts Charlotte in danger.

What is behind that locked door to the basement?

Joe, a homeless man living in the tunnels under the train station, talks of his strange night visions.  Is he sharing his drunken imaginings, or does he have crucial evidence?

Harvest of the Unborn is an awesome weekend read that I found easy to enjoy.

I feel like Cheryl Sullivan has left things open for a follow-up book, which I certainly hope will come in time, as I would love to learn more.  This book has the makings of an engrossing TV mini series.

ISBN: 9781922701701
Copy courtesy of Shawline Publishing

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Harvest of the Unborn by Cheryl Sullivan. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Harvest of the Unborn

  1. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Harvest of the Unborn.

    I really enjoyed this murder mystery set in the 1940’s in Sydney.

    With girls disappearing from a boarding house in Kings Cross, a journalist from Queensland decides to move in and try to work out who is taking the girls.

    This has great characters and keeps you turning those pages to find out who’s responsible for the girls disappearances.

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. Harvest Of The Unborn by Cheryl Sullivan, published by Shawline Publishing Group, is an entertaining but confusing book. It is a cross between a historical drama, a whodunnit, a romance and science fiction. To say that it covers a lot of genres is an understatement!!
    In many ways it reminded me of watching an early episode of Dr Who – a bit clumsy and heavy handed, but nevertheless still quite enjoyable…
    The author paints quite an evocative picture of post World War II Sydney and the difficulties faced both by young men returning from the war and by young women confronted with the emotional fallout romantically and professionally. If the story had simply kept to this line I would have enjoyed it more. The crossover into science fiction, alternate reality and alien abductions was just a bit too much for me.

  3. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Shawline Publishing Group for my copy.

    This is a debut book for the author and I had mixed feelings about it. The story definitely had exciting moments and kept me guessing what was going on. There were tense moments and this kept me turning the pages eager to find out what would happen. Unfortunately the writing style was the let down for me as it was quite disjointed in places. For me it was hard to follow and work out was going on in a fair part of the book.
    Set in Sydney near Kings Cross not long after World War 2 the author has done a good job of describing fashion, transport, and customs of the era really well. The story also deals with PTSD in returned soldiers and alcoholism.
    3 stars

  4. The blurb on the back of “Harvest of the Unborn” entices with the suggestion of an interesting science fiction plot. Unfortunately, the novel is so badly written that the central idea struggles to survive.

    In post war Sydney, young women are disappearing and no-one but their nearest and dearest seem to care. Investigative journalist Charlotte Tyrell moves to Sydney, and the disappearances are the first story in her sights. She moves into the boarding house that one young girl disappeared from and soon begins to suspect her landlady of being involved in the disappearances.

    Alcoholic and derelict, Joe Moody dosses down in the abandoned tunnels under St James Rail Station. His sleep is regularly disturbed by a strange blue light and men carrying unconscious women. But are these visions real, or a product of his copious alcohol intake?

    Caught between the two is police Detective Michael Devlin. He’s carrying out a laughably incompetent investigation despite the fact that his sister Madeleine is one of the missing. Joe was her fiancé and his childhood friend. Devlin also begins to woo Charlotte.

    On the most basic level, words are mis-used, punctuation is incorrect, tenses change, and sentences (sometimes paragraphs) don’t make sense. The first historical anomaly appears in the first paragraph, and I don’t think it’s an intentional one to serve the plot. It seems more like bad research.

    More substantially, the plot is incoherently presented with no clear chronology. The author often contradicts herself, sometimes within the same paragraph. She also seems to forget what’s gone before; this contributes to the number of things that don’t make sense. What plot is evident is slight and derivative. This might not matter if it were not for the number of other problems the novel has.

    Characters are weak and inconsistent. I found the novel had no emotional impact; the characters were too unbelievable to care about and the story too incoherent.

    The ending is either ludicrously bad, or the author hopes to write a sequel. If they do, I hope they get some high quality critical feedback on early drafts, and employ a proof-reader and a professional editor.

    In short, this is an incoherent mess with very little to recommend it. However, it was the most beautifully presented review book I’ve ever received. It was a delight to receive the parcel.

  5. Harvest of The Unborn arrived, the packaging was nicely wrapped.
    I found the book was disjointed and often paragraphs were repeated
    and punctuation was non existent and made reading hard.
    I am sorry to say I did not enjoy this book at all but this is an honest review.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. Thanks to Shawline Publishing and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review Harvest of the Unborn.
    As mentioned by other reviewers there are some technical issues that need fixing within the novel.

    As far as the storyline itself goes, I found it an extremely interesting read. I am not usually a fan of science fiction. The novel is presented in an open ended way that would easily lead to a sequel to actually find out the outcome for all of the main characters. Did Michael and Charlotte end up together? Were the Trilbies discovered? What was on the other side? Lots of questions posed at the end of the novel, that I feel definitely need some answers. I sincerely hope that Cheryl Sullivan manages to write a sequel to answer all the questions she has managed to pose.
    I found it an enjoyable read!

  7. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read The Harvest of the Unborn.
    I found it a bit confusing at times but it was worth reading and was quite enjoyable over all.
    I thought the characters were believable and the plot interesting.

  8. Thanks to Shawline Publishing Group and Beauty and Lace for my copy of Harvest Of The Unborn to read and review,
    This book was a blend of sci-fi, murder mystery and romance. Set in Sydney, post World War Two, Charlotte moves to King Cross as an investigative journalist to try and help solve the case of missing girls in the local area.
    Strange things happen in the boarding house she is staying. She meets Detective Michael Devlin and together they work to find answers.
    I don’t generally like Sci-Fi but I found this book interesting overall although it did end rather strange so I hope there is a follow up book.

  9. Charlie, a female investigative reporter, is instilled into a boarding house linked to disappearing women. The land lady an odd soul, her daughters no less odd. New to town, Charlie befriends another boarder and explores Sydney life post war. Attending the local dance she chances a meeting with Michael, handsome and friendly but her past relationship forces her to hold back.
    Michael Devlin is a detective investigating the missing women. His sister one of the first to disappear, thought to have left her life willingly. This Michael knows to not be the truth, why would his dearest sister leave when her fiancé Joe is just returning?
    Joe was tarnished by the war, too much loss and destruction in his past he struggled to reintegrate into society. Instead he takes to a nomadic life on the street, choosing to sleep in the depths of an old train tunnel. Between his horrific nightmares, his PTSD and his alcoholism he sees the blue lights, the tribble people and the disappearing women, but what is real and what is not he has know knowledge.

    A mystery with sci-fi twist the story is an odd one that draws you in. The interplay and uncertainties between the characters is interesting. The ending one that holds your breath, wondering what was to happen next, is there a sequel on the horizon??
    Thanks Beauty & Lace and Shawline Publishing Group for the chance to read something in a genre different to my usual… I really enjoyed the read.

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