#aww2020 · 2020 Reviews · contemporary fiction

Book Review: Whitethorne by Nene Davies

Title: Whitethornewhitethorne small

Author: Nene Davies

Published: August 8th 2018

Publisher: Hammer and Tongs Publishing

Pages: 332

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5 stars

Catherine Whitethorne has emerald eyes. She stands 5’7 in sheer black stockings. Her hair is long and dark and thick with shiny waves. She has the body of a goddess; iridescent as sunlight, seductive as a mermaid. She smiles brilliant white smiles. Her perfect pink lips whisper breathless promises into willing, eager ears.
Catherine Whitethorne is rich. She’s driven and successful, has a thriving business and a clever brain. Her heart is small and clenched and hard. She lives above the law, does not know love and cares only for herself. She steals husbands.
​Catherine Whitethorne always, always wins. 


Whitethorne is a contemporary fiction novel from Australian author Nene Davies. A story that follows a rich and complex character, who leaves plenty destruction in her wake, this quick paced novel can easily be read in just a sitting.

Whitethorne regales the story of title character Catherine Whitethorne. Catherine is a magazine cut out, renowned for her glossy locks, perfect stature and alluring personality. She can win anyone over by just her smile and she can promise you the world. Catherine is also wealthy and she has successfully cultured a booming business model, which is down to her determined personality.  She leaves absolutely no casualties in her path to ultimate domination. Catherine has little care for people’s feelings and she looks out for herself only. She is partial to taking other people’s husbands, with no qualms. Although she does always come out the victor, will Catherine Whitethorne always reign supreme?

Whitethorne was released in 2018 by Hammer and Tongs Publishing. An endorsement from respected Australian author Jenn J. McLeod directed me to the latest release by Nene Davies. An engaging and consuming novel, I raced through this one in no time, thanks to the author’s direct approach to her writing.

While some books are plot action based, other books are character driven. It would be safe to say that Whitethorne falls very easily into the latter category. This is not to say that Whitethorne is devoid of plot and narration action, rather I feel that this book looks directly at the behaviour and mindset of the lead character, along with the supporting characters of this text. Davies does a fine job of outlining all aspects of her characters. I developed a very clear picture in my mind of the cast. These protagonists are interesting, complex and at times unpredictable, but there is also a sense of normality that follows them, so it is easy to relate to the story at hand.

The narrative unfolds around questions on morality, selfishness, jealously, trust, mental illness, marriage, relationships and self-preservation. There is a sense of here and now about Whitethorne that firmly anchors this novel to the contemporary domestic fiction genre. The pace speeds along well and builds up to a frantic conclusion. It is best to go into this one with a blank canvas and enjoy all the twists the author throws at you. Nene Davies certainly presents the reader with a tumultuous journey to contend with in Whitethorne.

Intense, vehement, shocking and consuming, Whitethorne is one that will be sure to clasp a hold of contemporary fiction fans.

Whitethorne by Nene Davies was published on August 8th 2018 by Hammer and Tongs Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Whitethorne, Nene Davies, visit here.

*I wish to thank the author for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Whitethorne is book #42 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge



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