"This is not my genre - but I’m hooked! I know very little about contemporary women’s fiction but, if this is an example, I want more!This story is superbly put together. Wonderfully focused observations of people, things and the beautiful city of Albury create real and amusing imagery. The story is intriguingly complex but not too complex for a new and unsophisticated reader such as me to follow." Lauriston, Goodreads
A small town. A world wide web. Is the net really a friend?
What do you do when the children have flown the nest and you have time on your hands?
Six women in the Australian riverside city of Albury realise that, without social media skills, they’re staring irrelevancy in the face. Their book club won’t cut it any more. It’s time to go virtual.
But their decision to plunge into the on-line world brings shocking revelations and unexpected outcomes. Friendships, new and old, are tested and their lives teeter on the edge of collapse. They must navigate a path through the chaos. But who exactly can they trust?
Social Media—Pros and Cons
What a perfect topic. This could have been the title of our novel.
Understanding social media is the foundation of our book because it’s all about women who didn’t grow up with skills in that area and are now trying to work out how social media fits into their lives and how it works. So they change their book club into an Information Networking (IN) group and hire someone to teach them all about social media. They name themselves the IN-group, because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be part of an in-group?
They realise social media has enormous pros in terms of understanding the way the world is moving, keeping in touch with scattered family members and staying relevant. Not to mention seamlessly reaching out to people anywhere in the world. Initially, they have no interest in selfies or becoming social influencers, or promoting anything, really. They just want to know how it can be best used for their personal interests. They understand that avoiding social media these days isn’t an option; ignoring it will leave them behind and out of touch.
However, over time it dawns on the women that there are very definite negatives when they discover secrets they would have preferred not to know. They’re from a trusting generation and they approach their task as though everyone is like them, but of course, criminals can and do use the medium to target vulnerable people.
Unlike digital natives who become absorbed in the medium and use it with total confidence, the members of the IN-group flounder and enter dangerous territory. They start to question themselves. Who can they trust? Who are their real friends? They begin to doubt each other, unsure if the people in their newly formed group, some of whom they only met a short time ago, are really who they say they are.
By applying their newly developed social media and computer skills though, they’re able to work out who’s targeting them and who’s betrayed them. Even better, social media helps them all create an exciting new future.
About the authors:
Carolyn Re worked for over twenty years as a general practitioner before turning to writing. No longer needing to produce serious medical and scientific articles, she's now writing contemporary fiction for older women. Carolyn lives in the regional city of Albury, New South Wales, with Ziggy the whippet and three contented chickens.
Loretta Re is a former lawyer who is now writing novels and screenplays. Her book for middle grade readers, Stand Up and Cheer, is a story inspired by the rescue of the Uiver DC2 over Albury during the 1934 Centenary Air Race. It was voted one of the best books for literacy and language development in 2015. Loretta lives in Sydney and is on the board of Writing NSW.
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