The period, its culture and innocence is brought delightfully to life, and the characters are rich, real and (mostly) lovable.
Julie Redlich, Woman’s Day
Vinyl inside also enjoys the riddle of love. Like (Toni) Jordan Matthews manages to avoid the customary cynicism that tends these days to come standard with writing about matters of the heart. The book ventures into complex emotional territory but does so with a gentle belief that life’s burdens can shift into more comfortable positions … Matthews’ recreation of Elsie’s family is poignant and the portrait of her bewildered father is exquisite…
Michael McGirr, The Age 23/02/08
An earthy first novel, Vinyl Inside follows Elsie and Sterling as they, well, go nowhere in particular. Touchingly in love, they’re living quietly in a caravan park when a blast from Elsie’s past — the daughter she gave up as a teenager — interrupts their rosy routine. Rachel Matthews has a nice ear for dialogue and creates a warm and witty little piece of Australiana here. Sterling and Elsie are the sort of characters other authors make fun of, but Matthews shows them the respect they deserve. In a word: affectionate.
Claire Sutherland, Herald Sun 05/01/09
Matthews delicately explores the idea of what a mother is and should be, and plays with themes of loss, regret and abandonment in an authentic and graceful way. The segments describing elsie’s youth are particularly beautiful as they capture and convey the intensity and fragility of young womanhood. Women readers and fans of unique Australian fiction, and of authors like Rebecca Sparrow, will enjoy this story. Vinyl Inside’s whimsical feel and the warm, likeable characters are what will keep readers interested until the surprising and cleverly gentle ending.
Lucy Meredith, bookseller and publisher 10/07
In the 1980s Elsie and Sterling live at splashes, a caravan park.Then, after 20 long years, Elsie’s daughter turns up, and there are a whole lot of adjustments to be made. The period, its culture and innocence is brought delightfully to life, and the characters are rich, real and (mostly) lovable. Long ago quotes from Aussie women’s mags at the start of each chapter are a reminder of a very different time in our history…
Julie Redlich, Woman’s Day 14/01/08