Post Script: The Drifter – Anthea Hodgson

the-drifter

The Drifter

Anthea Hodgson

Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9780143797241

 

Description:

Cate Christie is a party girl, unable to commit to anything, until she is involved in a tragic accident that changes everything. To escape her guilt and her parents’ bitter disapproval, Cate leaves Perth for her Aunt Ida’s isolated farm in country Western Australia.

 

Henry is a drifter, a young swagman-like character who wanders onto the Christie family property and takes up residence in a disused shed. With secrets of his own, the last thing he wants is to get tangled up in Cate and Ida’s lives.

 

Against their own better judgement, the fates of Cate and Henry and Ida inexorably intertwine and they learn to face the realities of life, death and letting go.

 

A witty, charming and moving debut rural romance about what makes a good death and, more importantly, what makes a good life.

 

 

My View:

Debut Perth writer reflects on survivors guilt in a moving, fast paced most enjoyable coming of age read that ticks all the boxes.

 

Wonderful realistic characters

Natural and genuine dialogue

Local (Western Australian) settings – rural and city

Discusses many contemporary social issues including redemption and atonement, survivor guilt, end of life choices, the survival of small rural towns …

Has a fast paced narrative

Is mysterious and complex

Has an honest and trustworthy voice

Weaves into the narrative a few twists

And an ending that…will you will have to discover that yourself.

 

What more could you want?

Post Script: Second Chance Town – Karly Lane

Second Chance Town

Second Chance Town

Karly Lane

Allen &Unwin

Arena

ISBN: 9781760291815

 

Description:

The town of Bundah is dying, with many of its young people fleeing for jobs in the city. A desperate plan to revive Bundah’s fortunes—with generous incentives to attract new businesses—results in a flood of people coming to the town to set up shop.

 

As Bundah begins to come to life with the new arrivals a spate of teenage drug overdoses starts to divide the locals. Many are convinced the narcotics trade has been brought to town by one of the newcomers. It doesn’t help that the mysterious new owner of one of the local pubs has a dark past.

 

Lucy Parker is a single mother doing her best to support her teenage daughter, Belle, through her last year of high school. It’s long been Belle’s dream to go to university, so when she starts to turn wayward, hanging out with the wrong kids and experimenting with alcohol and possibly drugs, her mother is deeply troubled.

 

The very last thing Lucy needs is for a man like Hugh Thompson to mess with her heart and disrupt her life. However it seems fate has other ideas.

 

Suspenseful and packed with romance, Second Chance Town is sure to grow the fan base Karly Lane has established with her bestselling novels Poppy’s Dilemma and Gemma’s Bluff.

 

 

My View:

Australian women writers are awesome! This is another excellent example of a contemporary rural Australian novel/romantic suspense – emphasis on the suspense.  It will entertain, engage, thrill you and ultimately make you smile.  Along the way Ms Lane weaves in some very contemporary issues regarding drugs – effecting all parts of society, and the demise of small Australian rural towns and the efforts some communities make to breathe life back into the towns.

 

Had a trying day? Feeling weary, need to re charge your batteries?  Then this is the perfect read for you!

 

 

 

Post Script: The Saddler Boys – Fiona Palmer

Cover Art The Saddler Boys

The Saddler Boys

Fiona Palmer

Penguin

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143799795

 

Description:

Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead.

 

When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the swarm of inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

 

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her life in Perth and the new community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.

 

 

My View:

Recently I have been reading a few “How to Write” type books and one piece of advice I see repeatedly offered is “write about what you know.” Fiona Palmer is an expert at this, her love of the county, in particular the Western Australian wheat belt, it small towns and the people who inhabit these town, shines in her books, this one is no exception.

 

Fiona’s love of the land is evident in every word, every sentence of this exceptional narrative; there are vivid scenes of sheep and shearing sheds, you can almost smell the lanolin, hear the buzz of the clippers, picture the farm/work ute and see yourself catching yabbies in the dam… I think this narrative works so well because you can so easily place yourself in the settings, the images are so alive.

 

Juxtaposed against the images of country life dictated by the seasons, a lifestyle built on community is the busyness and sterility of the city, Nat’s parents particularly showcase a world devoted to appearances, image, the creation of wealth, a world devoid of emotion. Uncle Kent is the exception in this city environment; a character that demonstrates that wealth and caring can go hand in hand.

 

Fiona Palmer’s writing is has depth and successfully tackles many contemporary issues – the demise of the small country town, the disproportionate number of males to females in country towns and the social implications of this factor, the closing of schools when numbers aren’t deemed viable and the negative domino effect this has on the rest of the community (the closing of the local shop, people moving to areas where there are a greater range of services etc.) domestic violence, custody battles… there is so much packed into this book.

 

This is an exceptional book; Fiona Palmer has created a country town that the reader can step into, a place where the characters are people you know and love (mostly), a place where family and community matter and woven into this rural scene are real and current issues. Fiona Palmer has successfully and engagingly written about what she knows best.

 

 

 

Post Script: Season Of Shadow and Light

Season of Shadow and Light

Season of Shadow and Light

Jenn J McLeod

Simon & Schuster Aust

A CBC Company

ISBN: 9781925030280

 

 

Description:

Sometime this season…

The secret keeper must tell.

The betrayed must trust.

The hurt must heal.

 

When it seems everything Paige trusts is beginning to betray her, she leaves her husband at home and sets off on a road trip with six year old Matilda, and Nana Alice in tow.

But stranded amid rising floodwaters, on a detour to the tiny town of Coolabah Tree Gully, Paige discovers the greatest betrayal of all happened there twenty years earlier.

Someone knows that truth can wash away the darkest shadows, but…

 

My View:

A beautiful Australian narrative full of larger than life characters, wild and glorious countryside, horses, romance, secrets, love, connections , family and a fantastic message about acceptance – there is a little something in this book for all to enjoy.

 

There is a beautiful passage in this book that sums up love and acceptance remarkably well, Alice is talking to Paige about Alice’s relationship with her mother Nancy, ‘No labels Paige, remember. It was your mother who hated them. She never referred to herself as anything other than a woman who feel in love. It so happened to be with another woman. It might have easily been with a man, she told me once, insisting, “Love is about connection.” ‘

What an important understanding.

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.