Post Script: Fortune’s Son – Jennifer Scoullar

Fortune's Son

Fortune’s Son

Jennifer Scoullar

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143783527

 

Description:

An Australian historical saga that will appeal to readers of Bryce Courtenay and Judy Nunn

 

Can one man’s revenge become his redemption?

 

Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him: brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future appears bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbot. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania’s remote highlands.

 

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist, Daniel Campbell, and starts a forbidden relationship with Daniel’s daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.

 

With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can’t forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences – for the innocent as well as the guilty.

 

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian gold and African diamonds, Fortune’s Son is an epic story of betrayal, love and one man’s struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.

 

 

My View:

Jennifer Scoullar has recorded a new milestone – she has established herself as a writer of historical fiction with the publication of Fortune’s Son.  But do not fret those who have loved Jennifer’s previous works, with their environmental elements, their salute to the Australian bush and its wildlife and settings so vivid you can see them in your mind’s eye – all these elements are still woven into this multi layered, historical family saga.

 

What a delightful way to discover aspects of Australia’s colonial past and landscapes; convict labour, gold discoveries, mining, culture of the times, women’s rights, environmental issues teamed with an engaging narrative…so much to be discovered within the covers of this book.  Do I “see” a film or tv series here – yes I think so 🙂

 

 

 

Post Script: Secrets of The Springs – Kerry McGinnis

Secrets of the Springs

Kerry McGinnis

Secret of the Springs

Penguin

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143784586

 

Description:

When Orla Macrae receives a letter asking her to return to the family cattle property where she grew up, she does so grudgingly. Her estranged uncle Palmer may be dying, but he is the last person she wants to see, not when she’s made a new life far away from where she lost so much. But on his deathbed he utters a few enigmatic words about a secret locked away and a clue as to its whereabouts.

 

Intrigued, Orla decides to stay, reconnecting with old friends and taking a chance on a long-time dream of opening the homestead to tourists. Continuing the search for her uncle’s elusive secret, she discovers far more than she bargained for – a shocking truth about her parents’ marriage, and the confession of a chilling murder.

 

Set in the stunning countryside north of the Barrier Ranges near Broken Hill, this is an authentic tale of life on the land and a gripping mystery about old family secrets and finding love in the harsh Australian bush.

 

My View:

“Kerry McGinnis was born in Adelaide and, at the age of twelve, took up a life of droving with her father and three siblings. The family travelled extensively across the Northern Territory and Queensland before settling on a station in the Gulf Country. Kerry has worked as a shepherd, droving hand, gardener, stock-camp and station cook, eventually running a property at Bowthorn, near Mount Isa. She is the author of two volumes of memoir and now lives in Bundaberg,” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219708.Kerry_McGinnis

 

I have now read three (of eight books) Kerry McGinnis’s has written, all have been five star reads. In each the landscapes are diverse in location yet feature rural communities and vibrant likeable characters who you want to cheer on, to do well. McGinnis’s female leads are always strong, intelligent, resourceful women and the protagonist in this book, Orla Macrae fits this mould – strongminded, resourceful, a quick thinker and ahead of her times in commercial acumen (think Airbnb for farm stays set in the 1980’s.) Orla realises that to survive on the land diverse income streams are needed.

 

In this narrative, family dramas and dastardly revelations will surprise the reader, these were different times.

 

Each page is infused with McGinnis’s trade mark love of the land, it is infectious.  Slip under the cover of this impressive book and be transported, listen to the wisdom McGinnis shares: ‘You couldn’t change the past; that was a finished page, one turned over, done with, not to be rewritten. But by constantly harking back to it you could imbue it with the power to cause past deeds to impinge upon the future.’ p353

 

 

 

Post Script: One of Us – Tawni O’Dell

One of Us

Tawni O’Dell

Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781476755878

 

Description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads comes a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer.

 

Dr. Sheridan Doyle—a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist—is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

 

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners’ deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny—in pursuit of a killer—comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

 

In this masterfully told psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the past and present collide to put Lost Creek’s long-lived ghosts to bed.

 

My View:

This is my first experience of reading a Tawni O’Dell book and I must say how impressed I was with this offering! This book has it all:

 

Atmospheric – wonderful creation of settings – of a struggling mining town, of prison, of the extremely wealthy, of the mentally unbalanced… and of a gamut of emotions, this is a fascinating read.

 

Complex – the narrative twists and turns, we have two perspectives – of Danny’s past and present and glimpses of Scarlet’s life – past and present and the intersection of the two lives and the consequences of those interactions. Mixed in with these we have a history of the mining town, of ghosts of the past, of tragic crimes and the darkness of some aspects of humanity.

 

Characters – a range of characters, some you will like, some you will despise as you will despise their sociopathic behaviours and some you will relate to and will embrace. The characters are vividly portrayed, and their conversations or their silences have an authentic feel.

 

Mystery and murder – exquisitely written.

 

And the humour – of the ups of mania…and of course the wonderful doggy psychic – loved him and his contribution to the story!

 

This novel is rich is background, settings, characterisations, plot and has an authentic voice. The narrative is intriguing and engaging and I could not put this book down until I had read the very last word. Perfect!!!