Today’s novel, reviewed by Tam, had her reflecting on this great rural land of ours…
Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar (Penguin) is a beautiful story of family, healing and self-discovery set against the backdrop of the amazing Australian outback!
Brisbane lawyer Clare Mitchell has a structured, orderly life. That is, until she finds herself the unlikely guardian of a small, troubled boy. In desperation, Clare takes Jack to stay at Currawong Creek, her grandfather’s horse stud in the foothills of the beautiful Bunya Mountains.
Currawong feels like home and Clare relaxes for the first time in years. Her grandad adores having them there. Jack loves the animals. And Clare finds herself falling hard for the handsome local vet.
But trouble is coming. The Pyramid Mining Company threatens to destroy the land Clare loves – and with it, her newfound happiness …
I loved this novel from start to finish. It is full of powerful, individual characters that I found myself caring for quickly. Clare thinks she has her life on exactly the track she always wanted for herself. She has a successful career, handsome boyfriend and a lovely organised apartment in the heart of Brisbane. However, all this gets incredibly complicated when she takes guardianship of Jack, a troubled four year old who one morning is abandoned, left in her office by his mother, one of Clare’s clients.
Clare is faced with a challenge she could never have seen coming.
Clare hasn’t spoken to her grandparents or visited their farm for fifteen years, but with the arrival of Jack she starts thinking back to her own childhood. Jack proves to be more of a handful than Clare anticipated, and this prompts her to take a trip to a simpler life, to reconnect with her grandfather and revisit the land that she loved most as a child, Currawong Creek.
When Clare arrives at the farm she reconnects with Harry, her grandfather. She also meets the handsome local vet, Tom. These three, plus young Jack bond quickly, forming a family and the growth and healing begin. This story shows the influence that caring people can have, but interestingly, also the natural healer that the land and animals can be.
Another aspect of this story is that of the environment, and the environmental issues that face Australian farmers. The residents of Currawong find themselves fighting against a big corporation, Pyramid Mining Company. Pyramid want access to the land to do exploratory mining for coal seam gas. The little guys against the corporates! Jennifer Scoullar tells an interesting tale of the immediate rights the mining company have to the land, the effect that the mines have on these homesteads and the struggle the farmers have to maintain what have been their homes for generations.
Having grown up on a farm myself and in a small town, I found myself thinking back to these memories vividly. Feeling as though I could almost smell the land, hear my grandparents speaking and re-living the adventures. This made me connect with this story so much more. A truly wonderful novel showing struggle, laughter, sacrifice and love and the power of the beautiful country we are living in.
You can find out more about Jennifer Scoullar’sCurrawong Creek here…
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