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Its a great feeling when you pick up a book by a new author and it gets you in straight away!! Laura returns home to the country as her mother is seriously ill and she wants to spend as much time with her as possible as the prognosis is not good. She leaves behind her life in the city and her fiancee. Coming home also means she has to re-live the horror of her old boyfriend who was tragically killed when she was a teenager.
After her mother's passing Laura must decide what to do with her life and while she is there she reconnects with Tom who was one of their 'gang' when they were young. She has many decisions to make regarding her life moving forward, does she want to return to her old life or has a return to her childhood home rekindled her passion for living in the country. She needs to come to terms with a lot of things, but most of all Ryan's death and the mystery surrounding it. After coming across a mystery box whilst sorting out her mother's affairs she is determined to find out exactly what happened that night.
This was a most engaging story and had me turning pages constantly which is the sign of a good book for me. I was amazed that this was a debut novel. The author has done a great job in making the characters totally believable and drew you to a very satisfactory ending as well. I look forward to what this author produces in the future. This would appeal to readers of Womens Fiction or Rural Stories.
I would like to see this book on the reading list in secondary schools. The story starts 10 years later when our heroine Laura goes back to care for her palliative care mother. Laura never wanted to go home and face her deamons of her first boyfriend Ryan who committed suicide. This story covers depression, suicide, young love, secrets and healing. I look at younger people reading this story and getting a full account of depression and suicide affects everyone Highly recommended for teenagers and seniors like me
I’ve been in a little reading slump, picking up and putting down my last 3 books. Meanwhile this book has been popping up on my radar with good reviews and well, what can I say except it was the perfect book to get me out of that slump! Laura has returned to her home town of Banyula because her Mum is dying. She is close to her Mum but events from 10 years previously at the finish of high school, have stopped her from coming home. Laura, her boyfriend Ryan and friends Tom and Rachel were young and free that last year of school but Ryan’s death tore everyone apart. For 10 years each of those friends have been harbouring a guilt and it’s time to let go.
The was a little bit of mystery surrounding Ryan’s death and the background of that era was told in chapters, mainly in the second half of the book as Laura was remembering those times. This was very easy to follow and you got to understand the friendship dynamics. I really liked Laura and you could feel the love she had for her Mum and her confusion of her relationship with Tom. It’s not quite your usual Australian small town rural romance. With memories and regrets, it also deals with mental illness, especially teenagers and in rural settings, where help is difficult to find and giving people hope. A lovely book which I really enjoyed and with more depth than some books of the genre. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.