'An Uncommon Woman’ by Nicole Alexander is historical fiction at its best. I enjoy novels set in the late twenties and the thirties a period when the world was changed forever by the First World War and the Great Depression. Edwina Baker and her younger brother Aiden work together on the family property in the drought stricken land of Western Queensland. But with more business sense than her brother who will one day inherit the farm Edwina wants to do more than marry. Her father Hamilton is a strict man but what is in his past that makes him stop Edwina from leaving the farm unless accompanied? Hamilton bans Edwina from going to the circus that has come to town. She defies him and her life changes forever when she meets pastoralist, Mason, and also labourer Will, a man who shares her dreams of escape. The harsh land of Western Queensland is brought to life , the era is evoked with great skill, the character of Edwina shines, and the story makes you want to keep turning the pages. Highly recommended.
I had not previously read one of Nicole Alexander's books. But I thought I knew what to expect - a stock-standard Aussie-battler-in-the-bush story complete with dust and heat. Those things are present but there is so much more to An Uncommon Woman. Alexander's heroine is non-cliche and likeable, the circus elements of the story quaint and original, her red-herrings far too believable, and the ending unexpected and satisfying. I will certainly look out for her books in the future.