What a book, one of the best books that I have read in a long time, its about a topic that has been hidden for a long time and at last its starting to come into the open, the way that it effects people and the people in "high places" that covered it up. An excellent book
Disclaimer: Slight spoilers re: characters and ending.
I need to start out with a confession. I don't really like contemporary genre novels and I really don't like Australiana novels. In fact, I feel quite ashamed at the extent I go to avoid Australiana-esque novels and my total neglect of reading well-known Australian authors/classics.
So....why 5 stars? Because quite simply I loved this book!
I loved the setting (Sunshine Coast predominantly, but a bit of rural Queensland). I loved the constant (almost overwhelming) sense of nostalgia (being a similar age to Ruby-Rose). I loved the characters, especially Francis (Ruby's Father) and I really, really loved and connected with Bobby.
When I read Lea's work, I think "authentic". There is no pretense. No fakeness. Just raw, honest and beautifully crafted characters and dialogue. I would really love to see Lea turn her hand to a full-on murder mystery as she does pacing and suspense so beautifully (and so clever in how understated it is...wow).
Being an emotional reader, I cried quite a bit during this book because I was so engaged. I cried when Bobby left behind Sally's clip because I knew what it meant. I cried when I became overwhelmed with Ruby's grief and loneliness and because I loved Francis too. However, this book is not depressing or overly sad. It just captures life journey with its ups and downs.
Being a reading know-it-all, I thought I knew the ending. There was only one which would work with who Bobby was and anything else would just be a Hallmark sell-out....right? Well the ending took me by surprise. And let me tell you - I never felt so glad for it. I even hugged the book to my chest when it was all over.
Was there anything I didn't quite like? Not really. I was so engrossed in this story. Only once was I taken out of the story and that was at the start of Part 2 when we transition between Ruby as a child in the early 70s and Ruby as an adult in the year 2000. There was an information overload as we are brought up to date on where Ruby is now and what has happened over the past 30 years. I think I would have liked her back story to be teased out a little more throughout the second part of the story and left to the reader's imagination rather than just given in a few pages.
That was the only time (for 2 pages or so) when I was not fully engaged in the story. Wow! I am ready for book 3 Ms Davey? Snap to it! :-).