I'm a big fan of Jennifer Scoullar's books and this one does not disappoint. Well rounded characters and her attention to detail in describing the scenes. This book leaps from the page right from the start with a tragic beginning and the implications for the characters. I particularly liked the way she writes with an empathy for the bush and environment. Great story. Well done.
The Lost Valley is a sequel to Jennifer Scoullar’s Fortune’s Son.
The Lost Valley opens in 1929 at the height of the Wall Street crash. Ten year old twins Tom and Harry Abbott are orphaned by a tragedy and are taken in by their estranged grandmother Isabelle Buchanon. The twins handle their parents’ death and the move to their grandmother’s country home, Binburra, in different ways. Tom, a quiet soul, connects with nature and finds comfort in his grandmother’s attention. Harry acts out his anger making life difficult and tumultuous for everyone. The once close brothers are now separated by a growing rift of resentment.
The Lost Valley is a sweeping tale spanning 25 years encompassing the great depression with crippling economies and rising unemployment leaving families destitute and highlighting the lengths people had to go to simply to keep a roof over their head and food on the table; many women turning to prostitution.
Scoullar adds historical events to place the story solidly in its time period. From the Australian bush to war torn London and the horrors of war with a focus on the terrible toll on the families of men disfigured during war with many wives preferring to distance themselves from these men rather than live with the heartache.
Jennifer Scoullar has created an atmospheric story of unforgettable splendour, sibling rivalry at its worst and the effects of the war on all men and women.
As in Fortune’s Son conservation and endangered species are at the heart of the story.
The Lost Valley can be read alone however to get the full benefit from this story I would recommend reading Fortune’s Son first and fall in love with the characters and the Tasmanian wilderness.
*I received a copy of the book from the author and chose to review it.
Strong, engaging characters and relationships, deep connection with the land and the natural world, and A compellinga gift for telling compelling stories. Jennifer Scoullar is in a league of her own both in her rural romance novels and with this recent shift into bringing Australian history alive. The Lost Valley is not only a great read; strong social justice and environmental themes flow through its fabric, giving it depth and purpose that kept me engrossed to the very end. Looking forward to reading the next book in this wonderful series.