Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on her family’s sprawling sheep station but, with her father’s health in decline, the management of the farm is increasingly falling to her.
Kate is rising to the challenge when the arrival of two Italian POW labourers disrupts everything – especially when Kate finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali.
Then she receives devastating news. The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear.
From the very moment I opened The Woolgrowers Companion, I was hooked. I would set it down only, begrudgingly, to go to go to sleep. I love historical fiction, with a passion, so was exceptionally excited to get a signed copy and a little personalised handwritten note from Joy.
Kate is an amazing, exceptionally strong character. She has a determination that is obvious from the moment she is introduced, I feel like she laces her boots with her determination. She is having to deal with a farm that is going under due to financial difficulties, a husband away to war and a father that is mentally slipping but she is adamant that she can deal with it all.
I cannot express how beautiful the writing is, I was shocked to realise this was a debut given the style. The images that are painted are so realistic and the emotions pulled me right in. Watching everything unfold is magical.
I have to say that of the novels I have read this year The Woolgrowers Companion comes out on top. I really can’t wait to read the sequel!
I was kindly sent this book for review. All opinions are my own.
I grew up in a small town in the bush in Queensland, Australia. I spent my time with my head in a book, or outdoors – climbing trees, playing in dry creek beds, or fishing for yabbies in the railway dam under the big sky. Some of my favourite memories were visiting my grandmother’s sheep farm in rural New South Wales where my father had grown up. She was a fifth generation grazier, a lover of history, and a great and gentle teller of stories. My childhood gave me two passions: a love of the Australian landscape and a fascination with words and stories.
I left the bush at 13 when I went to boarding school in Brisbane. I stayed on there to study law and literature at the University of Queensland. After, my work as a lawyer took me first to Sydney and then all over the world, to London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and New York. But I always carried in my head a strong sense of my childhood: the people, the history, the light and the landscape. Those images have never left me and they would eventually become The Woolgrower’s Companion. It’s a story I’ve felt I had to tell.
I currently live in London with my husband and our two young children. But I miss the Australian sky.