This weeks book review has been written by my very first “Guest Reviewer” – Michelle Boyd. Michelle is a talented blogger, cook, book worm and all round nice chick. She heads up her own blog – Wednesday Night Super Club; and runs a successful coffee van business – Barista in the Sun. This week she is reviewing “The Patterson Girls” by Rachael Johns.
Four sisters return home to Meadow Brook (a fictional small town in rural South Australia) in a family-focused narrative to assist their father run the business of a country motel. Their mother has passed away and their father has found the small business a bit much to keep up, so the girls return home.
The book opens with the four women flying into Adelaide airport to meet their Dad. Lucinda is working as a teacher in Perth with a FIFO husband, Abigail is a concert violinist playing in London, Charlotte is from Melbourne where she works in a café and is known as a bit of a hippy and Madeleine is an obstetrician in the US. The four girls are different in so many ways but all share the common love for each other.
Rachael weaves a thread between the girl’s backstories and the present day to day of being back in their hometown. Their father has run into some debt and the service has been slipping so the decision is made to sell the motel. As the girls pack up their mother’s treasures they uncover a story about a curse affecting the women in the family and Charlotte is affected by the uncovering of this story the most.
There are arguments among the family as they deal with being back in familiar surroundings and all does not run smoothly with the women struggling with their own issues and their father’s problems at the same time. The book explores the bonds that sisters have; and the arguments felt really familiar to ones I have had with my family.
On a personal level, I loved the familiarity of the location as I could mentally picture where they were due to my own country home being in the general vicinity. I really enjoyed the book with the exception of the character of Abigail, the violinist who has fled London after a disaster with the orchestra. I couldn’t connect with this character and her decisions at all and found her story-line to be a bit far-fetched. It didn’t put me off the story overall, I just skimmed over her parts.
This was my first Rachael Johns novel and I’m sure there will be many more as I found myself wanting to read late into the night as I became entrenched in the story. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves rural family sagas.
If you would like to be a “Guest Reviewer” please let me know, I’d love to have you on board!