From the bestselling Australian author of Daughter of Mine and Birthright.
When a lethal bushfire tore through Myrtle, nestled in Victoria’s breathtaking Otway Ranges, the town’s buildings – and the lives of its residents – were left as smouldering ash. For three women in particular, the fire fractured their lives and their relationships.
Eighteen months later, with the flurry of national attention long past, Myrtle stands restored, shiny and new. But is the outside polish just a veneer? Community stalwart Julie thinks tourism could bring back some financial stability to their little corner of the world and soon prods Claire, Bec and Sophie into joining her group. But the scar tissue of trauma runs deep, and as each woman exposes her secrets and faces the damage that day wrought, a shocking truth will emerge that will shake the town to its newly rebuilt foundations…
With her sharp eye for human foibles, bestselling author Fiona Lowe writes an evocative tale of everyday people fighting for themselves, their families and their town – as only this distinctively Australian storyteller can.
The town of Myrtle in Victoria’s Otway ranges was devastated by bushfire almost two years earlier. They lost everything in those fires including buildings, their livelihoods and most of all family and friends. Six new public buildings have been rebuilt but the residents are still living in temporary accommodation because of bureaucracy or just not been able to afford to rebuild. The residents of Myrtle are still struggling today.
This story will pull at your heartstrings and opens your eyes to how fire can destroy not only a town but the lives of all people living there, and the emotional and psychological effects that this has caused them. I could feel their heartache and frustrations.
There are so many wonderful characters in this story, the main characters are Claire the community nurse. Bec the wife of Adam the local builder. Sophie who had only moved into town just before the fires with her family. Throughout this story we learn more and more about these women and effects that the fire has had on them.
A small craft group is formed with the purpose of putting Myrtle back on the map and attracting tourists back into town. The group consists of Julie, Claire, Bec, Sophie, Erica and Layla. These women become friends from coming together in the group and learn to support each other and try to help bring their community back together.
The town of Myrtle holds many dark secrets. Will they survive the challenges ahead and recover? Will they ever really get over the devastation of the fire?
Fiona Lowe has written a book that deals with many issues including PTSD, domestic violence and grief. She has done her research into an Australian bushfire and its devastation and aftermath. Bushfires are a part of Australian summer and there are so many of them, I have seen a whole town wiped out by a bushfire here in Western Australia. It can happen so fast with no warning.
‘A day no one wanted to remember. A day no one could forget.’
Highly recommended, 2019 Top pick.
See you in the next chapter
Number of Pages: 487
Publication Date: 18th February 2019
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Imprint: HQ Fiction
About the Author
Fiona Lowe has been a midwife, a sexual health counsellor and a family support worker; an ideal career for an author who writes novels about family and relationships. She spent her early years in Papua New Guinea where, without television, reading was the entertainment and it set up a lifelong love of books.
While on maternity leave with her first baby she heard an interview on ABC radio with a staff member from Mills & Boon who said they were actively seeking authors. How hard could it be? (Yeah, right).
A recipient of the prestigious USA RITA® award and the Australian RuBY award, Fiona’s books are set in small country towns and feature real people facing difficult choices and explore how family ties and relationships impact on their decisions.
When she’s not writing stories, she’s a distracted wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ sons, a volunteer in her community, guardian of 80 rose bushes, slave to a cat and is often found collapsed on the couch with wine.