Like that John Hughes movie which will always remind you of the time you and your friends hired it on video (remember them?) and watched it every night for a week until you all knew every line by heart.
Or the smell of sultana scones which takes you back to your grandmother's kitchen in the school holidays where you were just happy to watch, and eat.
And that Best Of album which will be forever linked to the Easter roadtrip to the freezing caravan park by the river where the possums had overrun the shower block.
Fleur McDonald's latest novel, Crimson Dawn, will always remind me of 'that time I was in hospital getting my gangrenous appendix removed'. (see previous post if you missed the gory details)
But it will remind me in a good way. I don't know what I would've done without Crimson Dawn to transport me away to somewhere far outside the hospital walls, especially at 3am when the nurse woke me to check my obs and I couldn't go back to sleep. I grabbed that book and kept reading whenever I was awake enough to do so, possibly to the detriment of my recovery, as I was supposed to be walking as much as I could. Oops. I sat and read instead because, as usual, I couldn't put Fleur's book down.
Now, I may be a little sketchy on some of the details, because BOY are those opiate painkillers really good, but I know a good read, drugged or not.
In Crimson Dawn, Fleur lets the story flow seamlessly back and forth in time, to show us how our ancestors and their secrets can have great bearing on both our present and our future.
And she says "semen package" on page 64. Now that I DO remember.
Just like my grandmother knew how to make the perfect sultana scone, Fleur knows how to weave a tale.... A pinch of love, a handful of betrayal, a dash of romance, a dollop of mystery, a measure of adversity, a hint of tragedy, a scoop of triumph, and a whole cupful of the basic ingredient; life in the country.
Laura Murphy has grown up on Nambina, a property which has been in her family for generations. Suddenly, she finds herself running it, and eventually, after some personal setbacks and heartbreak, starts a school teaching the next generation of women the basics of managing a property like Nambina, in the hope that they will get the solid grounding she had herself from her grandfather.
Laura has her hands full with not only her students, but problems with her former best friend, former boyfriend, and a young family member who shuns Laura's attempts to get close. When the legal ownership of Nambina is placed under threat, Laura must find all of her strength to fight the claim by delving into her family's history, and reaching out to her family and friends to help prove her status as the rightful heir to the property.
This is Fleur McDonald's fifth novel, following on from her previous best sellers,
(I have written about all of these, see my Review page)
If you want a taste of the Outback without getting dirt in your eyes, try Fleur McDonald and her series of novels.
You won't regret it. Cracking reads, all of them.