Fleur's latest novel, Emerald Springs, nearly became all night company again...not because I was in hospital, but because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! Yes, I was so engrossed in it that it barely left my hands unless it was absolutely necessary. In related news, I must apologise to my children and pets for refusing to feed, or even acknowledge them for about 24 hours, but, you know the rules...
With Emerald Springs, Fleur has produced yet another cracking novel with a strong female protagonist, a lot of action and mystery, and a strong focus on relationships, all with the backdrop she knows so well...beautiful rural Australia.
Amelia (Milly) Bennett finishes university with a degree in Commerce and returns to her family property to look after their finances, as well as those of several other farming families in the district. When she lands the job of treasurer of the local rodeo committee, her fierce desire to prove herself results in the most successful rodeo the town has ever seen.
Amelia's triumph is short-lived when she becomes the victim of a terrifying crime, leaving her physically injured and emotionally wrecked. Her devastation intensifies when gossiping locals begin to doubt the innocence of Amelia and her always-broke boyfriend, Paul. Even the rural detective investigating the crime is unconvinced by her story, despite his connection with Amelia's family.
As Amelia struggles to remember exactly what happened, she too begins to suspect everybody around her, including those she loves, and realises she must investigate the events of that fateful night herself....despite the possible danger.
Once again, Fleur has drawn inspiration from her own experiences of rural life in South Australia and Western Australia (and those of her Dad, who really was a rodeo committee treasurer!), and woven a brilliant story that will keep you turning pages. Fleur has the ability to make me see what she is seeing when she writes...I can visualise her settings and characters perfectly. You don't need to be from the country areas Fleur describes to understand the surroundings and the people because she'll help you understand them with her words. (Although I do get excited whenever there are mentions of places I know and I can say "I've been there!" Yes, I know, I'm such a city slicker)
I had the opportunity to catch up with Fleur in Adelaide last night in the midst of her current book tour. She spoke about identities, in particular of women, and how we can often lose ours when we are "someone's wife" or "someone's mother", and how she likes her female characters to grow and strengthen as they discover their own identity. Just as Fleur herself, I believe, has grown and strengthened as an author.
Emerald Springs is Fleur McDonald's best work yet.
And yes, I'll probably say that about the next book too. And the one after that. And the one after that.
Seriously, it's another winner from the Voice of the Outback.
|The beautiful Fleur, me, and Fleur's lovely publicist, Amy|
PS. For some strange reason, a nine month old blog post was randomly emailed out last week, probably to all my subscribers. No idea why, I can only think that it was lonely and wanted attention.
This seemed to prompt a few people to unsubscribe for whatever reason. Just know I wasn't spamming you with old crap, there must have been a weird glitch in bloggerland. Or Cateland. Whatever. You have to laugh or you'll go nuts.