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Archive for August 21st, 2017

Salt Creek

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Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route – among them a young artist, Charles – and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton’s attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people’s homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri’s subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

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Lucy Treloar 

Author’s Bio

Lucy Treloar was born in Malaysia and educated in Melbourne, England and Sweden. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT, Lucy is a writer and editor and has plied her trades both in Australia and in Cambodia, where she lived for a number of years.

– 2014 Regional Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Her short fiction has appeared in Sleepers, Overland, Seizure, and Best Australian Stories 2013. Lucy is a regular contributor to Womankind magazine.

Lucy’s second novel, Salt Creek,was published by Picador (Pan Macmillan) in August 2015.

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My Review

4 stars

It is 1855 in Australia and we follow Hester Finch (Hetty) and her family. Stanton Finch is the father and has a bad habit of jumping into the next big scheme and leaving debt and irritated people behind. His newest scheme is to move his family to the desolated Salt Creek on The Coorong. He is planning to create a great farmland and build a beautiful house for his depressed wife.

But after a hard trip, the family discovers little more than a stable to live in, a harsh land, and the Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri. This is just the beginning. Stanton thinks he can just easily jump into the land a make a wonderful farm. Instead he destroys the fragile eco system and causes a lot of problems for the Ngarrindjeri who have no problem taking care of this problem. If that wasn’t enough, Hetty’s mom drops further into depression and Hetty starts raising the younger children

The Aborigines complain to Stanton about the damage that his cattle is doing and although he tries to help a drought has him telling the natives to leave. But he does think that he can civilized the natives and takes Tully to be taught with his own children. Tully learns quickly but finds himself confused about the differences in the natives and the white beliefs.

This is a great story with a lot of true events in it. I love the rich history you get while following along as Hetty tries to keep her family from falling apart. I loved Tully and Hetty. There were such a great way to bridge the gap between the Aborigines and the Finch family. But the think I liked the best was that you learned about both sides to this story.

This is a rich story that will appeal to anyone that wants to know more about Australian history. It is a beautifully woven story that draws you in and leaves you wanting more at the end. This is one that you need to check out.

I received Salt Creek from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Fender

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Fender by Brent Jones

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

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 Brent  Jones

Author’s Bio

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.

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My Review

5 stars

Brennan Glover lost his wife Rosie and his six year old daughter Abby in a car crash. The only survivor was the family Beagle, Fender. Brennan is heartbroken as his world is turned upside down. Fender does his best to help out his master get through this hard time. Then Brennan’s friends Franky and Rocco talk him into taking a road trip to find his way along with move on with his grief. But things are not going to go smoothly as a deep secret comes out that could destroy the friendship.

This is a heartbreaking story. How would you go on after losing your family? It’s very emotional as Brennan tries to go on with his grief and depression. Fender is there to help but he can only do so much. Brennan needs to get out in the world to see that there is so much more happening. Thankfully Franky and Rocco are they to give him the proverbial boot in the butt.

Of course I’m a huge animal fan, having several cats of my own and treating them like my children. I loved the interactions with Fender. I love when stories show how important our furry children are and how big of a difference they can make in our lives.

Brent Jones has a great story and one that I think anyone will enjoy. Definitely check out this book. You will run the gambit of emotions but it is worth the tears.

I received Fender from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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