Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay

Title: Moonlight Plains

Author: Barbara Hannay
Publisher:  August 27th 2014 Penguin Australia
ISBN: 9781921901928
Pages:  384 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: historical fiction, romance, women’s fiction, cultural Australia
Our Rating: 2 cups

In 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love . . . and with heartbreak.

Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother's forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future.

What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family's happiness is at stake – or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?

From the internationally acclaimed and award-winning romance writer Barbara Hannay comes this breathtaking novel about finding love against all the odds. It will have you smiling – and crying – from beginning to end.

Our thoughts:

Multi award winning author, Barbara Hannay sets most of her 40 plus books in rural Australia and they are enjoyed by readers from all around the world. Due for release on 27 August, is Hannay’s latest novel – Moonlight Plains.  If you’re a lover of some Australian wartime history, coupled with dual timeline storytelling, then this is the book for you!

The present day story centres on Sally and Luke and is a modern romance, as they face everyday life issues in an Australian rural setting. The more pertinent and engaging story involved Kitty and her encounter with an American airman in World War II. That, we felt, was the more interesting aspect for readers.

For us though, the story seemed somewhat predictable. We were hoping – based on the premise – for more intrigue and mystery and there is great potential in the line up of characters and locations.

“Each generation had to be judged by the values of their day
 and not by the values of current ways of thinking.”

However, there are no big twists in this story, it seemed a bit contrived and predictable in places. There are quite a few characters to keep track of in this dual timeline and two continent tale. The writing is easy going but the story was not fully engaging; the author does not really delve below the superficial with her plot or character development. We wish she had but it’s just not that kind of read.

So, if you enjoy a light, romantic read, that you don’t really have to think about too much, then you can sit back and enjoy the tale of Moonlight Plains. It’s a good ol’ fashioned wartime romance as told in many movies of bygone days, here for you to read and enjoy - only this time the setting is far north Queensland, Australia and that makes a nice change.

“Fate, if you believe in it, walks such a precarious tightrope. The wrong decisions are made despite the best of intentions. Words that should have been spoken are held back for fear of causing upset. I’ve been looking back, however, and thinking about you”.

Does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?

Our Rating:

 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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