Title: The Grazier's Wife
Author: Barbara Hannay
Publisher: 1 August 2016 by Penguin Books Australia
Pages: 380 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, historical fiction, Australia
My Rating: 5 cups
For Stella in 1946, it was a compromise in the aftermath of a terrible war. For Jackie in the 1970s, it was a Cinderella fairytale with an outback prince. While for Alice in 2015, it is the promise of a bright new future. Decades earlier, Stella was desperate to right a huge injustice, but now a long-held family secret threatens to tear the Drummond family of Ruthven Downs apart. On the eve of a special birthday reunion, with half the district invited, the past and the present collide, passions are unleashed and the shocking truth comes spilling out.
From glamorous pre-war Singapore to a vast cattle property in Queensland's Far North, this sweeping, emotional saga tests the beliefs and hopes of three strong women as they learn how to hold on to loved ones and when to let go.
You know those authors - the ones you read without even having referred to the blurb - that is Barbara Hannay - so assured am I of a good read. 'The Grazier’s Wife' (grazier is an Aussie term for cattle rancher) is yet another compelling historical saga, spanning generations and providing riveting reading. Stella, Jackie and Alice each play their part across these generations and make proportionally significant contributions to the story. Although I have to confess having a soft spot for Stella and Tom. Hannay is just so adept at switching, not only between time periods but also point of views - it is seamless. Whether you are in war ravaged Singapore, hinterland grazing in Australia or present day country town life - I was never confused about who, what, where or when. In fact, I found it hard to put this book down so involved was I in each of the storylines.
Seriously, this tale really covers it all and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Your encounters with each of the three leading ladies is is different and indeed their male counterparts are just as compelling. I am sure you will find it difficult to put down, as did I. I can only relate it to a classic movie, only here you have it in the printed word. Your heart will leap out of your chest with sentiment like:
"When this is over I'm going to find you, and I'll ask you to marry me."
I have to confess that the wartime story and its fallout, touched me the most. I thought it wonderful to give Stella and Tom the final word. Pre and post wartime descriptions of Singapore were outstanding. You were right there sipping champagne at the party, to the terrifying bombings and the utter devastation that followed.
"This is almost like having a whirlwind tour of Asia."
It's always a good sign when I have highlighted little, it testifies to how enthralled and lost to the story I was. I have no hesitation in highly recommending 'The Grazier’s Wife' by an author who - after this instalment - is one of my favourites.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release