When Sophie Bryant decides to accept a posting to the small country town of Hilsons Ridge it is with a great deal of angst, a huge hope that her life will perhaps begin to make sense and things will begin to get better.
After struggling to cope with the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Sophie is sent out to a domestic dispute as a paramedic, but unfortunately things go very badly wrong and she almost losses her own life.
Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder she views this posting as a new beginning, dually arriving and settling into the remote community.
She often passes an empty old house set back from the road and somehow feels drawn to the property. When it comes onto the market, she decides to purchase it, which her family consider is insane, as she has only been in the town two weeks.
While settling into her new home she discovers and old box belonging to the elderly man who had lived in the house for many, many years; the box contains old diaries which she decides to read and in doing so discovers they are all from the First Word War, having been written by Clarrie Gilbert during his time spent with the Australian Light Horse Brigade in Gallipoli and the Middle East.
The further she reads Sophie begins to realise that somehow his diaries are helping her begin to put back the pieces of her life she thought were gone forever. She also begins to understand the slow but steady pace of country life and the residents of the town’s uncanny ability to seem to know, before her, what she was about or going to, be doing; life she was discovering was becoming mildly interesting once again.
Coming to the aid of a wild brumby seen about her paddocks, she meets the local vet, Zac, who is also struggling to rebuild his life, also discovering that healing takes time.
As Sophie learns more about life during the horror of the First World War, life in the trenches, the history of her property, and the history of the township that was once a vibrant community, so the past and present begin to intertwine, to bring with it healing, a new understanding, peace and the beginnings of a possible new love and future.
Beautifully written, Karly Lane has combined a part of Australia History which deserves to be remembered, interwoven with modern day elements, creating a level of understanding about the trauma faced by soldiers returning from the horrors of war, changed men struggling to fit back into a life that no longer remains, and the pressure of front line workers in today’s world, coping with the personal costs of the horror on our streets, who are also struggling to cope in a world which is constantly changing.
A book well worth reading.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin/Arena|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|