The subject matter is challenging and beautifully handled by Fleur McDonald, as she wraps the story of a courageous young woman, Ashleigh, about the topical issues of domestic violence.
Ashleigh has had enough of being abused and manipulated by her controlling and demanding husband. He is ‘king-pin’ in the small rural town of Jindabyne, in the mountains of Victoria.
Dominic’s family have been presence in the town for many years but he has managed to become a man who controls not just his wife, but the local Doctor and Police officer, as well as many of the town’s male citizens. He has a reputation to maintain and uses a subtle, threatening demeanour to maintain control.
Ashleigh finds she is drawn to the town of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges through an article she has read in Australian Outback. She finds this somewhat confusing as she is an orphan, with no understanding of who her parents were, or where she was born. So why would this small town on the edge of the dessert hold such an attraction for her?
Dominic finally goes one step too far so she puts her carefully prepared plan into place, setting off and driving by night, changing her appearance, her route, and her name to Eliza, until she reaches Blinman, where she finds so much more than she ever believed possible.
She is befriended by Sue, the store owner, finds a job at the National Park as teacher to the Park Rangers little girls, Heidi and Tilly. She also meets Jacob, one of the local land owners and Uncle to the little girls she is teaching.
An excursion with the girls takes her to a ruined homestead which sets off an unexpected train of events; she meets Mary and John, who somehow know more about her life than they are telling and slowly, she begins to unravel the story of her past, her story.
Eliza finally begins to believe that she can start again and have a life that is both happy and productive, surrounded by friends, when Dominic discovers where she is and comes to find her!
The fast paced ending to the story is not expected as there are several stories running through each other, they create an ending as explosive as it is healing.
Fleur McDonald has come of age with her latest romance and the manner in which she deals with the topical subjects of domestic violence and animal trafficking.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|