Stringybark Creek and the Callaghan family, are a much-loved component of recent rural novels created by Karley Lane, and are now firmly entrenched in readers hearts as their trials and celebrations are drawn from everyday life, which adds a personal, very real element to the characters who walk confidently out of the pages.
Return to Stringybark Creek draws this particular trilogy to a close, as Hadley returns to the family property without husband Mitch; their much celebrated wedding only a mere two years before now in tatters, leaving Hadley an emotional wreck, holding a secret that well could destroy her family and certainly bring great grief to her beloved parents.
Meeting up with long-time friend Ollie once again is bitter sweet, but it is not until the suicide of Luke, a close mate of Ollie’s and friend of Hadley’s, that Hadley begins to realise that perhaps there is more to their friendship than she ever expected. Ollie of course, knows he has been hopelessly in love with Hadley since forever!
As they both begin to come to terms with death of Luke, they realise that the lack of help for people in rural communities with mental health issues is very sparse, if not non-existent, with Hadley having a very real understanding of what happens when distress is left to slowly fester, with terrible fall out between her brothers Griff and Cash at her wedding.
Hadley and Ollie decide to try and improve Mental Health Services in the country regions, beginning a campaign to fundraise and raise awareness, which becomes a huge success, far greater than they had expected, and as they begin to heal, so too does their love begin to feel like something so very right.
While there are still unresolved issues in Hadley’s life, choices to be made as to her career and future with Ollie, the world is slowly beginning to come right after all the trauma of the past.
As with all of Karley Lane’s works, they are woven around an issue that needs to be drawn into the light, and one that effects rural people wherever they may live. In Return to Stringybark Creek it is the very real mental health concerns faced by rural people, perhaps more today, that at any time in the recent past.
Captivating, entertaining and most enjoyable, this return visit with the Callaghan’s encourages the understanding that sometimes there are, even from the darkest of times, huge positives to be discovered.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|