Roni is city girl through and through; her childhood spent in a series of foster homes, with little joy and happiness as part of her young life. A go nowhere job at a kiosk at Flinders Street station is her sole means of income, a down at the heel one-bedroom flat, her only place of residence. An occasional boyfriend, who it appears has managed to get her pregnant, certainly possess a terribly uncertain future.
Her cat Scritches, a rescued street cat and Roni a understand each other very well; existing, trusting no one and with little hope of a different future. A letter in a very classy window envelop arrives, which Roni believes can hold nothing good, as those kinds of envelopes never do. She decides to return it to the address on the envelope, only to discover the letter was for her and has the ability to change her life, if she so chooses.
As she is pregnant and facing eviction from her apartment, she makes the overwhelming decision to accept the legacy she has been offered by an Aunt she never knew she had, Marian Nelson. She is now the owner of considerable property in the wheatbelt area of South Australia, a car and a home more than one hundred years old, none of which she has ever had any experience with in her life!
A series of letters from her Aunt is part of the legacy, the first of which she is given by the family solicitor Derek Prescott, to be read on her flight into her new future. As the days begin to spread into weeks and months at Peppertree Crossing, Roni begins to find a certain kind of peace in her new life, learning to face and overcome many challenges.
She begins to trust for the first time in a long time, discover the family she never knew, the mother who gave her up for adoption and the town in which she has somehow become involved. Her Aunts long-time friend Tracy, leads her along her new found pathway with wisdom, love, lamingtons and life lessons. Eventually, Roni slowly begins to discover, with the help of her neighbour Matthew (Matt) Krueger, everyone deserves love in their lives.
Leonie Kelsall’s professional life is one of a Counsellor, the ethos of which adds a genuine thread of everyday life to the story of Roni and her dysfunctional family. The story told is one all to easy to relate to from so many aspects.
Kelsall has woven in her debut novel, The Farm At Peppertree Crossing, many life strands together to portray country life, populated t5he story with characters we have all met at times on our own life journeys to create a heart-warming, loveable and engaging story; our hearts break for Roni’s very dark childhood, rejoice at her courage to take on her new life and are filled with love as she discovers she can also have a very, very wonderful future if only she are brave enough to grab it with both hands.
Leonie Kelsall’s skillful portrayal of life on the land and the people who live it, come alive in The Farm At Peppertree Crossing. An absolute gem of a book!
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|