Where the River Runs 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 10, 2018


Author  Fleur McDonald

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
Publisher:         Allen and Unwin
Release Date:   9781760633141  

Website:    https://www.allenandunwin.com 

If you are looking for the perfect excuse to take a lazy day out, the latest outback fiction from Fleur McDonald, Where the River Runs, is the prefect way to have a heart-warming hour or two to simply recharge before a new week begins.

Family secrets have a way of eventually resurfacing to confront the present-day members of any family. When a skeleton of a male and small baby is discovered on the family property, Shandona, a property that had been farmed by Chelsea’s family for several generations, questions need to be asked about who they are and how they came to be buried there.

Chelsea has returned to Shandona after a long absence, to spend the Christmas period with her estranged father, in an attempt to find out what went so terribly wrong after the death of her mother. Her daughter Aria is with her, the light of her life, her anchor when times have been difficult, but a child also needing a stable future, something that is causing Chelsea many worried moments.

Dave Burrow’s, local copper, had been called in to investigate the cause of the death, or to try and discover at the very least, who these people where. He has just been informed his brother in Perth has been badly injured in a farming accident, a situation which brings a up many bitter memories of his past, which he eventually begins to realise will also need to be faced before time old rifts can be healed.

Farmhand Cal, the man who her father has come to depend upon to run the property, seems to have already judged Chelsea on the small amount of information available to him, is brusque, unhelpful and remote.

As Chelsea settles into the slower pace of rural life in a drought stricken, blistering hot South Australian summer, the wounds of the past begin to heal, but not without some serious, honest soul searching from Chelsea as to how her career as a world acclaimed concert pianist, could have crumble and failed so spectacularly.

Several threads of the story come together to form a common theme and provide a pathway forward as truths, no matter how hurtful need to be faced, and the secrets of the past slowly begin to emerge from the diaries of her beloved grandfather.

It is not until her father Tom fails to return home on Christmas night, after checking the water bores for the stock, clarity finally emerges to draw a line under the past and begin anew.

Strong women, rural life and the social cohesiveness of small towns are integral components of Fleur McDonalds rural stories. In Where the River Runs people known and loved by her readers are meet again, continuing a connection with old friends and new.

Once again, a fantastic, entertaining and enjoyable read.