Review: The Road Home by Fiona Palmer

Title: The Road Home

Author: Fiona Palmer

Published: Penguin Australia March 2011

Synopsis: After a family tragedy, Lara ran away to the big smoke to pursue a business career, but now her career is at a crossroads, her romance is in ruins and her old family farm is up for sale. In order to face the future, she must overcome the horror of her past – but has she got what it takes to go back to the country, pick up the pieces and start again? When her path crosses with tall, dark and very broody Jack, she finds his allure almost impossible to resist. Can they work together to build a future, or will the ghosts of the past conspire to bring their efforts undone? Read an Extract.

Status: Read on March 09, 2012  – I Own A Copy {Courtesy Penguin Australia/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

The Road Home is an enjoyable story about love – love for family, for the land and for the right guy. After the tragic death of her parents, Lara couldn’t bear to return to the family farm and remained in the city, fulfilling her parents wish to succeed in her career as a financial planner. But when her brother reveals his intent to sell the farm Lara is horrified and at a crossroads in her own life, decides to return home to run it herself.

Fiona Palmer’s familiarity with farming in country Western Australia gives The Road Home a wonderful sense of authenticity. From the sweat and smell of the shearing shed to the hard yakka of repairing property fences, the reader gets an idea of what farming in this region is all about. Life on a farm might be hard work but it also has it’s compensations for those who love it, like the stunning sunsets Lara witnesses and the sense of accomplishment from achieving a difficult task. I think Palmer’s own passion for the land bleeds into the story, her descriptions are vivid and honest, just as her characters are.

I found Lara an admirable heroine, once she sets her mind to something she is determined to see it through with the minimum of fuss. Taking on the farm after more than a decades absence was a brave decision and I thought her motivation was credible though I would not have found the story as convincing if Lara didn’t have prior experience with the way of life.
Unusually, Lara’s love interest in The Road Home, is not the Australian cowboy I was expecting but a Kiwi (ie from New Zealand). Jack is an appealing character (a washboard stomach and manly muscles will do it for me every time), with a tragic history of his own. Their romance has the requisite misunderstandings and obstacles but what I most appreciated about the relationship between Lara and Jack was that the author resisted making Jack Lara’s saviour, and Lara’s independence is not compromised by her desire for Jack.

The Road Home is distinctly Australian, from the description of the land to the genuine dialogue that doesn’t shy away from the everyday colloquialisms of our language. I found the novel well written and a quick and engaging read.

The third contemporary rural romance to be published from Fiona Palmer, The Road Home is a heartwarming and enjoyable story. Though this is the first of her books I have read it, but it won’t be the last.

Available To Purchase

@ Boomerang Books I @ Booktopia I @Readings

About the Author

Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three and a half hours south-east of Perth. She discovered Danielle Steele at the age of eleven, and has now written her own brand of rural romance. She has attended romance writers’ groups and received an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has extensive farming experience, does the local mail run, and was a speedway-racing driver for seven years. She currently works two days a week at the local shop in between writing her next book and looking after her two small children.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helene Young
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 07:02:40

    The Road Home is on my shopping list for today – along with Purple Roads, by Fleur McDonald, and Dead Heat, by Bronwyn Parry.

    I’ve enjoyed Fiona’s previous books and, from your review, I’m sure this one also be a wonderful Australian story.



  2. Gemma
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 09:43:55

    I have read and loved all of Fiona’s books but for me this one really hit a chord – I think because I related so closely to Lara and could understand many of her motivations.

    I think Fiona’s understanding of people’s relationships is brilliant and this supports the story really well and makes you feel more connected to the characters.



  3. Dee, an old follower stopping by
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 01:43:01

    I must begin including purchase links and author info in my netgalley reviews!! How long is each one taking you?



  4. Fiona Palmer
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 17:54:51

    Thanks Shelleyrae for the wonderful review. 🙂



  5. Carol Warner
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 10:01:28

    I’ve read all three books from this talented author, and I’ve loved each one. BTW, the hero’s name is Jack 😉



  6. Trackback: Review: The Sunburnt Country by Fiona Palmer | book'd out
  7. Trackback: AWW Feature: Visiting Italy with Fiona Palmer and the Sunnyvale Girls | book'd out

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