Review: Bridie’s Choice by Karly Lane


Title: Bridie’s Choice

Author: Karly Lane

Published: Allen & Unwin December 2012

Synopsis: Bridie Farrell and Shaun Broderick come from opposite sides of the tracks. Unlike Bridie’s family, who are perennial strugglers, the Brodericks are the wealthy owners of one of the most prestigious properties in the district. Still, all is not well in either family. Bridie’s father is doing time in prison and her younger brother has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Shaun has problems of a different kind, with his dictatorial father not allowing him to take his own direction in life. Shaun’s parents are dismayed when he eschews the charms of the district’s most eligible young women and falls in love with Bridie instead, and they make their feelings clear not just to their son but to Bridie as well. However, parental opposition is just the first of many troubles that Bridie will face.

Status: Read from November 23 to 24, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Allen & Unwin}

My Thoughts:

Bridie’s Choice is Karly Lane’s third novel set in regional Australia, following on from her success with North Star and Morgan’s Law. While North Star included an element of suspense, and Morgan’s Law explored regional issues, Bridie’s Choice is focused on the romance between Lane’s protagonists, Bridie Farrell and Shaun Broderick.

One of ‘those Farrell girls’, Bridie has been dreaming of escaping Tooncanny for as long as she can remember. Having lived her whole life in the shadow of her extended family’s wild reputation, now, as the younger brother she has raised is on the cusp of independence, she can finally leave her painful past behind. And she can’t let falling in love with the district’s most eligible bachelor derail her plans.
Having finished his university degree, Shaun has come home to Tooncanny district’s most successful station, Jinjilu, determined to prove to his father that he is a worthy heir. It seems to be an impossible task but he can’t imagine giving up his childhood dream, until he falls in love.

Though it’s not immediately obvious, Bridie and Shaun have a lot in common including rebellious younger siblings, the tragic loss of a family member and the burdens of their respective family legacies. Both are mature, responsible and determined adults but they are also each achingly vulnerable to the judgement of others. Bridie struggles with discrimination from the community while Shaun bears the harsh opinions of his father. I found both characters very appealing, Bridie for her fierce love of her her brother and determined spirit and Shaun for his patience and willingness to defend Bridie.

I enjoyed the way in which the romance between Bridie and Shaun is developed. The challenges they face are dealt with realistically, and each has to make compromises for their relationship to work. Their connection feels authentic and their passion for each other generates just the right amount of heat.

One of the great strength’s of Lane’s writing is the natural rhythm of the dialogue. Her character’s speak with the familiar vernacular of regional Australia which makes them all the more real and relatable. It is also very much a part of what defines Bridie’s Choice as Australian rural fiction, along, of course, with the country town setting.

Karly Lane is proving to be a talented and versatile author whose stories share her love of rural Australia and it’s people. Bridie’s Choice is a heartwarming, well crafted contemporary romance with appealing characters and engaging story and I am already looking forward to her next novel.

Available to Purchase

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via Booko

Also by Karly Lane


Learn more about Karly Lane and her passion for rural communities in the guest post she shared on Book’d Out earlier

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 18:54:05

    I’m glad to know that books like this with a strong Australian flavour are being written and appreciated. Congratulations to Karly Lane!



  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 19:59:46

    I just finished reading this one and I loved it! Karly Lane is quickly becoming one of my fav Aussie authors



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