Blog Tour Review: Hope’s Road by Margareta Osborn

Title: Hope’s Road

Author: Margareta Osborn

Published: Random House Australia March 2013

Read an Extract

Status: Read from March 13 to 14, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy Random House}

My Thoughts:

In Hope’s Road, Margareta Osborn’s second novel, she returns to the Victorian highlands and the rural community she knows so well. Montmorency Downs is home to Tamara McCauley who inherited the dairy farm upon her grandparents tragic death. Tammy loves the land and is proud of her heritage but when her marriage breaks down Tammy risks losing her family legacy as her faithless husband tries to force a sale. High on the hill at the boundary of the property lives Joe McCauley, sixty years ago he walked away from Montmorency Downs and cut all family ties when his brother married the woman Joe had fallen in love with. When the elderly Joe is injured, Tammy surprises herself by volunteering to care for the old man, along with wild dog trapper and Joe’s neighbour, Travis Hunter. Forced to keep company, a fragile bond is forged between Tamara, Travis and Joe, cemented by the needs of Travis’s young son, Billy, but as their pasts threaten to overwhelm them, they risk losing everything.

Vivid, authentic characterisation is becoming a hallmark of Osborn’s writing. I feel as if her characters could easily walk right off the page and slot neatly into my local community. Tamara McCauley is gutsy, intelligent and hard working but not without her vulnerabilities after years of insidious abuse from her husband. The portrayal of Travis Hunter as a single father out of his depth is well done, and his son, Billy, is just adorable. Curmudgeonly Joe McCauley evokes sympathy, despite his temper and his inability to let go of a sixty year old grudge. These are complex characters that demonstrate real growth as tentative connections are made and strengthened through shared adversity.
Osborn’s minor characters are equally colourful personalities, from the eccentricities of Tammy’s best friend, Lucy, to the flirty desperation of local school teacher Jacinta Greenaway, whose single minded pursuit of Travis provides some amusingly awkward moments. Even the abusive Shon Murphy, Tammy’s husband, is a man who also inspires some pity when it would have been simpler to simply paint him as a villian.

At it’s core, Hope’s Road is a contemporary romance but the storyline also touches on issues such as domestic violence, abandonment and elder care. The connection with family and the need to belong is a major theme illustrated by the relationship between Tamara and Joe, and Travis and his son. As rural fiction, the connection between the characters and the land also plays a vital role.
I really like the way in which Osborn approaches rural life in Hope’s Road. The romantic view of farm life cedes to the reality of dairy farming, graphically depicted when Tammy’s cows suffer bloat, and newborn calves come under attack from a wild dog.

I find Margareta Osborn’s writing style particularly appealing though I am not entirely sure why I connect with it so strongly. I think because I find her characters so believable, her plot’s have a realism I appreciate and her stories are well grounded in settings that are familiar to me. I enjoy the author’s sense of humour and feel the narrative flows well. The dialogue is authentic, though fair warning, it may be a little coarse for some at times. I thought the pace was good, firmly establishing character and back story before introducing the conflicts. I love that Osborn slips in a mention of the characters of Bella’s Run connecting the two stories, even if only peripherally.

Hope’s Road is a fine example of contemporary rural fiction. It’s no wonder the genre is enjoying a surge in popularity with such appealing characters and engaging stories capturing the readers imagination. Hope’s Road will definitely be on my favourites list for 2013 and I am happy to endorse it.

Available to Purchase

@Random House Au I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

Follow the tour to find out more about Hope’s Road

March 7th: All the Books I Can Read

March 8th: Confessions from Romaholics

March 9th: Reading in the Bath

March 10th: Book Muster Down Under

March 11th: MrsMichelleS

March 12th: Intrepid Reader

March 13: Daystarz Books

March 14th: Book’d Out

March 15: Sam Still Reading

March 16th: This Charming Mum

March 17th: 4 Ravens

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marg
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 22:23:51

    I hadn’t read Bella’s Run before I read this one but I can assure you I will be soon as I really liked this book!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Margareta Osborn
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 06:20:40

    Thank you so much, Shelly Rae, for reviewing my book. Much appreciated.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Mystica
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 08:00:48

    Making a note of this one.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Review: Mountain Ash by Margareta Osborn | book'd out

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