Review: Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar

Title: Currawong Creek

Author: Jennifer Scoullar

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin June 2013

Read an Extract

Status: Read on June 20, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Currawong Creek is Jennifer Scoullar’s second successful foray into the rural fiction market. Set primarily in Queensland’s Darling Downs, and its beautiful Bunya Mountains, this lovely novel sees Brisbane lawyer, Clare Mitchell, seeking refuge at her grandparent’s property when she unexpectedly becomes a temporary foster parent to a troubled, young boy, Jack. While Jack thrives in the company of Clare’s grandfather and the animals at Merriang, Clare begins to envision a new future – a life on the land, with Jack and the handsome local vet, Tom. But her dream is threatened when Jack’s mother decides she wants her son back and The Pyramid Mining Company aims to destroy the land Clare loves.

In Currawong Creek, Scoullar highlights two important issues.
The first is the state of the foster care system. As a foster carer herself, Scoullar is familiar with the system and in Currawong Creek she draws attention to the lack of placement options for ‘challenging’ children in need. If Clare had not volunteered to care for Jake he would have been sent to an inappropriate facility and his issues would have been compounded by his stay.
The second relates to coal seam gas exploration and the threat it poses in rural areas to pastoral and farming land. Just recently there has been a huge campaign in my local area regarding the issue (my town is surrounded by dairy farms) though I admit I didn’t pay a lot of attention. I was quite horrified to learn of the dangers of frakking and having read this novel I have a clearer understanding of my community’s objections to the mining company.

I really liked the characters of Currawong Creek. I admired Clare’s instinct to protect Jack and her willingness to persevere with him. It would not have been easy and yet Clare makes him a clear priority.
Jack, despite all his challenging behavioural issues, is sweet and engenders sympathy and it is a delight to watch him blossom at Merriong. I particularly liked the way in which the author explored the benefits of equine therapy for Jack, I have a friend who also found it a successful technique for her challenging foster child.
I was impressed at the way in which Scoullar portrayed Jack’s mother’s, Taylor, balancing her faults (which are many) with her love for her child. I strongly believe in the idea of meeting the needs of the child in issues of custody and I was satisfied with the way in which Jack and Taylor’s relationship was resolved.
Tom is a vet, leasing Merriang as a site for his practice and becomes the love interest for Clare. I liked him, especially our introduction to him as he wrestles with a python, but I thought he was a little bland and could have been fleshed out a little more, especially with regards to his background and how it relates to Clare, Taylor’s and Jack’s relationship.
Harry, Clare’s grandfather, will surprise you. I really didn’t see his actions coming though they make a kind of sad sense.

Currawong Creek is a delightful, thoughtful and heartwarming story. I really enjoyed this well written novel and I am already looking forward to the next from Jennifer Scoullar.

Available to Purchase

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Read my Review

 

I was quoted on the back cover of Currawong Creek!

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. readerbuzz
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 20:18:46

    What a happy feeling, to see that your review has been quoted on the back of a book!

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  2. Book Blather
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 05:33:00

    Being quoted, that’s amazing! Yey, you.🙂 I love stand alone romances and I like books set abroad so I shall try and make time for these books (1 and 2).

    Like

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  3. Kate Loveday
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 08:50:12

    This sounds an interesting and thought provoking book. Having been involved in foster care many years ago it is interesting to hear about it in today’s society.
    thanks for the review Shelleyrae.

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  4. 1girl2manybooks
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:04:16

    My quote is in great company😉

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    Reply

  5. Teddyree
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 14:14:38

    Nice review, I grew up on the Darling Downs so I went and requested this one. Hope I enjoy it as much as you did!

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  6. The Australian Bookshelf
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 18:59:09

    Congrats on being quoted on the back cover Shelleyrae! I felt similarly to you about Tom, he could’ve had a bit more depth and I was also surprised by Harry’s actions at the end too!

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    Reply

  7. Trackback: June 2013: Contemporary Fiction Round Up | Australian Women Writers Challenge

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