I’m a big fan of Kiwi author Laurence Fearnley and was very excited to have her new book to read. This is a gentle story about three women who live in a small South Island town. A section is devoted to each of them but it isn’t until nearly the end of the book that their lives begin to intertwine.
First there’s Loretta, a school librarian who mourns the fact that her youngest child is growing up fast and doesn’t need her as much as before. She is a kind and generous person and has a great friendship with Shannon which dates back to their school days together. Riva has been highly successful in business and now devotes her life to restoring a wetland while trying to come to terms with the death of her beloved sister from breast cancer. And lastly there is teenager Chance. She is bullied and tormented by her difficult mother and is deeply stressed by her awful home life.
For each of the three central characters a small hut in Riva’s wetland creates a serene haven from their day-to-day difficulties. And it is here that they meet up and grow, both individually and together.
As with all Laurence Fearnley’s books, the characters feel real and you care deeply about them. There are also beautiful descriptions of the countryside and the desperate plight of wetlands and their degradation is a strong theme throughout the book.
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