Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho

4 Star

Can Ros and Grady move on from the past, or will their pain drive them apart? Six years ago, the Balfours lost their son Cadel to a hit-and-run driver. A few months ago, Ros discovered Grady's affair. With their marriage fast disintegrating, they decide to take a three-month camping trip into the heart of Australia to try and mend deep wounds and rekindle the fire that once fused them close. This trip will decide the fate of their relationship: do they have enough strength and enough love left to accept what life has put them both through? But trust and forgiveness don't come easily, and Ros and Grady have to navigate not only the wilderness of the Outback and the challenges of other travellers, but also the chasm of grief and bitterness they have sunk into over the last six years. Their only hope for survival lies in facing the secrets they have both tried to keep buried ...
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Kathryn - 4 Star

This one took me by surprise, I didn’t read the blurb very carefully and I’m sort of glad I didn’t. It’s a challenging read emotionally but so full of promise in moments that I was engrossed and riveted until the very end.

The novel focusses on Ros and husband Grady. There are other characters but they’re there to move scenes or give a bit of background. Usually bit players without much focus make me question their relevance and cause me frustration but in Outback Promise, though they hover in the background, Bolitho had them be supportive to the main plot. This is the first novel of Maggie Bolitho’s that I’ve read and I really enjoyed her writing. There wasn’t a moment where I was questioning anything which is always a great treat when you’ve picked up something new.  I loved the plot lines of the novel, the past and present chapters were perfectly placed and paced the novel with the right information at the times when you needed it and I also loved reading about the places on the road trip and the intricacies of the caravan/camping parks along their route.

I wish we’d had a bit more history for Ros and her mother- there were things hinted at and explained but I wish we’d had a bit more information there. It obviously greatly influenced the way Ros saw herself.

The story line is tragic, it’s hard to read and, at times, it’s emotionally draining. There are scenes of such anguish that I found myself reading through tears and many a moment I carried with me into the next day- when I looked at my kids and when I thought about those I’ve lost. Though heart-wrenching Outback Promise also manages to live up to its’ title- the promise to another person and the promise of a fresh start became uplifting and they sorrow somehow forces you to take stock and not take for granted what’s right in front of your nose.

Thank you to the author for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this lovely review, Kathryn.

    Lying on the cutting room floor is the 22,000 word prequel to this novel. It tells of Ros's young life, particularly her childhood. Perhaps I should Wattpad it.



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