Digital Reads Reviews

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Whoa!! A different read. The prose was snarky, filled with self-deprecating humor where the truth was subtly weaved into the story until the bushfire started and reality exploded in different colors of orange and yellow.

Fran came back home to Ash Mountain to look after her father with her teenage daughter. The town hadn’t changed though she did get to see some gruesome truths. The bushfire started, and it was all she could do to save her family.

My first book by author Helen Fitzgerald, I was taken aback by the style of the prose. There was something lyrical about it, nothing blatant in its form. At first glance, it felt as if the prose, told from the POV of the protagonist Fran, was kinda the sarcastic filled with dark dry humor. But when I allowed it to settle over me, it told me a story which had an earnest frankness to it. Different… Quite different.

A stark portrayal of a natural disaster (so apt for our times now) the story was interspersed with truths and lies, pretense and real, layered up so well in humor that the shocks received were tiny but well perceived. It was the bushwire which threw everything into disarray. Then it became a matter of survival, for some with reputations intact. The layers were chucked off and all that remained was the naked truth.

The last few pages truly captured what the author led the rest of the story into. There was a tennis sized ball in my throat, fear was what I would call when I read the scenes. The author could truly bring to life one of the most harrowing deaths – being burnt alive. Shiver… Shiver…

My mind flew as I read about the scattered ash. My being settled in the tiny reservoir of water which saved human lives and that of an ostrich. My fingers trembled as I wrote the review. Read it… Listen to it… It is different… And so brilliant.

I received a free ARC from the publisher, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!! STRICTLY HONEST AND UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be read here

Fran hates Ash Mountain, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns to her hometown to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As old friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Publication Date: March 2020

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