Karly Lane’s latest novel, Tallowood Bound allows you to immerse yourself in some good, ol’fashioned romance as well as spend some time away in the country. The book is an Australian, rural romance novel that also spins together elements of historic fiction and contemporary, chick lit. The novel is ultimately a pleasant and engaging one about three generations of women from the Macalister family.
The story begins with Sydney-based girl, Erin Macalister leaving the big smoke behind in order to care for her gran, Evelyn, who lives in Tuendoc, a small rural town in Queensland. Evelyn has had a bad fall and is also suffering from severe memory loss as a result of having dementia. The only way Erin can still get through to her grandma is to bring in some old photographs. But these pictures also unlock a series of long-lost memories and family secrets that have been buried for decades.
The other major arc to this novel is about Evelyn’s life as a young woman living in Townsville and working for the Red Cross during the Second World War. She is engaged to a close family friend named Roy and he in turn has struck up a friendship with an American serviceman named Jimmy while the two were stationed in New Guinea. When Jimmy is allowed some leave in Australia he goes to meet Evelyn and her family and this sets off a series of events that had long remained a mystery and this is all slowly revealed to the reader.
After Erin returns to Tuendoc she also meets up with an old love of her own named Jamie McBride, who also happens to be her grandma’s neighbour. The latter is keen to rekindle his relationship with Erin but she is weary and still wounded by her recent marriage breakdown as well as several ghosts from the past. Lane does an excellent job of writing realistic characters and creating authentic and complex relationships complete with feelings like emotion, loss and heartbreak.
Tallowood Bound is a vivid, romance tale set in the country but it’s also a story that is far bigger than that. It successfully draws together multiple generations of a family and shows the long-lasting impact of some key decisions. In all, this was an enjoyable and predictable dramatic tale that has one big, old heart at its core.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-tallowood-bound