Hope’s Road – Margareta Osborn

Firstly, I wish to thank Jessica Malpass from Random Books for sending me a review copy of ‘Hope’s Road’ to read, enjoy and review on my Blog.

Hope road cover

This book is quintessentially Australian.   There are many references to the territory and land as well as iconic Australian items such as Myer,

“A stylish toe-tapping band had been brought in from Melbourne… a supper to rival a Menzies high tea… and the decorations made he Myer Christmas windows seems dowdy.” 

I love reading books that are so clearly set in a given location or time that strong images are formed in your head as you read and lose yourself in that specific place. Margareta Osborn’s descriptions of life in the Australian bush are vivid and engaging, as are her characters.

The story revolves around three rural properties – joined by Hope’s Road – and their owners:

Grumpy, cynical Joe McCauley (“Joe finally took the proffered blue-and-brown striped pyjamas, mumbling, ‘Fucking stripes. Always hated stripes.’ He then glared at Tammy.”) who lives up the ridge on a run-down, shabby property; his great-niece, Tammy who inherited the McCauley family farmstead and has never met her great Uncle thanks to  a family fed between Joe and the rest of the family that happened before Tammy was even born; and dog-catcher and single father, Travis Hunter, a loner, struggling to build and maintain a bond with his 10 year old son Billy.

All three main characters are ‘real’ and have their own story to tell.  Billy, unwittingly, is the common link who threads these three stray strands together and unintentionally starts them all on a journey where they become to know, lean on and eventually love each other (is it all a happy ending though?  You have to read it to see!  I can tell you that there are certainly many hurdles and obstacles on the way to the end of their journey together including farming disasters, broken bones and a flood…)

My favourite character had to be Tammy McCauley.  She is strong, independent and has a stomach of steel (I was cringing just reading the things she had to do to her animals to save them!)  She is married to an abusive, cheating man who continues to torment her and tries to make her life a misery even though he is now living with his ‘bit on the side.’  She deserves her shot at happiness and you really end up rooting for her.  Billy is the other character that you can’t help but love.  He is well written and comes across as a typical mischievous 10 year old (I have one of those living with me, so that may explain the soft spot I have for him!)  Joe McCauley is very unlikable at the start of the book (who swears at an innocent 5 year old girl?)  as he is so bitter from  40 or so years ago when he was jilted by his wife-t0-be for his brother (Tammy’s grandfather.)  He has spent his life since then living the life of a hermit, spying on his estranged family and later his great-niece…

The story just sweeps you along with it and I have to admit that this is my first ‘farm story’ and it has certainly left me wanting to read more rural novels so thank you, Margareta!

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This review is part of the Hope’s Road Blog Tour.  Why don’t you join along?  Previous Blogs on this Tour have been:

1girl2many Books

Confessions from Romaholicks

Tomorrow’s review comes to you from:

Book Muster Down Under

Margret Osborn

Author photograph – Margareta Obsorn

Hope’s Road Media Release (2)

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