Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: A Heart Stuck on Hope

About the Book:

Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to newcomers from anywhere in Australia.  Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?

There’s nothing left for Adele Devereux in Sydney: no job, no relationship, no hope, and no diagnosis for her shy, uncommunicative daughter Ali. So she packs her bags, takes her meagre savings, and moves her small family to the country. She never expects to meet Tom Wade, a man facing his own hopeless situation, but whose kindness reaches her daughter in an unexpected friendship. As the small town of Dulili attempts to regenerate itself, Adele finds herself drawn further in to the community – and into her attraction to Tom. 
Tom is not back in Dulili to build a relationship. He’s there to heal wounds, help his grandmother, and make new plans. Plans that don’t come with his grandmother’s new tenant, part of the Dulili dollar scheme. But as Adele and Ali effortlessly work their way into his thoughts and his heart, he realises that there are two crucial elements that he left out of his long-term plans – the chance to find love and renewed hope for the future.

My Comments:

I love stories where men are good to kids--all too often we hear that the most dangerous person in a child's life is his/her mother's boyfriend.  Adele needed a new start and decided that Dulili was going to be the place for her.  She doesn't know why her daughter won't talk, but thinks a change in location will help.  She moves to a small town and becomes part of the community--in a lot of ways rural Australia seems like the rural United States--small towns that are dying because young people move away seeking a better life.  While the young families may be better off economically in the city, stories like this one remind you that they lose the community that knew them as children and helped their parents raise them.  

Tom is one who left to seek his fortune. He found it, until one day an on-the-job accident of one of his employees made him want to give it all up.  He needs to heal and by helping Adele's daughter he learns that coming home can be a good thing.

The book is a modern romance with modern mores about intimate relationships; however, if you want an instruction manual you will need to look elsewhere.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B. 

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