All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Hope’s Road – Margareta Osborn

on March 7, 2013

Hope's Road Cover ImageHope’s Road
Margareta Osborn
Random House AU
2103, 416p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Some sixty years ago, Joe McCauley returned to his family farm Montmorency Downs on top of the world, ready to propose marriage to the woman of his dreams. But while he’d been away working hard to earn the money to pay for the ring, his beloved had settled down with someone else – his very own brother. Joe turned his back on his family and never spoke to them again. Even though he managed to find happiness in his own marriage later on, he could only watch from high up on his rocky land as his brother successfully farmed the family spread. Joe inherited nothing, not an acre of the successful dairy farming pasture. Now all these years later, he watches his great niece from afar.

Tammy McCauley is the sole remaining McCauley left on Montmorency Downs. Other than crabby old Uncle Joe up the hill, who has barely spoken to her, Tammy spends most of her days working on the farm alone with only an older couple for help. Her husband has been after most of the glory for doing very little of the work for years now and it seems as though he’s about to finally do her a favour and leave for good, although it comes with a terrible price. Demanding a payout for his share of the land, Tammy knows that she just doesn’t have the capital – thanks in part to her husband’s spending. It seems like even with the best advice, Tammy might have to bite the bullet and put the farm on the market, for the first time in 150 years, since the land was settled.

Travis Hunter is a dog trapper who has settled back in the area to be close to his mother, in a nearby nursing home, and provide a hopefully stable home life for his son Billy. Travis’s mother had been looking after Billy prior to her stroke while Travis worked wherever he was needed. He has no real idea how to be a father and has trouble relating to his son. But Tammy McCauley isn’t afraid to tell him that he needs to step it up a little more and Travis finds himself taken with the country beauty despite the fact that she’s married.

Slowly, the barriers between Joe, Tammy, Travis and Billy begin to blur as they each begin to dream that there might be happiness and a family waiting for them. But mother nature has a way of forcing her way in and there’ll be a battle for land and life first.

Hope’s Road is the second full-length novel from Margareta Osborn, author of Bella’s Run. We return to the Gippsland area and this time we meet Tammy McCauley, last of a farming dynasty. The only remaining member of the McCauley family left on Montmorency, Tammy has some tough decisions to make. Her mistake in marrying someone who didn’t love the land, but wanted to make something from it looks like it’s going to cause her a lot of trouble. Despite being left Montmorency by her grandparents, Tammy and her husband Shon together bought a piece of land and now Shon wants his share of it. If Tammy can’t come up with the money (and it looks like she can’t) then she’s going to have to sell. And she’s going to have to confess that to her great uncle Joe, a man who she is only just starting to get to know after years of him being estranged from the whole family. Tammy has come to care about Joe and she knows that the news that she may have to sell the farm will destroy him and set their blossoming family relationship way back.

Tammy has also had young Billy Hunter helping out around the farm, which has brought her into contact with his father. Sparks fly as Tammy isn’t afraid to tell him straight up that he needs to man up and lift his game. Billy is aching for a family, having been abandoned by his mother and has had little to do with his father in recent years. Travis is doing his best but it isn’t enough and he needs to learn to open up to Billy and reassure him, make him see that he’s loved and wanted. Travis doesn’t really know how to do that and he needs Tammy to show him what life could be like with his son and someone to care for. Trav is still very wary after the way in which his marriage ended and Tammy has known unhappiness too, so they have that in common.

I think the relationships in this book are so well done. Osborn captures perfectly the crotchety old recluse in Joe, the hopeful young boy in Billy, the slightly clueless and out of his depth father in Trav and the determined young woman in Tammy. The way in which she creates connections and builds on them to flesh out proper blossoming relationships is quite a joy to read. I especially enjoyed the way that Billy and Joe connected. Billy had gone without a father for a long time and now the one he had was busy, often out working. Joe was desperately lonely – he and the woman he married were never blessed with children so no grandchildren either. They brought out something in each other. Joe trusted Billy enough to begin to teach him farm things – driving a tractor, looking through the scope of a rifle. And in Joe, Billy found a male role model, a grandfatherly type, someone who wouldn’t threaten the bond that he was beginning to build with his father, but help facilitate it, in his crusty old way. It was clear that all the players in this quartet needed each other in different ways and most were possessed of pride that would’ve made it a lot more difficult if it weren’t for the charm and sweetness of Billy. A lot of the time he was the glue that brought and kept them together.

My only minor criticism is that the first 40% of the book was quite slow. Once I hit over the halfway mark it really picked up and became pretty impossible to put down.

7/10

Book #46 of 2013

AWW2013

Hope’s Road is book #23 for AWW2013

This post is part of the Hope’s Road official blog tour thanks to the fabulous team at Random House. Tomorrow you can check out Confessions From Romaholics to see what their thoughts were on the book. Don’t forget to visit all the stops on the tour, one each day.

MargaretaOsbornVisit Margareta’s page at Random House AU
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3 responses to “Hope’s Road – Margareta Osborn

  1. […] Bree from  All The Books  I can Read shared her review about this book .Tomorrow’s tour stop will be hosted at This Charming Mum […]

  2. Margareta says:

    Apologies for the delay in catching up with you, but I wanted to say thank you so much for being in the first in the blog tour and for reviewing Hope’s Road.

  3. […] Bree from  All The Books  I can Read shared her review about this book .Tomorrow’s tour stop will be hosted at This Charming Mum […]

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