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Review: April’s Rainbow by Cathryn Hein

on February 12, 2016

April's RainbowApril’s Rainbow
Cathryn Hein
2016, 183p
Copy courtesy of the author

Blurb {from}:

When shy farmer Tristan Blake is given free rein to manage iconic local property Rainbow, he soon finds himself living his dream. Even more so once the farm’s dark-haired artist owner April Tremayne arrives. April is mysterious and slightly wild, with an air of tragedy, and Tristan is captivated. The more involved he becomes with April and her eccentric projects, the harder he falls for her. April might believe the price of love is pain, but Tristan vows that is one thing she’ll never experience with him.

But even the sweetest dream can turn dark. April is haunted by the very heartbreak she’d come to Rainbow to heal, and as her demons tighten their grip, Tristan is torn between keeping his promise or betraying the woman he loves. And the risk of either choice is losing her forever.

Australian rural romance author Cathryn Hein has carved a strong following with her love stories that explore the highs and lows of life and this novella, which Hein has chosen to publish solo is no different. I read April’s Rainbow a couple of years ago in draft form and since then it’s been polished and professionally packaged with a beautiful cover and flawless finish.

For anyone who has wanted to read a romance novel from the male point of view, this one is for you because Tristan is our narrator throughout which is an interesting spin on the traditional formula. Tristan lives for the land and farming – he’s very passionate about it but as the fourth son he realises that he’s going to have to work hard to be able to achieve his dream of having his own property. The chance to manage a beautiful local property known as Rainbow comes with some strange stipulations but Tristan doesn’t care. This is the sort of gig he’s dreamed of and for the first part, Tristan is alone preparing the property and sourcing livestock. Then the owner, artist April Tremayne arrives and Tristan is immediately enamoured.

April is beautiful, damaged and eccentric with strange ideas that she requires Tristan to help with. And he does, although he can see that they feed a mania in April, something deep and dark spurred on by a tragic loss that he cannot really understand. And as he falls more in love with her, he tries to get her to see that love doesn’t always need to equal pain, that he won’t cause her any more hurt. Words of course that will come back to haunt him when he must make a choice for April’s wellbeing.

I found it too distressing to try and put myself in April’s position and in that experience, I kind of felt that it would be pretty easy to go down the same path that she does….frantically searching for a sign, for a sense of presence. Rainbow is where she feels that she might be able to heal but it’s not actually that easy and the installations she works frantically on only serve to temporarily lift her up before their inevitable end brings her crashing back down. The installations were such amazing ideas, I loved picturing them and could imagine the sort of stir they might cause in a country farming town!

Tristan’s struggle is a strong part of the novel. He’s incredibly quiet and shy (as a redhead I sympathise with his blushing) and April is someone he really does come to really care about deeply in a short amount of time. He wants to be able to help her in all ways but in order to really help her he must make a very difficult decision, one that he’s well aware may cost him everything. He tries to protect April for a long time, from the other local people, even from his well-meaning family but eventually he cannot ignore the fact that April needs more than she’s finding at Rainbow, that it’s not helping her.

April’s Rainbow is a really beautiful story exploring terrible grief but from a very interesting perspective which sets it apart. It’s heartbreak and love, despair and fragile hope that packs an emotional punch that will stay with you.


Book #20 of 2016


April’s Rainbow is book #12 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

4 responses to “Review: April’s Rainbow by Cathryn Hein

  1. Lily Malone says:

    Wow. A romance told from the male’s POV. This sounds amazing. I’ve got one-clicky-finger going on and you are welcome to tell Ms Hein I heard it here first! 🙂

  2. Bethany says:

    I always like male narrators in romance novels, especially when they are done well. Good review!

  3. […] found Cathryn Hein’s April’s Rainbow powerful in its exploration of […]

  4. […] Here’s what book blogger 1Girl2ManyBooks had to say about April’s Rainbow: “April’s Rainbow is a really beautiful story exploring terrible grief but from a very interesting perspective which sets it apart. It’s heartbreak and love, despair and fragile hope that packs an emotional punch that will stay with you. 9/10” Click here for the full review. […]

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