All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: True Blue by Sasha Wasley

on May 7, 2019

True Blue (The Paterson Sisters #2)
Sasha Wasley
Penguin Random House AUS
2018, 384p
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Love is random. Accidental. You just live your life and then one day it’ll hit you with the right person.

Wandering soul Freya ‘Free’ Paterson has finally come back home. Idealistic and trusting, she’s landed the job of her dreams working on an art project with the local school, but she hadn’t planned on meeting the man of her dreams as well.

With his irresistible Irish accent, Constable Finn Kelly is everything Free wants – genuine, kind . . . and handsome as hell. He’s also everything Free isn’t – stable and dependable. Yet despite the passion simmering between them, he just wants to be friends. What is he trying to hide?

As Free throws herself into the challenges of her new job, fending off the unwelcome advances of a colleague and helping to save her beloved Herne River, Finn won’t stay out of her way, or out of her heart.

But just when she needs him the most, will Finn reveal his true colours?

This is the 2nd in the Paterson sister trilogy, revolving around a family brought up on a cattle farm in the Kimberley. The first book featured middle sister Willow (aka Banjo) and this is youngest sister Freya’s turn. Freya is an artist who has travelled the world, working odd jobs here and there to fund her travel to the next location.

But for now, Freya is back where she grew up having accepted a position at the local art school as a kind of artist in residence, helping them with a major protect and doing some supervised teaching. It’s something that Freya takes to immediately – she is able to connect with her students and foster their enthusiasm for the subject. They get right into the project with suggestions and ideas and Freya is delighted with them. The only issue is a colleague employed to do the same thing as Freya, who is making advances and also questioning her knowledge. Freya tries to keep the peace, because the last thing she wants is to be on difficult terms with someone she has to work with on a large project but it gets more difficult the further into it they get.

Freya is incredibly happy when her neighbour turns out to be handsome Finn Kelly, a local constable with a bit of the Irish lilt still in his voice. The two have hit it off immediately and Freya feels his interest, yet when she pushes things a bit, looking for that next level, Finn keeps retreating and saying it’s good that they’re friends. Freya is very confused by the mixed messages and also, Finn’s lack of understanding about local protests. It’s possible that these two issues could ruin what she’s been slowly working towards.

I really enjoyed the first novel in this trilogy Dear Banjo and I was glad that I had purchased these together because I read them quite close together as well. I found that I liked the family a great deal and the local community. I feel as though this book gives a bit more of a glimpse into that, as Freya lives in town close to the school in government supplied housing that comes with the job, rather than out on the family farm. Freya spends more time in town, socialising with her colleagues at the local pub, visiting local businesses and galleries with her students in a way to improve their learning and so that they can experience art in various forms. Freya is very knowledgable about supplies as well and she is eager to help people access them in a better and cheaper way. It doesn’t even occur to her that she should be taking a small cut for herself, for her time doing the sourcing and ordering etc, until people keep suggesting to her and even then, she’s very reluctant. Freya has lived on a shoestring for probably a long time, just picking up casual jobs here and there to fund the next portion of her trips and she’s not at all motivated by money or making it. I really enjoyed the way Freya threw herself into her job, she made it all about the kids she was working with and teaching. Even though she’s not actually a teacher as such, she puts a lot of time and effort into her lesson prep and ways to make it enjoyable as well as covering the curriculum. She’s a natural at it and she goes above and beyond as well, giving the kids a space to work on weekends and a support system as well as someone to believe in them.

There are two kind of ‘conflicts’ that prevent Freya and Finn from really getting their act together. The first one is pretty amusing – I can see how it happened and I thought that it was actually mapped out very well so that it was believable for how it came about and also maintained that sort of light-hearted amused feel reading it. The second one was for me, more serious and involved Freya being a bit of a pill, but perhaps it was just her very idealistic nature coming into play. There’s an issue that the locals are protesting and as protests go, people often turn up for the simple fact of causing trouble, rather than being into the cause. Freya sort of doesn’t really believe that this is possible and she finds it ridiculous that Finn isn’t “on their side” and that as a police officer, he has to uphold the law, regardless of his personal feelings on the issue. It takes quite a while for Freya to reconcile herself with Finn’s job and what that actually means, in terms of things he has to do that she doesn’t agree with. Freya was definitely hard on poor Finn here and Finn does his best to show her that while he might have to do things she doesn’t like, it doesn’t mean that he can’t still help sometimes too.

I really enjoyed this. Loved the little glimpses into Willow’s life now too, that can be one of my favourite things when reading the next in a series. I am really looking forward to Beth’s book (which is out super soon!).

8/10

Book #63 of 2019

True Blue is book #30 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2019

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