All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Love Song by Sasha Wasley

on June 4, 2019

Love Song (Paterson Sisters #3)
Sasha Wasley
Michael Joseph
2019, 368p
Copy courtesy of Penguin Random House AUS

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

There was something about Charlie. Something about the way he questioned and teased her, brought her outside of herself … the way he’d made her crash headlong into love just by singing to her.

At age seventeen, Beth Paterson was determined to study medicine at university, despite the heartache of losing her mother. Tutoring Charlie Campbell worked well with her plan – but falling in love with him sure didn’t, and neither did getting her heart broken when he abruptly left town.

Now Charlie is a big star on the alternative rock scene, while Beth is a respected doctor in her hometown. When Charlie comes back to fight for the tiny community where he was raised, neither one of them can ignore the resurgence of wild attraction they once shared.

Beth swore no man would ever hurt her again – least of all this man. But some love songs can never be forgotten, especially when they were written for you …

From the author of Dear Banjo comes a book to make your heart sing and your spirits soar.

Recently I read and loved both Dear Banjo and True Blue, the first two books in this trilogy revolving around the Paterson sisters, who grew up on a farm in remote Western Australia. Which was perfect timing because not long after I’d finished the second, I was delighted to get a copy of the third, Love Song, which would be oldest sister Beth’s story. Beth is a local doctor who lives and works in town, rather than on the farm and she was a prominent character in both previous books so I was really looking forward to her story.

Beth’s high school boyfriend, a boy she was tutoring named Charlie Campbell has returned to the small town to fight on behalf of his local Indigenous community, who live on a remote piece of land a few hours drive away. A local mining company wants to operate nearby, including a wet mess for workers. The Indigenous community is a dry one, no alcohol allowed and the elders are concerned about what that will mean for some of the younger members of the community, including those that will no doubt be employed by the mine. Whilst the employment will be good, the temptation and availability of alcohol will not be, with the community having worked hard to eradicate its presence from their home. Charlie, now a very well known and popular country singer, has returned to lend his public voice to the fight. While he’s in town, he also can make medical decisions for a member of his family who desperately needs extra care and assistance. That family member is a patient of Beth’s and so the two of them come face to face not only to fight for the community but also to decide and provide the best in care. Which means they have to confront the troubles of their past, with both of them believing they were wronged by the other.

Beth and Charlie are both very passionate people, although I think Beth has kind of hidden that passion for a long time under her clinical physician role. But there’s no doubt she’s very dedicated to the community, including spending way more time than what she’s paid for, travelling out to Madjinbarra, the Indigenous community and seeing to all their medical issues each month. She does her very best for everyone and she is also concerned about the mine and the impact that might have, particularly the issue of the wet mess. I really enjoyed the section of the book devoted to the time that Beth spends out at Madjinbarra. She is well liked and respected, often taken into confidence by the people out there and is trusted to do the right thing by them all. Her relationships with Jill and Pearl in particular, are also really well done, the way in which she supports Jill to foster her own dreams and further her education but also recognises her want/need to take care of Pearl, which is important to her. Which I think, is just one of the reasons that Beth is so shocked by Charlie’s display of hostility towards her, when they come face to face after all those years. He makes no secret of the fact that he thinks she’s not a kind person and questions her decisions and suggestions regarding treatment for his young family member. But it soon becomes clear that Charlie is allowing something from when they were teens to cloud his judgement over everything regarding Beth and that it’s obvious the person she is, standing in front of him now, isn’t like that. And wasn’t ever like that, if he’d taken a few moments to calm down and think about what he was being told. Instead he’s allowed himself to believe it and build it up over years until when he is in proximity with Beth again, everything has festered so long that he can’t ignore it and just be polite or distant. The thing that complicates it, is that those feeling that were there when they were teenagers, are still simmering away under the surface of hurt and betrayal.

Lots of my friends know that cancer books are often triggers for me and I find them very difficult to read. This is a cancer book but it wasn’t a surprise cancer book, because I already know well from the first 2 that the Paterson sisters’ mother died of cancer and it’s something the three girls are always kind of peripherally concerned about but perhaps because Beth is a doctor, she’s much more aware of it and the potential issues with genetics, etc. She’s very concerned about the slightest thing being an early sign of cancer and always investigates things very thoroughly when they happen to her. The bits of this story that are about Beth and her mother are incredibly beautiful – each of the girls have had a section of the story that connected them to their mother and Beth’s letter had me practically sobbing. I was so glad I was reading this when I was home alone! They were all so young and vulnerable when they lost their mother. I think Beth was 13 and she went away to board at high school, then to university to do her medical degree and she also had younger sisters to kind of take care of and almost mother in a way. Since I had kids, kids losing their mothers is one of, if not the hardest subject to read about. I can’t help but put my own kids in that position and wonder how they’d cope. Wonder what it’s like to stare down the fact of not knowing what your kids will look like as adults. Not knowing if they’ll get married or have children, not knowing if there’ll be a time when they might not even remember you. I can barely even write this section of the review without wanting to cry about it and yet there’s a strength in Beth, Freya and Willow that makes me feel really happy for the women they’ve turned out to be, doing things they love and spending time with family and those that mean the most to them. I feel as though their mum would be super proud of all of them.

I’ve really loved these three books and I feel so……satisfied, for having finished Beth’s story. Satisfied for all of the sisters and the places they are in their lives. But if Sasha Wasley ever decides to return to this setting, I think I’d love to see a book about Jill in the future. This is just a really, really interesting and lovely world and I’ve very much enjoyed the time I’ve spent getting to know these people.


Book #83 of 2019

Love Song is book #36 of The Australian Women Writers Challenge of 2019



3 responses to “Review: Love Song by Sasha Wasley

  1. sasha3232 says:

    Beautiful review! You took exactly the meaning I hoped readers would. I’m sorry it brought up personal pain but admire your strength. Thanks x

  2. Lauren K says:

    I’ve really loved this series too 🙂

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