Author: Annie Seaton
Daintree is the second in the Porter Sisters series and set in another amazing area of Australia. I am not very well traveled so I must admit I do love a book that takes me places and really gives me a feel for them, even better if those places are here in Australia.
Seaton has a way of bringing the places she writes about to life and making you care about them, which makes the fact that she picks such iconic places that are vulnerable to the unscrupulous even more powerful.
The Daintree is rich in history, sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area and home to some amazingly rare and exotic wildlife. It is beautiful, and dangerous, with extreme weather and deadly animals to balance the beauty.
Seaton has written a story filled with suspense and tension through every element of the story, the beauty and rarity of this amazing place is at risk but it isn’t until past the halfway mark that we even discover what the dangers are and I quite enjoyed that aspect.
I really want to sit and write a review that does justice to the evocative story-telling and the all encompassing tension but I just can’t find the words. I started this review directly after finishing the novel and couldn’t do it, now I’ve had some time to digest and still can’t find the words.
Dr Emma Porter has lived in the area for a few years, she originally moved with her mother after the tragic loss of her father. She has established an alternative therapies clinic as well as working at the hospital, and has applied to take on a medical Outreach program being started up. She is content in the rural setting, small hospital and a valued member of the community. From the beginning we learn that Emma doesn’t do relationships, she had one that didn’t end well and it reinforced her love of independence, but it’s been years now and she’s starting to think maybe the time is right and there’s a lovely guy who shares some of her passions.
Jeremy Langford is our hero, he’s a doctor from a wealthy Sydney family who is looking for a change. We meet him as he waits to farewell his father before heading off on his new adventure. He has been offered the position heading up the Outreach program and is leaving early to fill in at the short staffed local hospital in Dalrymple.
The small town of Dalrymple is home to a cast of interesting characters, and a group of Young Professionals passionate about their community and raising funds for vital services.
Daintree is the second in the Porter Sisters series so there are connections with Kakadu Sunset but only through the characters and their history. We know a bit of Emma’s backstory and we learn a little about where her sisters are now, after the events in the Kakadu. The main characters are well developed and we get to know them quite well; their history, their motivations and their passions. Some of the secondary characters we get a pretty good grip on but there are others that are left a little shadowy.
The romance element of the story is a slow burning background element though still fraught with tension. Emma, who hasn’t had a proper relationship since her first love back at uni, is trying to get over the regret of a one-night stand and hesitantly exploring another option until the day the new doctor lands in town. A doctor she never would have imagined in the tiny town of Dalrymple, a doctor she is still quite bitter over when it all comes down to it.
I was captivated by the story of Jeremy and Emma, the way it all comes together now and the way it all came apart at Uni. The two are from very different worlds and Emma was far from her family so they didn’t really have any impact on things in Sydney but Jeremy was living in the thick of his wealthy and successful family so they did have a lot to do with how this story played out.
The characters are interesting and lovable, except those that were far from it, and Seaton has included some very colourful local characters who were born and bred in the area for generations. I loved the people, the places, the storytelling and the tension. Seaton has certainly done it again and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us when Dru gets her story.
Daintree is book #63 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.
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