Book Club: A Chance of Stormy Weather

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Author: Tricia Stringer
ISBN: 9781489210562
RRP: $29.99

A Chance of Stormy Weather is the latest release by South Australian author Tricia Stringer, except reading the acknowledgements tells me it wasn’t quite as new a release as I thought. The original version of the story was self-published in 2004 under a different name.

I have read the bulk of Stringer’s back catalogue, and the two I haven’t read are sitting patiently on my shelves awaiting the day I find the time to pick them up. I have enjoyed all of them and look forward to catching up.

A Chance of Stormy Weather is a city girl meets farm boy and falls in love story, nothing too original there, but Stringer writes the story with original twists, wit and sensitivity.

The main conflicts of the story come down to a lack of communication and though that frustrates me, especially because it’s so common in books these days and it could so easily be remedied with a decent conversation and some honesty, it is also very relevant to couples of today because communication is often one of the biggest hurdles relationships face.

Paula and Dan had a rapid courtship, a short engagement and a quick wedding; all of which lead to their families being a little concerned at the speed it all happened because they both have some pretty hefty past relationship baggage. One of the biggest worries of their families is the massive lifestyle change for Paula as she leaves her life in Sydney to move to a sheep farm in small town South Australia. A farm half an hour from the closest town with no mobile reception, no internet connectivity, a mouse problem and the two-way radio that intrudes on most aspects of life. Not to mention the fact that they moved into the old homestead on the property; that needs lots of renovations.

Paula’s parents are protective, and interfering, they worry that this decision was a mistake; and they aren’t afraid to say so. They organise a visit soon after the wedding and even arrive early, before Paula is close to prepared for them.

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It really is a different world for Paula and there are times she’s not sure if she will be able to cut it. She keeps telling herself that as long as they love each other the rest doesn’t matter, they can make it work. The long days at home alone take their toll; she has no transport, she doesn’t know the area, she doesn’t know the people and the constant background static of the two-way channel and it’s open communication for the whole district to hear frustrate her. It isn’t helped by Dan’s brusque aunt who, whether intentionally or not, makes Paula feel like she’s never going to measure up.

Paula is a strong and independent woman who suffered a lot after her last breakup and her parents are worried, more-so that they rushed in and aren’t aware of what they’re in for. It turns out that they might not be that far wrong, Paula and Dan got to know each other well in the present and their chemistry is amazing… but is that enough? They didn’t spend time talking about the future, except in that it was a big change to leave the city for the farm, and they didn’t talk about their pasts because they were best left there and not relevant to their lives together. The problem with that is if there is unfinished business in the past that isn’t discussed, it often turns up to put a strain on the present and the lack of foreknowledge and discussion makes it all look a lot worse because you don’t have the full story.

A Chance of Stormy Weather gives an insightful view of life on the farm, with the importance of the weather, the sense of community and all of the things that go along with that. It’s also a look at family, secrets and the importance of communication. Love is enough, if you are open and honest and work with your partner.

I loved A Chance of Stormy Weather, I ended up staying up way too late and finishing it in just on 24hours around the demands on family life. Dan is a complex and conflicted character who is responsible, strong and dependable but not as openly communicative as he could be. Paula is resilient, independent and strong, she lives up to every challenge thrown at her, even when it all seems too hard and she’s feeling lonely but she suffers bouts of insecurity left over from her previous relationship.

A Chance of Stormy Weather is book #59 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.

Available now from Harlequin, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Tricia can be found at Tricia Stringer.com and Facebook.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading A Chance of Stormy Weather so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “Book Club: A Chance of Stormy Weather

  1. A Chance of Stormy Weather is a novel that I whipped through in under a day. To me, this always signals a sensational novel. Tricia Stringer’s latest novel definitely comes highly commended by this reader.

    What I found enlightening about A Chance of Stormy Weather was the acknowledgements page. Here I learnt that Tricia Stringer, an author I have admired since my introduction to her writing in 2013, originally self published this book in 2004. Furthermore, another interesting fact about this novel was that it worked to provide an essential guide of sorts, offering city come country women some valuable words of advice on their new way of life. I found this absolutely fascinating, what a great idea to support newly ordained farmer’s wives!

    Onto the story, in a nutshell, A Chance of Stormy Weather does initially appear as a predictable city girl becomes country girl rural romance story. However, I urge any reader that opens this book to look deeper into the story at hand. Tricia Stringer vividly brings to life the story of Paula, a young city and career based woman, who has just come out of a bad relationship. She attends a wedding and falls head over heels in love with country boy Dan. The romance is frenetically paced, with the end result being a quick walk up the aisle for Paula and Dan. Paula soon packs up her apartment in the city, quits her job and wholeheartedly immerses herself in her new life based at Dan’s farm. It isn’t long before the harshness of farm life leads Paula to learn a few tough life lessons hard and fast. These include numerous cringeworthy mouse plague scenes, kitchen disasters through the demands of farm based cooking, the long working hours, distance to basic amenities and sheer isolation of these districts. Added to the story is an intriguing secret that Dan withholds from Paula, until near the close of the novel. This part of the narrative kept the pages turning for me, along with Paula’s emotional transformation into a true blue farmer’s wife. Populating the pages of A Chance of Stormy Weather are some cracking secondary characters. These include; staunch Aunt Rowena, villain Katherine, kindly Jane, welcoming Dara and the loveable rogue pet pup Tarzan. Each and every one the characters in the novel, as well as the many locals who offer the new couple a hand or simply gossip about them, are well formed by Stringer. On the whole, as a non rural dweller, I found Stringer’s depiction of life in a rural community in this particular novel, a highly enriching experience.

    Established readers to Stringer’s work, such as myself, will be sure to lap up another addictive rural fiction read from this engaging storyteller. For new readers, A Chance of Stormy Weather is the perfect novel to lose yourself in for a weekend. I’m pretty sure if you are not a fan of rural romance prior to reading A Chance of stormy Weather, this one will convince you to try more of this genre, as well as Stringer’s impressive backlist.

  2. I really enjoyed this book. It was quick and easy to read in a weekend – a great holiday read or for me just a great way to relax.

    A subject matter that most of us at some time or another have considered. A plot line that was convincing and addictive ensures we keep reading. Communication like in so many other romance novels is the main cause of conflict and i just wanted to scream at them a few times… TALK TO EACH OTHER lol.

    Overall, I found the characters likeable and relatable & would happily recommend this book.

  3. I have always wondered what happened after the cameras stop rolling on those Farmer Wants a Wife reality TV shows. And this delightful read could well be just that.

    I really loved the country setting of Tricia Stringer’s A Chance of Stormy Weather, and getting to know the quirky and colourful characters on the farms and in town. Having moved to a small town myself, I could recognise some qualities (both good and bad!) of my own local village in this book.

    The ingenuity, resourcefulness and preplanning required in such an isolated location is so far removed from modern suburban convenience, and really served to underline how fortunate we are. And the way in which life on the land is so completely dictated by forces beyond control such as wind and rain is often forgotten in the concrete jungle.

    I liked Paula as a character although there were times, particularly later on in the book, that I got quite frustrated with her lack of communication and tendency to jump to conclusions. However, her situation was quite extreme and so she was probably in a bit of ‘culture shock’ so to speak. And no doubt she was putting plenty of pressure on herself to ensure a different outcome to her previous relationship.

    Overall a lovely easy read which I very much enjoyed. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review A Chance of Stormy Weather.

  4. I loved this book following the story of a city girl who married a farmer after a not very long relationship, following her trials of trying to fit in out in the sticks with a husband who is never home and a vengeful ex. Living in a rundown house it wasn’t sugarcoated and made out to be a glamour love story it was about real life, I will read it again

  5. I really enjoyed this book and read it in two days.
    Paula’s struggles trying to settle into country life, in a home that was run down and mouse infested, as a newly wed made me feel sorry for her, though her lack of communication was one of obvious triggers to her troubles. Though I did enjoy Paula’s transformation and admired her perserverence throughout the book.
    A lovely book to read which is now being ejoyed by my neighbour!

    Reply

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