Author: Kayte Nunn
Angel’s Share is the second novel by Kayte Nunn, and it follows on from her debut Rose’s Vintage. Don’t be deterred by the fact that the two books are related because Angel’s Share is more than capable of standing on its own. I haven’t read Rose’s Vintage and I don’t feel like I missed anything because of it.
Matilda Cameron has a wonderful life in London, half a world away from the Australian country valley she once called home. She has an impressive career, the gorgeous boyfriend and the fabulous friends; and it just looks set to keep getting better.
A nasty skiing accident leaves Mattie seriously injured and looking at a lengthy recovery meaning she can’t do her fast-paced job that waits for no-one and a broken heart. Recuperating at her brother Mark’s Australian winery and helping out where she can doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Returning to Australia is a bittersweet option for Mattie. There was a falling out with her parents before she left and returning under these circumstances just seems like failure to her. As an observer you can see that she has done great things; she followed a dream, she travelled, she had the dream job and it’s just bad luck and a setback that has her returning home – and it may well only be temporary. I can understand her feelings of failure though, as someone who moved across the country and then weighed the options of returning home when things didn’t work out I can relate to her thought processes.
Everything is different for Mattie in Shingle Valley, she has gone from a fast paced job that never seemed to stop to having nothing but time on her hands. She’s feeling a little low and a little lost, a little untethered and unsure of where she belongs now everything has changed.
Mark’s vineyard is in the valley Mattie grew up in so she really is returning to her childhood home where she knows most of the people and has a connection to the places. It feels like maybe it could be home again but what does that mean for all the dreams she was chasing.
Rose helps Mattie pick up some freelance work to fill her time in the early days and Mattie finds herself branching out into new areas, and finding new interests, as well as rekindling old loves.
Angel’s Share sees Mattie feeling that she’s lost everything only to discover that perhaps the changes in her life have brought her to bigger and better things. Returning home has afforded opportunities that she may not have had in London.
Mattie is not the only main focus, alternating chapters follow the progress of Rose of Rose’s Vintage. The story is told in the third person so it is easy to follow and doesn’t leave you trying to work out whose story you’re reading chapter by chapter the way some books do.
Angel’s Share has elements of romance for a range of characters but it also addresses some of the issues faced by property owners. Shingle Valley is quite a tourist attraction with people travelling from great distances to visit the wineries and the region. The sale of one, and then another, vineyard in the valley to a Chinese energy company leaves the business owners concerned that they will try to bring mining to the valley; and all of the effects that will have on the land and their businesses.
Set against the beautiful NSW wine region this is a beautiful light read that is sure to delight. Fans of Rose’s Vintage will love returning to the characters they grew to love and readers new to Shingle Valley will fall in love. I will be interested to see if there are more stories in the series because I would love to head back for another visit.
Angel’s Share is book #20 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.