Clouds on the Horizon by Australian author Penelope Janu hits every aspect of a true rural romance story.
Phoebe Cartwright lives in a decommissioned church in Warrendale surrounded by farm animals. For someone who didn’t have a pleasant childhood, she realised there was a different side to life and the most fulfilling part of it was her job as an occupational therapist, offering a myriad of benefits for children with sensory challenges and disabilities.
Sinn Torrissen, a Norwegian naval officer and meteorologist is in Australia investigating an illegal horse racing syndicate secondment to the UN. When he collapses in a storm Phoebe finds him injured and bitterly cold. She helps him into a nearby shed on her neighbour’s property, Sinn informs her he has a satellite phone and will be rescued soon. Little did she know when a helicopter arrives to take him away how far she would become involved.
Phoebe learns that her father is involved in the syndicate and her younger sister is under suspicion. Phoebe believes her sister is innocent and joins Sinn in the investigation to prove her innocence. When it comes to her sisters she will do everything she can to protect them even if it means hiding secrets.
What I like about this novel is Phoebe’s character. She is a glowing example of how one not only endures trouble but triumphs over it. Though she is a little stubborn, this is the trait that helps her persevere in the long run. Janu has a talent for getting you inside Phoebe’s life and mindset, causing you to feel as the character feels, so much so that you wonder how you would fare in such situations. Readers are sure to connect with the character’s journey.
The supporting characters are well balanced throughout the book with likeable personality traits progressing the story well. There’s Patience and Prim Phoebe’s sisters, Mr Ridley, Nate and the adorable Matilda. I thoroughly enjoyed the animal characters, Camelot and Mintie the horses, Wickham the border collie, and Lottie the lamb. They radiated through the pages and you want to surround yourself with every one of them.
I liked that the book incorporates both romance and mystery elements that will tug at the strings of your heart but also keeps you intrigued. Penelope successfully pulls on the reader’s emotions with the pain of loss, the worry of making tough decisions, the worry of uncertainty, and the thrill of new love. Clouds on the Horizon demonstrates the joy of living in a rural town with breathtaking descriptions of the beautiful, sweeping landscape and its elements creating the perfect backdrop for the story.
Clouds on the Horizon isn’t a fast-paced story, but it is filled with plenty of drama, a quiet journey from heartache and despair to love and happiness. Penelope Janu is to be applauded for plot creation. The reader is able to visualise each and every character, the landscape, the animals, as well as being able to feel the tangle that Phoebe finds herself caught in.
A fantastic book to curl up with that you could possibly finish in a sitting.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and HarperCollins Publishers for the opportunity to read and review
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.