Author: Janet Gover
Flight To Coorah Creek features a cast of damaged characters, all of whom have run away to the outback and ended up in Coorah Creek. Leading lady Jessica Pearson has taken on the job of air ambulance pilot so we know what took her to Coorah Creek, Ellen is more enigmatic. We know why she’s running and it doesn’t take long to work out what she’s running from but I never really worked out what took her to Coorah Creek.
Jess Pearson was the pilot of a private jet and involved in a relationship with her boss until she discovered his line of work and extricated herself from the situation, but not without making herself a casualty. She found herself at the centre of a media circus that she couldn’t escape so a drastic change of hairstyle and a job at the edge of the desert is as far as she can run without leaving the country. Jess can only hope that it’s far enough.
Coorah Creek is a small mining town on the edge of the desert, all the facilities they boast have been supplied by the mine. Most of the work available in town revolves around the mine or is owner operated and too small to support any extra staff. The town isn’t too small to support two pubs though; the main pub is very family oriented and has rooms available, the second pub is frequented mainly by the single miners and is much rougher.
Piloting an air ambulance is an important role in an outback town, it services a large area and sees a wide range of injuries. Jess helped save a life on her very first day on the job and it is crystal clear that she hopes this job will offer her atonement and assuage her guilt for the part she played, albeit unwittingly, in the business dealings of her boss. Jess quickly falls in love with her job and the town, making friends with some of the townspeople and feeling an unwanted attraction to the doctor. Jess doesn’t want to get too close to anyone because she’s scared that if anyone discovers her past she will be right back where she started and osctracised and harassed once more. At least she is feeling a little safer from the prying lenses of the media – for now.
Ellen arrives in town covered in bruises with her two young children in tow. She is short on cash and qualifications and has no idea where to go. She is understandably jumpy and wary of strangers but sometimes you have to allow people to help, you have to let someone in. She says little about where she’s from and why she’s here but it doesn’t take long for the locals she spends the most time with to work it out for themselves. This small town look out for their own and they welcome these newcomers with open arms.
Coorah Creek is a place of great healing and moving forward, it is a nurturing place that allows both Jess and Ellen to begin moving on from their past but sometimes the past is going to catch up with you no matter where you run.
The characters were beautifully written and fundamentally scarred. They carried too much guilt and it did get a little much at times because we could see that their situations weren’t their fault. The story was well paced and it was an interesting look at the practice of an outback doctor servicing an area covering hundreds of kilometres, often accessed by air. The small hospital that was furnished from the doctors residence and the people of the town.
Flight to Coorah Creek is an engaging read that touches on many current issues and their ramifications, not only on the victims but also on the people around them. Recently I interviewed author Janet Gover and she told me that there are more Coorah Creek tales to tell, I can’t wait to see who we get to read about next. I have a feeling I know who the leads are in number two and I look forward to reading their story.
This is a rural romance that I found to be quite different to those I’ve read and it was a welcome new direction, and it’s always good to highlight the challenging roles people face deep in the outback.