Author: Nicki Edwards
Life Support is the third in the Escape to the Country series which centres around the small NSW town of Birrangulla.
Emma Chirnside is an Emergency department nurse in Melbourne whose life has already been turned upside down, but things are about to get a whole lot more shaken up.
I have a lot of respect for nurses and the job they choose to do, it isn’t necessarily sociable hours and all of the great nurses I know are invested heart and soul in their jobs, and their patients. All nurses are amazing but I think it takes a very special kind of person to work in the Emergency Department where you never know what or who you are going to see next, and I imagine this would be the department where your workday is the most unpredictable as you would never know who would come through those doors next.
Through a series of heartbreaking and unexpected events Emma finds herself the heir of a heritage listed mansion very close to her hometown of Birrangulla. It takes a bit of convincing by the lawyer but she takes the keys and decides not to make any decisions until she has seen the place. If nothing else it’s a reason for her to pack up her life and move back home to Birrangulla, where she can be with her parents, her siblings and the new generation being born.
Emma discovers that she has a connection to the manager her late husband hired to take care of the property and that could make life a little interesting.
Much of the tension here comes down to lack of proper communication and the issues could have been avoided with decent conversation, which is often the way, but the more I think about it the more I realise that probably makes it even more true to life. Many issues we face in our everyday lives could be rectified with a little more communication.
Tom Henderson is Emma’s first real teenage crush, and property manager of Lexton Downs. On their first meeting it is clear that Emma has information Tom has not, and she is determined to put it all behind her and move on. Yet still Tom ends up moody and angered because he is worried for his future now that there is a new owner on the scene.
Emma is the younger sister of twin brothers Liam and Joel O’Connor which means that we get to peek in on life for Kate and Joel from Intensive Care as well as Mackenzie and Nathan from Emergency Response.
Emma moves back in with her parents on her return to Birrangulla because the two small accommodations at Lexton Downs are occupied and she doesn’t feel she could possibly live in the mansion. She gets a job in the Emergency Dept of the local hospital and spends a lot of time with Tom working through the plans for Lexton Downs to get the big picture before she makes any decisions about the future of the property.
Secrets and lies are what brought Emma’s life crumbling down so she is understandably turned off by any hint of things being hidden from her. It doesn’t take her long to realise that the feelings she had for Tom haven’t disappeared and this might be her second chance at love, if he stops holding her at a distance.
I enjoy Edwards writing style and her characters are beautifully drawn. I’m really enjoying all the trips back to Birrangulla and I’m already thinking about who could be next so we can come back again. The inclusion in the story of the previous leads is like catching up with old friends and I love the building, what a gorgeous house to inherit and it was fantastic to see something being done with it.
I enjoyed the storyline here, the tough position people find themselves in when faced with new relationships and children. It can be heartbreaking to watch children get attached to a parent’s new partner and then have their heart broken, but a parent can’t put their entire life on hold and pass up their chances at love just in case things don’t work out. Tom and his first wife Christine have a wonderful relationship and are working together to ensure young Ruby has the best childhood and this is a heartwarming dynamic to read. Parents and step-parents all working together to ensure the best childhood for the children. It does happen a lot and it’s not as uncommon as the fairy tales may have us believe but it’s still a beautiful thing to read about.
Nicki has captured my heart once more with Escape to the Country 3 and I can only hope that there will be more in the series, I do love heading back to Birrangulla to check out what everyone is up to.
Life Support is book #12 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.
For your copy of Life Support head to Momentum, Amazon (Kindle), Amazon UK (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook devices), Google Play (All devices except Kindle), iBooks Store (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac), Kobo (All devices except Kindle)