Author: Tricia Stringer
Tricia Stringer is an Australian writer who has spent much of her life in rural communities, she has published five adult novels to date and this is the first of hers that I have read.
Mackenna Birch, most often referred to as Mack, is a farm girl through and through. She is stubborn and strong willed but she also has a palpable love of the land and passion to work the farm with her father and take their business to a new level. She is a very strong female lead and a character I quite enjoyed, for the most part.
Quite often there are characters that I take an early dislike to and in time I learn their motivations and thought processes and that changes my opinion of them, sometimes totally turns my dislike around. That is not the case with the character I took an early dislike to in Right As Rain, the further we travelled the less I liked her and in the end we discovered her motivations – and I still dislike her. She certainly had reasons for her behaviour, and she thought they were for the best, but I still can’t calm my dislike for her. She was a meddling and deceitful woman who put what she wanted in front of the all too apparent needs of her children.
Mack is holidaying in New Zealand when she meets a wonderful man who she thinks could be more than a holiday fling, until it seems that’s exactly what it was. She returns, heartbroken, to the family farm in Australia a few days early to discover nothing is as it should be. Her father has suffered a heart attack and is in the hospital for related follow up procedures, her brother is in residence and working the farm and they have hired a working man to help out.
Things are very different to how they were when she left and the tension becomes palpable rather rapidly. Things she had set up with her father have been over-turned and she’s not feeling like the integral part of the business she once was. Tensions are high with her mother who really doesn’t seem to want her around and the working man, Cam, is a little over the top.
Mack is passionate about the sheep farm her family owns and she wants to build a market for their lamb as well as breeding top quality animals. She has done the research and knows it’s what she wants from her life. She did head off and train to become a chef but realised the farm was where she really wanted to be and she has come up with a way to incorporate the two with a Tasting Room on the property showcasing meals built around their livestock.
Everything was looking good until Lyle’s heart attack changed the dynamics completely and saw Louise try to totally railroad the entire family into a future she believed in… regardless of what anyone else wanted. And it is against what everyone else wants, how are they ever going to work through this one without an all out family feud?
One of Mack’s childhood friends has also returned home after a long absence, he was extremely reluctant but things seemed to work out okay and it was a good opportunity to put his demons behind him and talk to his parents about an overseas research opportunity. Hugh’s trip home goes much better than expected and he is able to spend a lot of time rebuilding his friendship with Mack, to the point that people have them married off before they even make it to first base.
There is a lot of simmering chemistry and romantic potential, which plays out exactly as it should. There are moments when you just want to shake some characters and say for goodness sake have a conversation and get it sorted, but that would take away from the build up.
Stringer kept me interested right throughout the book, I cheered on some characters and there were some that I just wanted to throttle but they were all well drawn, realistic characters with a story that you wanted to get to the bottom of.
This was my first Tricia Stringer but it won’t be my last. A great read for lovers of the rural genre.