Author: Fleur McDonald
This really is another book that I should have started reviewing when I started reading because my head is way too full of the ending and I would much prefer NOT to ruin the suspense for readers. Perhaps I should walk away for a while and digest, wait until I have had a chance to mull over the novel as a whole and then come back – but I won’t because I am itching to start the next project and I can’t do that until I do this so allow me to wind it all back so I can start from the beginning.
Purple Roads is set in South Australia so this is much closer to home, these are places that I could take a Sunday drive to which makes connecting with the characters and the story even easier.
This is definitely a book that I got drawn into and found it very hard to drag myself away from. The way characters were introduced and fleshed out early made you think they were going to play an important role in the big finale that you could feel brewing from early on, but that didn’t make it any easier to work out how it was all going to come together.
Matt and Anna Butler are high school sweethearts who have worked hard to build a farm up and realise their dream of owning their own land. Things aren’t set for a happily ever after just yet though. The seasons don’t play out very well for farmers and a serious accident sees the Butlers on the brink of financial ruin. They have one last shot to make or break them and events spiral out of their control.
As the two move forward in totally different directions they find themselves worlds apart and there’s not much sweet left in the hearts of this beautiful couple who had it all. A break in communication is the beginning of the end as both Matt and Anna struggle through their grief alone.
Anna believes that moving forward is the best way for the family to heal, they need to make the best of the situation they find themselves in. They still have each other and they need to work towards a future in a new direction.
Matt can’t let the situation rest and his preoccupation becomes an obsession and bone of contention for the pair.
As time passes the two become more committed to the paths they’ve chosen which drives an ever bigger wedge between them.
There is a lot of shadowy back-story woven subtly through the pages, I stopped a few times to think ‘oh please no, not that’ but within seconds I had the book in my hand because I simply had to go on and find out if my fears would come to pass.
Living in South Australia myself (I hope this won’t end up being a spoiler so I need to tread very carefully here) I am familiar with the story of the Snowtown murders, then again I’m sure many people all over the country are, and there were references to the town and then later there were references to barrels. I was a little apprehensive that we were then going to find out the two were tied together in a most unpleasant way.
The scenery is glorious and there are lots of trips through the South Australian countryside. It is extremely familiarising for me to think that I could run into these characters in the Adelaide Hills.
This is an emotional tale that demonstrates the importance of believing in yourself and never losing sight of your ideals. Some things are worth fighting for and even if you lose sight of that for a while it’s never too late to make a stand.