BOOK CLUB: A Caravan Like a Canary

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A Caravan Like a Canary by Sasha Wasley is a gorgeous story, told across two timelines. Nostalgic, reflective, and heartwarming adventures along the way.

Tara Button’s mother asks her to bring the bright yellow family caravan to visit her, as she is terminally ill. It’s a bad time for Tara, between work and her personal life, and the caravan needs attention, however, Tara and her brother Zac take the road trip.

Along the way, the trip brings back memories of a trip in their childhood, taken 15 years earlier with their mother and sister, and the story shares the present time, and previous trip, with the readers.

The relationship between the sibling is rich, and despite the serious topics discussed, Wasley manages to keep the book an entertaining page-turner. This is my second Sasha Wasley book, and I loved them both. This is one I would definitely recommend. I didn’t want to put it down!

A Caravan Like a Canary is an adventure; a beautifully told story of families, friendship, and moving on from the past, causing the reader to experience many emotions along the way.

This story is emotionally charged, but light to read, and has a sweet storyline with great settings.

Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for a copy of this book.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading A Caravan Like a Canary by Sasha WasleyYou can read their comments below, or add your own review.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: A Caravan Like a Canary

  1. A tough family story written in a light-hearted way which makes the book easy to read, but doesn’t coverup the heart wrenching back story.
    Easy to read and a page turner

  2. Congratulations go to Sasha Weasley on writing such a fantastic novel. It’s one of those stories that I enjoyed and definitely had trouble putting down.
    It portrays very realistic characters and local places that are very relatable.
    It offers great insight into family relationships, love entanglements and family tragedies.
    Definitely a must read!

  3. A Caravan Like a Canary is the latest novel from Sasha Wesley. This is an Australian road trip story, one full of heartache, love, anger and at the end reconciliation and acceptance.
    Tara Button’s mother’s is dying, and her last wish is that her daughter Tara will drive the old family caravan from Perth up to her in Elsewhere, which is several days drive away. Her mother also wants Tara’s brother Zac to accompany her. Despite her resistance and the state of the caravan Tara agrees. She’s concerned about how she will cope with her brother who is unreliable and a recovering drug user, she’s fed up with always having to look after him and sort out his mistakes, she wishes he would take responsibility for his actions. She’s also surprised when Zac’s old mate Danh joins them on the trip, but they set off.
    As the kilometres go by we learn about Tara and Zac’s background, why they have a difficult relationship with each other and their mother. While each chapter starts in the Now of the story further sections in each chapter return to past years from Tara’s childhood. One might be Age 9, another Age 16 or maybe Age 26. Through this device we learn what happened in their childhood, why Tara hates the caravan and why they grew up living with their grandmother.
    I found it difficult to get into this novel, I know the main characters are battered and shaped by the horrors they endured as children, but I just really struggled to like them and want to know what happened to them. I felt at times the novel was just not moving forward, a bit like their road trip. However I persevered and eventually did want to know the outcome of the trip and particularly why their mother wanted to see the caravan again when clearly their previous road trip in it had caused enormous pain and also what happened to their little sister Sunny?
    The beauty of the Western Australian coast is described in detail and the healing powers of the sea are important for Tara and Zac. Many difficult issues are addressed in this novel, including child abuse, domestic violence, police corruption, drug use and gang violence so its not an easy light read. It reminded me how easy it is for us to judge people by their appearances or by what we think they have been through or done. Perhaps we should all vow to be less judgemental and find joy in the beauty of the ocean as Tara does.
    Thank you to Pantera Press and the Beauty and Lace Book club for the opportunity to read this novel.

  4. Washley’s A caravan like a canary is a wonderful book.
    Although the story covered some traumatic family history and various social issues I enjoyed the story about Tara and her brother Zac, and their road trip adventures with Zac’s friend Danh.

    Bikers, mystery graffiti and blossoming romance make the road trip to visit their dying mother a real tale. Tara’s past is revealed along the way, highlighting how our family relationships and history shapes us into the choices we make as adults.

    The characters seemed real and as soon as I started this book, I was hooked and wanted to keep reading.

    I thought the story was quite lovely and a bit inspiring too!

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for the opportunity to read this easy-to-read novel – I would recommend to all.

  5. I really enjoyed A Caravan like a Canary by Sasha Wasley. It was a cheeky book that left tantalising hints that made me want to keep on reading to find out more. I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Tara and Danh and wondered how Tara was not insane from dealing with her brother! The ending was frustrating (in a good way) and typical of the characters and I was kind of happy that it was a really appropriate ending. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me read this book >:o)

  6. A Caravan like a Canary by Sasha Wasley was an interesting read. The book focuses on Tara Button and how her mother has asked Tara and her brother Zac, to tow the old family caravan up to where she is in palliative care, several days drive away. It’s her dying wish, how can Tara say no? Despite things being difficult at work and the caravan not being in the best of condition, she finally agrees and she and Zac (plus Zac’s best mate Danh) take off. Throughout the trip, you are transported back in time to find out more about the story of Tara and her family. It’s heartbreaking to read some of the stories and sadly only too realistic however, I still found Tara difficult to like and understand at times. I got quite frustrated with her reactions and handling of some situations but perhaps that is also part of the reality of dealing with someone who has had such a traumatic upbringing? The biker part of the story I didn’t really enjoy, it felt perhaps ‘unrealistic’ I guess with the language and actions of the bikers. Other than that, the storyline was good , with many different storylines entwined which kept me guessing right up to the end. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for allowing me the opportunity to read this thought-provoking book. I’m still a little undecided on if I loved it or not but I know I didn’t dislike it…!

  7. In West Australian author Sasha Wasley’s second outing in the contemporary fiction drama field, A Caravan Like a Canary is a strong values-based tale. A story of the past, travel, family, trauma, love, residue and adversity, Sasha Wasley’s latest hits all the right notes.

    At the centre of this contemporary fiction release from Sasha Wasley is a bright yellow caravan, that links a mother and daughter. When Tara Button receives a request from her mother to drive an unmissable yellow caravan across the state, she is not sure what to expect. However, with her brother tagging along, Tara knows she must help her family. Joining Tara and her brother Zac on this unforgettable journey is Zac’s friend Danh and a few bikies. With the town of Elsewhere set as their final resting point, the past catches up with this brother and sister as they try to fend off memories of their last caravan journey together. Will Tara finally put the past to rest and move on towards a settled future?

    Fellow successful West Australian author Rachael Johns has described Sasha Wasleys’s previous book as a ‘heart grabbing Aussie story’. This is the perfect description and ideal label for Sasha Wasleys’s work. A Caravan Like a Canary is a splendid title, that I relied on as a source of respite to take me through a hard-working week.

    Structurally, A Caravan Like a Canary is set out well. It alternates between the past and present, revealing a raw, realistic and honest story of family values. Interspersed between the emotional and tender narrative are various communications between the main family members of this novel via email and text. I valued this extra insight into the lives of these colourful personalities. Tara was a fantastic lead character in my eyes and I enjoyed following her caravan pilgrimage. I think I appreciated Tara’s state-wide expedition, as she learnt so much about herself through undertaking this grand adventure. Tara’s West Australian road trip also serves to remind us that it is not always about the final destination, it is the experience itself that makes as stronger. There is much to learn from this reflective slice of fiction from Sasha Wasley.

    I expected no less from Sasha Wasley in terms of her setting. In a beautiful tribute to Western Australia, her home state, we are treated to a vividly rendered setting. I loved being a part of this poignant and busy trip. It even inspired me to one day find my own canary yellow caravan to trek around our state in – if I’m lucky! I’m sure West Australian readers will find a connection to Wasley’s well depicted setting, while our national and international friends will definitely be attracted to this book’s location descriptions. It really made the book a memorable read in my eyes.

    Wasley embeds some serious and hard-hitting issues in her second contemporary fiction novel. Although there are lighter elements of love and romance, we also gain an insight into the pain, trauma, upset and upheaval that has followed this character set. With plenty of emotional depth, heart and feeling, Wasley knows how to pull at the heartstrings. I was able to fall for A Caravan Like a Canary every second of the way.

    *Thank you to Beauty & Lace Book Club/Pantera Press for a copy of this book for review purposes.

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