BOOK CLUB: Clouds on the Horizon

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Clouds on the Horizon by Australian author Penelope Janu hits every aspect of a true rural romance story.

Phoebe Cartwright lives in a decommissioned church in Warrendale surrounded by farm animals. For someone who didn’t have a pleasant childhood, she realised there was a different side to life and the most fulfilling part of it was her job as an occupational therapist, offering a myriad of benefits for children with sensory challenges and disabilities.

Sinn Torrissen, a Norwegian naval officer and meteorologist is in Australia investigating an illegal horse racing syndicate secondment to the UN. When he collapses in a storm Phoebe finds him injured and bitterly cold. She helps him into a nearby shed on her neighbour’s property, Sinn informs her he has a satellite phone and will be rescued soon. Little did she know when a helicopter arrives to take him away how far she would become involved.

Phoebe learns that her father is involved in the syndicate and her younger sister is under suspicion. Phoebe believes her sister is innocent and joins Sinn in the investigation to prove her innocence. When it comes to her sisters she will do everything she can to protect them even if it means hiding secrets.

What I like about this novel is Phoebe’s character. She is a glowing example of how one not only endures trouble but triumphs over it. Though she is a little stubborn, this is the trait that helps her persevere in the long run. Janu has a talent for getting you inside Phoebe’s life and mindset, causing you to feel as the character feels, so much so that you wonder how you would fare in such situations. Readers are sure to connect with the character’s journey.

The supporting characters are well balanced throughout the book with likeable personality traits progressing the story well. There’s Patience and Prim Phoebe’s sisters, Mr Ridley, Nate and the adorable Matilda. I thoroughly enjoyed the animal characters, Camelot and Mintie the horses, Wickham the border collie, and Lottie the lamb. They radiated through the pages and you want to surround yourself with every one of them.

I liked that the book incorporates both romance and mystery elements that will tug at the strings of your heart but also keeps you intrigued. Penelope successfully pulls on the reader’s emotions with the pain of loss, the worry of making tough decisions, the worry of uncertainty, and the thrill of new love. Clouds on the Horizon demonstrates the joy of living in a rural town with breathtaking descriptions of the beautiful, sweeping landscape and its elements creating the perfect backdrop for the story.

Clouds on the Horizon isn’t a fast-paced story, but it is filled with plenty of drama, a quiet journey from heartache and despair to love and happiness. Penelope Janu is to be applauded for plot creation. The reader is able to visualise each and every character, the landscape, the animals, as well as being able to feel the tangle that Phoebe finds herself caught in.

A fantastic book to curl up with that you could possibly finish in a sitting.

Thank you, Beauty and Lace and HarperCollins Publishers for the opportunity to read and review

Author: Penelope Janu
ISBN: 9781867223566
Copy courtesy of publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Clouds on the Horizon

  1. Clouds on the Horizon is a fabulous read, sure to engage many readers. If you like interesting women characters, country Australia settings, romance or mystery – there’s something for you in this book.

    Phoebe Cartwright’s past traumas have prevented her from forming satisfactory relationships with men. But along comes Sinn, a man on a mission who is looking to unravel a horse-racing syndicate which her family is involved.

    There is fair bit of emphasis on family, and it may be a touch too sweet for some readers, with children and animals having a sub-plot but there was a certain amount of passion between the characters so it wasn’t too sugary. I did like the Norwegian and meteorological references dotted through out – it added a certain interest!

    There was lots to love about this rural romance novel and I really enjoyed it. I am glad to have discovered Penelope Janu. I will be looking to read her other stories soon.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and HarperCollins publishers for providing me with this book. which I am pleased to recommend to others.

  2. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this fantastic book. I love Penelopes books and this one didn’t disappoint. A brilliant story about family, love, secrets and mystery.

  3. Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu started off with a bang. Pheobe Cartright finds United Nations Sin Torrison injured and hypothermic during a storm. Sinn is investigating Pheobe’s father in relation to a horse racing syndicate.

    A really enjoyable book. Thankyou to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this one

    1. This is the first book I have read by Penelope Janu and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a very well written book that explores various relationships and emotions without preaching or becoming bogged down.
      Thanks Beauty & Lace and HarperCollins for introducing me to another great author, I can’t wait to read more of her books

  4. This book sucked me in from page one, and I kept turning the pages, intrigued to know more – the mystery, the romance, and the well-developed characters. Loved Phoebe and the interesting themes raised throughout the novel – so many layers of storylines. I also loved the setting in the story.

    Thanks to Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins for a copy of this book. This review is voluntarily provided.

  5. Firstly thank you for the opportunity to read this novel. It is the first I have read by Penelope Janu. I thouroughly enjoyed this book. It included mystery intertwined with a romance, exploring where her loyalities lie. I will look for more novels written by Penelope

  6. Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu was not one my most favourite of reads. I feel terrible writing that but I just could not get into the story and I really struggled with this book!
    The story revolves around Phoebe Cartwright who stumbles across Sinn Torrissen lying close to death whilst out riding. Phoebe lives in the country town of Warrandale where she is a paediatric occupational therapist. Her mother had a stroke when her and her 2 sisters were young and moved to New Zealand so they were raised by her father who was a professor and well regarded mathematician. He did not know how to raise 3 girls and a lot of what he did and perhaps didn’t do, accounts for how Phoebe reacts to many situations throughout the book.
    I just found I could not connect with Phoebe. At times she seemed incredibly immature and I didn’t understand her way of thinking and found that drove me crazy! The storyline I found confusing and difficult to follow so was unsure how things eventuated at times. I think I got confused about the whole Norwegian connection as well. It just felt unrealistic and often left me feeling a bit bewildered. As a result, it took me ages to read this book however, I persevered and finished it. Looking at other reviews now, I can see I’m the odd one out here but, I guess we can’t all enjoy the same books!
    Thanks for the opportunity to read this though, it’s always such a treat and privilege to try new authors.

  7. Clouds on the Horizon, by Penelope Jane is a delight to read. A strong Australian character, with a mysterious past, meets a dashing Norwegian working for the United Nations. A good love story with a twist.
    Thank you for the opportunity Beauty and Lace.

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