Meet Me in Bendigo by Australian author Eva Scott is a wonderfully warm, bright, squishy heart-warming hug of a romance book to escape into.
Heartbroken after the death of her boyfriend, Annalisa Cappelli arrives back in the small town of Wongilly to run the family hardware store that has been a primary in the community for over 150 years. Post COVID-19 global pandemic, she feels added pressure.
Sales have decreased and a new super hardware store, Carpenter’s Warehouse will be opening in the district with competitive prices. Annalisa is determined to do all she can to keep her family’s legacy alive and not be driven out of business.
When she joins an online community forum discussing Carpenter’s Warehouse and the impact it will have in the community, she forms a friendship with GardenerGuy94, sharing the same work ethic, moral values and strong family ties.
Enter the very handsome Ed Carpenter, after his landscaping business collapses, he returns to work with his family establishing Carpenter’s Warehouse. When he arrives in Wongilly to make an offer on Cappelli’s Hardware he discovers that GoldfieldsGirl who he has been chatting with online is no other than Annalisa. He struggles to reveal his secret that he is GardenerGuy94 and finds it difficult weighing out what is not only right for his family’s business but also hers.
The plot is engaging, and the cast of characters are charming and authentic. I found myself chuckling over the group of elderly men that play cards in the hardware store every morning and loved how Annalisa’s dear Nonna and best friend Mel encourage her to reach beyond her own expectations. The vivid details bring the reader up close and personal within the small town and you can picture yourself being part of the community.
Annalisa is a likeable and oddly relatable character, especially to the free-spirited reader of the twenty-first century. She is forced to reach deep within herself to find the woman she never knew existed; she begins to see that her life has not been wasted but is only just beginning. Ed and Annalisa successfully pull 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 beginnings.
Eva Scott has delivered a sweet and, at times, humorous tale of true love and the often-bumpy road lovers may have to travel to get to their happily ever-after. This isn’t a fast-paced story, but it is filled with emotion and drama with the of joy of living in a small town, from heartache and despair to love and happiness. Fans of sweet romances will especially enjoy this tale.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins Australia, for the opportunity to read and review.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Meet me in Bendigo by Eva Scott. You can read their comments below, or add your own review. Sign up for our club here.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.