Peninsula Promises by Heather Reyburn is a rural historical fiction filled with love, sacrifice and family devotion.
Karaka, South Auckland 1935: Alice Simpson sits at her daughter’s grave saying goodbye. She lost Emmie at 3 months of age when whooping cough swept through their community. Alice is leaving her behind to start a new life on their recently purchased sheep farm in the Northern Island with her husband Harry and two boys George, 7 and Timmy, 5.
For over ten years they were repaying the debt on their dairy farm that Harry’s father purchased when his son was fighting in Egypt, now with his parents deceased and no ties, it was time to move on.
Alice felt bittersweet having to say goodbye to her sister Maudie, they were barely a year apart in age and their bond was strong. Upon their goodbye, Alice gave Maud a present of writing paper, envelopes, and a new fountain pen to help keep their connection strong whilst being apart.
As Alice adapts to her new life and the isolation, she finds comfort in the exchange of letters with Maud and the surrounds at Fantail Ridge.
There are wonderful descriptions of the rugged landscape and farm life. I enjoyed the trips into town to South Head, Helensville for supplies, it displayed the good side to small town communities and the residents that populate these country settings.
I loved the strong characters and how the author centres her story around the letters between Alice and Maud as they face life’s turbulent challenges and difficult times in pre-WWII. I felt as if I was involved in their conversations and found myself laughing out loud and crying on occasion throughout the book.
There are some challenges for both these characters to overcome and the reader is given an opportunity to be directly involved in their respective individual pathways. There is a range of wonderful supporting characters such as Maud’s husband Dougal and children Kenneth, George and Catherine.
Peninsula Promises is a book that hums with activity, keeping the reader fully engaged from start to finish. A truly heart-warming story that will leave the reader completely satisfied. Heather has given life to such an endearing set of characters and pitting them against some complex life challenges.
I’m looking forward to the next installment, The Lupin Fields.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Heather Reyburn for the opportunity to read and review.
Author: Heather Reyburn
Copy courtesy of Heather Reyburn
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Peninsula Promises by Heather Reyburn. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
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.