BOOK CLUB: The Last Station

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The Last Station by Nicole Alexander is set in the early 1900s in rural New South Wales.

The Dalhunty Family are fighting hard to hold on to their station.  The station has been in the family for decades and was once very prestigious and profitable.  There was a strong family pride in the quality of the wool that they sent to South Australia, but over time things have changed. Sections of land have been sold off, and the number of sheep has dwindled. 

The family do what they can to keep hold of their remaining land, slowly selling anything of value.

As the eldest son, Julian dreams of a better life, and he knows that the station will never give him the life he longs for, but the expectation is that he will take over from his father. He will live out his days just as his father and his father before him have done.

Julian’s mother returns from Sydney, where she had gone to visit her dying sister.  She does not return alone, but brings a young man named Ethan, who in her heart is a replacement for Davey, her son who tragically died.  Ethan does his best to fit in and tries to be accepted by the family.

But the day that the paddle-steamer ‘Lady Matilda’ is due to arrive provides an opportunity for him to cut his losses.  This is the day that will change everything as one action leads to a chain of events that set both Ethan and Julian on a life changing adventure.

I was really delighted in The Last Station. I wanted everything to work out for the best for each and every family member as I felt like I understood them all. 

I found this book very easy to read.

ISBN: 9781760898229
Copy courtesy of Penguin

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Last Station by Nicole Alexander. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Last Station

  1. I enjoy historical fiction, and the author has done excellent research into the period and the setting. The descriptions bring the landscape to life.
    The plot offers lots of action and many heart-stopping moments. The characters face problems on the farm, illness, escape, a new family member, life on the river, dangerous men, drought and flood, and financial ruin.
    The characters are well developed, and I especially liked the contrast between the mother and Miss Carlisle – one a traditional wife and mother, who likes the fine things in life, the other who lives as a scientist and adventurer. I could feel Julian’s frustration of life on the property and his desire to escape. Ethan provided a contrast too, as a city waif, although he seemed a little too articulate and well-spoken for his background. The quirkiness of the father and Frank added another dimension.
    The only jarring aspect for me was Meg’s style of speech – none of the others spoke that way so where would she have picked it up? It was hard to read in places as well. She also seemed far too young to have survived in some of the circumstances she faced.
    Overall, I very much enjoyed this novel and I thank Beauty & Lace and Penguin for the opportunity to read and review it.

  2. I have quickly become a major fan of Australia historical books since joining Beauty and Lace and The Last Station is another to add to my favorites list!

    Quite simply it’s just a beautifully written book. It was easy to become fully immersed in this story, Nicole’s style of writing pulls you in from the start and make you feel warm and cosy. I felt invested in this family, I wanted the best for them, for their luck to turn around. It even looks like a beautiful book!

    I really enjoy Nicole’s books and look forward to reading some more of her past work.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Penguin for the chance to read and review another beautifully written story.

  3. The Last Station was an easy book to read. I loved the descriptions of the family station and the river traffic during droughts and flooding. This shows the depth that Nicole Alexander has researched paddles steamer trading on the river systems.
    It is heart breaking reading about such a former flourishing sheep station declining. I have read many stories about the river trade of wool and the paddle steamers that ruled the rivers. One book that comes to mind is ‘All The Rivers Run” by Nancy Cato. There are many more.
    This book is not all roses and smiles. There is sadness and heartbreak but also some funny little scenes. I loved Meg’s character, a little rebel who was true to herself.
    I have read some other books by this author and will be keeping an eye out for future books.

  4. I was never a fan of historical novels but this was amazing. The style of writing is great and quite easy to follow.
    I loved the description of family members and the surrounding which left me immersed in the era.
    I also liked how each chapter was describing their life in each month since their mother left and the suspense when she would return was good motive to kept on reading the book.
    Overall, its a great book and a good one for your favorite list of books.

  5. The Last Station by Nicole Alexander was a novel that was easy to read and get involved in the twisting tale of the Dalhunty family.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the description of the Darling River and Australian Landscape as well as the lively characters portrayed.
    Thankyou to the author, Nicole Alexander, Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Bantam Publishing for the opportunity to read and review The Last Station.

  6. The Last Station was an interesting historical Australian novel. It highlighted the difficulty for those living on the land, particularly coming from the city. I found the characters quite interesting, and the descriptions of the Aussie landscape wonderful.
    I found the middle part of the story a little dull, and kept waiting for the mother to return to keep the story going.
    All in all, quite a good read.

  7. I adore novels that take me into historical, rural Australia. Nicole Alexander has written a wonderful story of the difficulties of life on the land and the pressures of family lineage and expectations. The description given of the mighty rivers, paddlesteamers and the rural landscape were delightfully depicted and helped to draw the reader into the story. Thank you to Penguin Random House and Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read this lovely book.

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