Wow, this book certainly packed an emotional punch, at times I read with disbelief at the damage a person can do to another, emotionally and physically. Book two in the Wongan Creek series certainly lived up to my expectations following my enjoyment of Whispers at Wongan Creek.
We meet Tameka aka Tikki who is struggling to keep her farm running while dealing with a father she seems afraid of. We quickly get the idea there is some sort of abuse going on in that household, just what and how far that abuse stretches is the tale that Juanita Kees weaves as we delve into the past of Tikki and her neighbour and old love Harley.
There are many secrets that begin to be uncovered after a fire that nearly clains Tameka’s life. Memories come to the surface, old friends are thrown together, a town fights to keep its livelihood and shocks come left, right and centre.
Tameka’s father is a cruel hard man, one I could never begin to understand. Tameka’s belief she is to blame and responsible for all her father has done, is hard to understand. Thankfully I’ve never been in an abusive relationship the way she has, and hopefully I never will be. The guilt she carries for everything around her is huge and overwhelming. Domestic abuse is one of the ideas dealt with in this story, one none of us could understand unless we’ve been there.
The town of Wongan Creek fluctuates between holding Tameka responsible for their farming problems and realising she is not her father. The town however, I feel, has a lot to answer for in the fact they turned a blind eye to what might have been going on in Tameka’s home. For a small community, I felt angry that that community spirit and involvement wasn’t used to ensure that all was well, despite how much her father was disliked.
Harley and his family are just lovely and I loved that Harley had never given up on Tameka who he completely loved back when they were teenagers. Harley’s parents are just the kind of parents you’d wish for, loving, supportive and understanding, it was beautiful to see how they took Tameka under their wing without even blinking.
Farming and its issues is once again highlighted in this tale. The need for changes to be made in today’s society to find different ways of doing things that will work better both for the environment and because of the environment, as well as because of the way we now import so much that our farmers can’t compete. Diversification is the key to surviving and Wongan Creek is starting to find ways for this to happen.
A tale full of twist, turns and shocks, that will keep you reading until you uncover the truth.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series Shadows over Wongan Creek which is released on the 4th March. I’ll have a prerelease review up this week.