How gorgeous is this cover.
I thought this was a fabulous read, it had so many issues weaved into the story that are of great importance to me; homelessness, racism, refugees, single mothers, domestic abuse; I thought Fiona Lowe did a great job of covering them all and bringing them to people’s attention.
Though I have several of Fiona’s books waiting on my shelf, this is the first one I have read and I am now determined to get around to reading them all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, the cast of characters were so varied, all going through their own struggles. Some I liked, some I didn’t, but they all played their part in making this story a full experience.
Set in a small town, where tension towards refugees and immigrants is high, I was upset at the way some of the people of the town behaved towards these people, because of the colour of their skin or their religion, just as I am upset when I see it and hear about it daily, I really appreciate authors who bring these issues to the fore. Whilst some of the characters in the story were willing to learn about who these people actually were, to look beyond what was on the outside and see the person and their experiences, to see what they could bring to the community, there were those who were too closed-minded and bigoted to do any such thing, these are the kinds people who I wonder if they will ever wake up and see that we are all people and all entitled to be treated equally.
Homelessness was also a topic covered, Helen used to be homeless, now she caretakes the community garden and works in a cafe in town. She also takes food and invites the hidden homeless women in the town to join her for a meal, she knows it isn’t much, but it is a way of letting these women know they haven’t been forgotten and providing them with a meal they otherwise mightn’t get. It is incredible how blinkered people are to issues that don’t personally affect them, and this is the case when people would ask, oh, do we have homeless people in our town? Homelessness is a big issue and more women are becoming homeless every day through no fault of their own, it is an issue for everyone to address, not just the government.
This novel made me think and feel and I felt compassion and empathy towards the characters. This is a big novel, over 500 pages, but it was one I couldn’t put down and ploughed through, completely engaged and invested in the people of this town.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.