From Goodreads: “A tale of longing, loss and growing love under the bright Australian sun. It’s 1921 and the Great War has left in its wake untold tragedy, not only in lives lost, but in the guilt of survivors, the deep-set scars of old wounds and the sting of redoubled bigotries.
In the tiny hamlet of Sunshine, on the far-flung desert’s edge, three very different ex-servicemen – Jack Bell, an Aboriginal horseman; Snow McGlynn, a laconic, curmudgeonly farmer; and Art Lovelee, an eccentric engineer – find themselves sharing a finger of farmland along the Darling River, and not much else. That is, until Art’s wife Grace, a battle-hardened nurse, gets to work on them all with her no-nonsense wisdom.
Told with Kim Kelly’s inimitable wit and warmth, Sunshine is a very Australian tale of home, hope and healing, of the power of growing life and love, and discovering that we are each other’s greatest gifts.”
I read this book through The Pigeonhole, a free online book club, reading it with other readers on the web. It was split into 6 parts, called staves, that I read through the nifty Pigeonhole app. I must admit I was first drawn to this book because of the stunning cover, how could you not what to read a book with a cover full of sunshine?
This was a wonderful historical fiction novel written by a ‘new to me’ author, about a period in Australian history that I’d never read about before.
As the synopsis above tells you it’s set in post World War One Australia, and is about three characters called Jack, Snow and Grace. The writing instantly transported me to Sunshine, a fictional town, but described so perfectly that it was real to me. I instantly warmed to Jack and Grace but found Snow quite scary.
All three characters had taken part in the Great War, Jack and Snow both fighting and Grace was a nurse on the Western Front. As they settle in Sunshine they are coming to terms with what they saw and experienced in the conflict and are struggling to live with those experiences.
Even though this was a short book, just over 200 pages, there was so much emotion and real depth to the characters that I felt like I got to know them very well. The writing was so beautiful that at times I felt like crying especially as I learnt more about Jack, Snow and Grace’s heartbreaking situations.
I definitely recommend this wonderful book to lovers of historical fiction.