I read when I was young but not a lot, as I was an outside kid who had paddocks to play in and cubbies to build. At school, I only read what I had to for class and then after I left school it was as if I forgot to read. I was busy with work.
It wasn’t until I was twenty and working as a teachers aid that I was reintroduced to the joy of books. I read Mem Fox’s book on how important it is to read, especially to our children from birth. Then the teacher at that time started reading the first Harry Potter book to the kids. At times, I would read a few chapters as well. Their little faces were mesmerised, ears listening, their minds picturing every detail. But so was I. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened so I brought it and devoured it.
I was drawn into the story and realised what I’d been missing. I can actually say Harry Potter brought me back to reading. And I haven’t stopped since. As much as I love my life in my tiny rural town I love being able to escape into new worlds and stories that books bring. When my children were born, I read to them at every chance and they both love reading now at ages 11 and 9.
Mem Fox had it right. Reading is important.
by Fiona Palmer
Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.
Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as passionate about the farm as a young girl could be, despite the limited opportunities for love.
When a letter from 1946 is unearthed in an old cottage on the property, the Sunnyvale girls find themselves on a journey deep into their own hearts and all the way across the world to Italy. Their quest to solve a mystery leads to incredible discoveries about each other, and about themselves.
‘Fiona Palmer just keeps getting better. This heart-warming tear-jerker kept me turning the pages right until the very end.’ Rachael Johns
About the Author
Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three and a half hours south-east of Perth. She discovered Danielle Steel at the age of eleven, and has now written her own brand of rural romance. She has attended romance writers’ groups and received an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has extensive farming experience, does the local mail run, and was a speedway-racing driver for seven years. She spends her days writing, helping out in the community and looking after her two children.