Bestselling Australian Rural author, Fiona Palmer, chats about what she read in January.
In January, I took my kids to the coastal town of Bremer Bay, south west of WA, where we crammed in 4×4 driving, snorkelling, sand surfing, boogie boarding and fishing. So the books I read during this month were chosen with an intentional theme – each book was set in WA and cantered around “fly in fly out”.
First up was Georgina Penney’s Fly In Fly Out. Jo Blaine works overseas on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean and finds a man in her house when she arrives home. Of course she knows this guy, Stephen Hardy and ends up letting him house-sit and look after her cranky cat while she’s away. Things get heated between them but Jo is keeping a dark secret from their past, which is linked to Stephen’s farm in Margaret River. It’s a great read and I powered through it.
Next was Loretta Hill’s book The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots. What a hoot this was! Loretta writes it like it is, you can tell she’s lived the FIFO life and has the swearing men down pat. Some may find that hard to read but for me it just made it all the more real, not a sugar-coated version. It follows Lena Todd, a city girl who is sent to the outback to join a construction team and prove herself in a male-dominated world. I love reading these kind of stories. Plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and great likeable characters.
Loretta’s next book The Girl in the Hard Hat is the follow-on book and continues with the same gang. This time Gavin is the lucky guy who gets the girl. Wendy goes to the Pilbara to search for her father, who left her at birth, and takes on a job as Safety Manager at the iron ore wharf. Nobody likes the safety person and she soon gets the nickname ‘The Sergeant’. Again Loretta delivers in another funny read with plenty of heart.
All books have a romantic thread and happy ending, just how I like my reads. I highly recommend all three. It’s great to get an insight into the FIFO lifestyle and working in the Pilbara. The descriptions of the landscapes were fabulous.
The Saddler Boys
School teacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead.
When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.
As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society … Read more