Feature book: Bella’s Run
So what really happens in a country town or in the Australian outback?
Patty O’Hara and Bella Vermaelon are best friends and do everything together. They live about two hours from each other but this doesn’t stop them from spending as much time together as they can. They both take a year off work in Victoria to go the Queensland outback. They spend time on a station, with Patty having the jillaroo job and Bella being left to be the relief cook (and one she does badly) and the gardening. Both girls are popular among the other workers on the station except the boss’s wife who doesn’t like Bella for some reason and singles her out for the worst job (relief cook) which, I think, this woman hopes will mean that Bella leaves. After one drunken incident both are sacked and they start their journey home. On the way they meet Will and Macca.
Will is Patty’s brother and he is definitely interested in Bella. Macca, Bella’s cousin, has an interest in Patty. Things take a different turn at Nunkeri where the girls head for the rodeo. A drinking competition and an attempted rape changes many things in their outlook. Both arrive home and life is good until an accident and death. Patty’s death causes lots of grief and has an impact on the two families and throughout the community in which the girls live.
After Patty’s death, Bella needs a new direction in her life and she moves to the city. There she is successful in her new career and gets engaged to Warren. Fate then interrupts again and Bella finds herself back in the country and back in Will’s sphere. The pair try and sort out their issues. Then fate again has something to say and it causes Will and Bella to find a way to work through their problem.
This story was an interesting look at life in the country. It shows us city folk how the country folk work, live and play hard. But it also shows us how that they have the same hopes, dreams and issues as the city folk. This story to me was very real life. It showed country life like it really is.
reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author. All ARRA members who leave a comment on this article will go in the draw to win the book.