Feature book: Charlotte’s Creek
Lucy Francis leaves her teaching position at a private Sydney school to relocate to become a governess to four children living on the station, Charlotte’s Creek, in Queensland. Charlotte’s Creek tells of Lucy’s adventures as she learns about a new way of life. With her family confused about her decision and worried for her safety, Lucy’s nerves aren’t helped when she encounters hostility and a generalised belief that she won’t last long at the station.
Lucy meets a colourful range of people and animals, both domestic and native. She forms a unique relationship with each of them as she begins to learn about station life. As she tries to encourage the children’s education, she also learns about station life, acquiring a range of new skills. Her reputation begins to grow around town. With the addition of the children’s paternal grandparents to the station it causes tension to reach new heights.
When the station is up for sale the family’s fears seem close to coming true. They will have to move away with nothing and it’s highly likely that the station will be bought on behalf of an Asian country to provide food for its citizens. The West family and Lucy dread the loss of the station and the ever-increasing erosion of station life in Australia. Can the new prospective buyer save the station?
Ted Golder is a ringer who also owns a neighbouring piece of land. His first meeting with Lucy doesn’t go well but with them being in almost constant contact the relationship evolves. Lucy begins to feel an attraction for Ted but is confused and frustrated from the mixed messages he sends her way. Is there a chance for a romance between her and Ted?
When Lucy is forced to come home for a few months to care for her mother, what will happen on the station? Will absence make the heart grow fonder or will it be out of sight, out of mind? Charlotte’s Creek contains a number of stories about a wide range of topics and characters, both in present day and in the past. This is an enjoyable read that reflects an interesting and important part of Australian life. It is not a book to read if you just want to sit back, read and relax, as you have to be able to remember who or what everything is and how they fit into the story. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Reviewed by Tracey T
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. ARRA members who leave a comment by 18 February 2015 will go into the draw to win this book. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Malvina.)