Feature book: The Homestead Girls
This is a story that will pull you in from page one. It is a story that shows courage, strength and the heroes of the outback as well as the people who work for and devote so much to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This is the story of some of the women of the outback.
Dr Billy Green grew up in the small town of Mica Ridge in far western New South Wales, but she moved to the city when she was a young girl after losing her parents in an accident. She lived with her aunt but got in with the wrong crowd, and she became a parent herself at a young age. Billy is a strong person who saw where her life was heading and moved on. She worked hard as a single mum and became a doctor, but her one wish has always been to join the Royal Flying Doctor Service. When her teenage daughter falls in with the wrong crowd, Billy knows it is time to move on and hopefully give Mia a better life. The two move back to her home town where Billy becomes a doctor in the Flying Doctor Service, hoping to start a new life.
Soretta Byrnes lives on the sheep and cattle station Blue Hills, which has been in the family for generations. She lost her parents when she was young and was raised by her grandparents. After losing her grandmother, she now lives there with her grandfather, Lachlan. She is a hard worker and loves this life, even though the drought is so bad at the moment and money is short. When her grandfather is injured in an accident, things may have to change.
Daphne Prince is a flight nurse at the Mica Ridge Control Centre. She is divorced and has overcome much to become a nurse and end up in the outback, but she loves her job. She is caring, kind-hearted and just an all-round wonderful person, who is always there to help with advice and a smile. Daphne works hard. The shifts are long and the flight nurses are the ones who are in control when the planes are flying, whether flying to a clinic or for an emergency. Daphne is more than happy that another female has joined the base.
Soretta and Daphne come up with a plan to rent rooms out on the homestead to help with money while Lachlan is still recovering. Daphne is the first to move in along with Billy and Mia. Mia is not impressed at first, and Soretta is a hard boss, but Mia loves the animals and soon fits in. When one of the town eccentrics, Lorna Lamerton, moves in as well, this starts a bond and friendship, which shows the strength and character of these people through hardship and danger, where they each share their thoughts on love, happiness and life.
I loved this story from the start. The setting is so real, and the characters are rich and full of life. We see the true heroes of the outback, supporting each other. We see Mia grow into a lovely young lady. Daphne and Rex, the pilot, begin a loving relationship, and even Billy and her boss, Dr Morgan Blake, open up and begin to get close. Soretta continues to be positive about her life on the land, and dear Lorna—you can’t help but love her. Of course, there is Lachlan, the only male on the homestead, who is just great as well. This is a story that will have you laughing, smiling and crying. It is an emotion-filled story that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend you do not miss this one.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. ARRA members who leave a comment by 16 September 2015 will go into the draw to win a copy of the book. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Lyn.)