Feature book: Ella
Ella by Virginia Taylor
In a time when rural romance is popular, here is a historical rural romance set in South Australia.
Dorella (Ella) Beaufort is the middle sister. She is the one who will get things done on the property. Her elder sister Rose just wants to get back to the city to catch herself a rich man. Then there is Vianna (Vi), the younger sister. Ella and Rose are torn between having Vi help them or making sure that she has the appropriate lessons for when they move to the city.
The girls have inherited the family station on the death of their father. He had enough debt to be of concern to the girls and to make sure their future will not be as rosy as they would have liked. They have to pay off the debt and make sure there is enough money for them to live on. Ella sometimes resents that Rose will not do some of the hard tasks, but Ella has taken on the tasks to make sure they are done. Ella oversees the shearers, the fencing and the recapture of their horses after they are stolen. The new shearer has caught her attention, and when she is with him, she feels secure and that she can do anything.
Charlton Alfred Landon Lynton or more commonly known as Cal Lynton has been shearing for a few months. He has plans for the future. These plans are not the same ones that his grandfather has for him, but Cal wants to prove a point. Cal has come to the station, and all he wants is to put his plans in place by setting up a wool selling and distribution company in South Australia, instead of sending it to Victoria.
Cal and Ella find that they share chemistry and often run into each other as the tasks to be completed add up and Cal helps Ella. When the Beaufort girls sell the station and all the assets, they move to Adelaide and meet Cal again where Ella finds out his true identity.
This story does show how difficult life on the land was back in those times, especially for women who were gently bred (and I know it is hard now). While we get a glimpse of what happens, it is the chemistry between Ella and Cal that is important. Girl (a dog) is such a sweetie and readers will fall in love with her. I would love to tell you more about the reasons why you will love Girl, but that would spoil it for you.
As I said at the beginning, if you like rural romance, a historical version may also make it onto your list to read. This is the second book in the South Landers series.
Reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.