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The Patterson Girls

by Rachael Johns

Why We Love It: We fell in love with the Patterson sisters ­ ­– four women trying to find their way in life after the loss of their beloved mother. It’s funny yet sad and poignant but ultimately life-affirming.

Six months after their mother dies, the four Patterson sisters return from their various corners of the world to spend Christmas with their dad, the first since their loss. But Dad isn’t too coping too well looking after the family motel in the rural town of Meadow Brook in South Australia.

When they try to help him out by dealing with their mother’s belongings that have lain just as she left them, they uncover a family secret that could have consequences for all of them.

After the holidays, the sisters, aged in their twenties and thirties, return to their homes and try to navigate the complexities of their lives with lovers, husbands, and potential partners. But nothing seems to be going right for any of them.

Madelaine, a high-flying obstetrician in the US is in love with her best friend, but he’s engaged to someone else. Lucinda is happily married to Joe in Perth but her obsessive desire to have a baby is starting to ruin their relationship, and accomplished violin player Abigail is falling apart in London after losing her fabulous job and falling in love with a guy who just wants a casual affair. Meanwhile, youngest sister Charlie seems to be the only one with her feet firmly on the ground. She offers to give up her ‘unimportant’ job in Melbourne as a waitress, to help her father with the running of the motel.

But what happens next will have you turning the pages as this heartwarming story of four sisters leads to a nail-biting and dramatic conclusion. Johns has crafted a great story about four different and highly likeable female characters that’s relevant to the real-world problems faced by women today, both in rural Australia and world cities. The Patterson Girls is a delightful read, a perfect summer book, and the final pages will have you on the edge of your seat.

Rachael Johns is one of Australia’s best-loved rural romance writers. Her novels include The Road to Hope and Jilted, which won Favourite Australian Contemporary Romance in 2012 and she was voted in the Top Ten of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Author poll in 2013.


Take the quiz to find out which Patterson Girl are you?

#12 in Australia’s Top 100 2016

About Rachael Johns

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. She lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association. It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she LOVED contemporary romance! She is the author of The Kissing Season, Tease Me, Cowboy, Man Drought, JiltedOutback Dreams, Outback Blaze, Outback Ghost, The Next Season (ebook), and The Road to Hope.


  1. Lea-Anne London

    How do I know the age group that a promoted text is suitable for?

    1. Better Reading Post author

      Hi Lea-Anne,
      The Patterson Girls is a book that’s appropriate for adults. We have a kids section which gives some guidance on books for kids. Thanks, BR

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