Beth Paterson leads a busy, well ordered life. A respected general practitioner in Mount Clair, one of the bigger towns in the Kimberley, Beth is also a fly-in, fly-out doctor for Madjinbarra, one of the region’s more remote communities, and her days are filled with home visits, clinic appointments and community meetings. In between, Beth squeezes in visits to her family, who still live on the sprawling property where Beth grew up, about an hour’s drive from Mount Clair.
But when Beth is asked to attend a special stakeholder meeting for Madjinbarra, to discuss alarming plans for a corporate mine on community land, her carefully structured life comes tumbling down around her. At the meeting is a man Beth hasn’t seen in 17 years – it’s Charlie Campbell, and he’s flown in to put his voice behind the community where he was born and raised.
Back when they were both 17, Beth was a hot shot student at Mount Clair High, and Charlie had spun like a cyclone into her neat little life. Charlie’s school in Madjinbarra hadn’t offered tertiary pathways, so he’d come to Mount Clair to prepare for university and Beth had quickly become his tutor, falling deeply in love in the process. But then Charlie’s plans had changed – he wanted to become a musician, not go to university. He left town abruptly, breaking Beth’s heart.
These days, Charlie is a big star on the alternative rock scene, and Beth has been conscientiously avoiding his music, his face and her thoughts of him for years. But now Charlie’s back, impossible to avoid, and although there’s tension at first, he and Beth gradually get reacquainted. Then they join forces to save Madjinbarra from the mining threat, and their old, wild attraction rekindles… with life-changing, and utterly joyous results.
The third instalment in Sasha Wasley’s Daughters of the Outback series, following bestsellers Dear Banjo and True Blue, Love Song is a heartwarming and deeply moving tale of grief, love and second chances. Film rights to the series have already been acquired, and it’s not hard to see why – the rugged, wild beauty of the Kimberley is a stunning, atmospheric and refreshingly original setting, and Wasley’s characters are profoundly engaging and believably drawn. In Love Song, our heroine Beth is particularly well rounded, and you’ll find yourself connecting instantly to her story, hoping against hope that she finds the happiness she deserves.
Wasley has a real knack for depicting the unique dynamics of rural Australian communities, and this is done particularly well in Love Song, with Mount Clair and Madjinbarra both characters in their own right. Love Song is also a novel of compelling depth, intelligently exploring various issues faced by remote Indigenous communities, including the struggle for land rights and the reality of limited healthcare and education options.
A hopeful, heartfelt and compassionately told story about the strength and resilience of women, the power of love, and the complexities of rural living, Love Song is a perfect read for fans of Fiona Palmer, Nicole Alexander and Rachael Johns.
Sasha Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She has completed a PhD in cultural theory and loves nature, Jane Austen and puns. Sasha is a farming wannabe, with a passion for animals and the land. Although she’s in her forties now, she still wants a pony. Her debut novel, a young adult paranormal, was published in 2014. Today, she lives and writes in the Perth hills region with her partner and two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens. Sasha writes mystery, paranormal and young adult novels as S.D. Wasley.