Full of Heart: Try a Sample Chapter of Starting from Scratch by Penelope Janu

Full of Heart: Try a Sample Chapter of Starting from Scratch by Penelope Janu

Most people see colours, but sometimes I think that I see them more clearly.

I’ve worked at the long timber bench at the farmhouse for the past two hours, pressing crepe paper petals into shapes so they’re ready to form into flowers. Gompholobium grandiflorum. Large Wedge-pea. The petals, in four shades of yellow, are lined up neatly in rows.

Saffron, lemon, amber and gold.

When a gust of wind rattles the window and sneaks through a gap in the frame, scores of petals fly into the air and fall to my feet like sunbeams. As I collect the petals and put them into a shoebox, I imagine Gran at her old kitchen table, the surface obscured by reams of crepe paper.

‘Don’t be so particular, Sapphie,’ she’d say, as I fussed over shade and sequence. ‘It’s the imperfections that make the flowers perfect.’

I pack away supplies—glues and tapes, forestry wire and scissors, the yellow-coloured crepe I’ve cut into strips and the moss-green pieces I’ll shape for the foliage. A screech shoots through the silence. Possums in the red gum. I wish they’d eat there every night and leave the orange trees alone…

Continue reading the extract here…


Penelope Janu's Starting from Scratch is the Perfect Escape: Read our Review

Review | Our Review

11 January 2021

Penelope Janu's Starting from Scratch is the Perfect Escape: Read our Review

    Publisher details

    Starting from Scratch
    Penelope Janu
    06 January, 2021


    After a troubled childhood and the loss of her beloved grandmother, Sapphie Brown finally finds somewhere to call home - the close-knit rural community of Horseshoe Hill. The locals love Sapphie because she never gives up - as chair of the environment committee, with the children in her classes, the troubled teens at the youth centre, the ex-racehorses she cares for and even the neglected farmhouse and gardens she wants to make her own. Sapphie gives second chances to everything and everyone. Except Matts Laaksonen. An impossibly attractive environmental engineer who travels the world, Matts was Sapphie's closest childhood friend. He came to deliver a warning - now he doesn't want to leave. All Sapphie wants to do is forget their painful past, but thrown together they discover an attraction that challenges what they thought they knew about each other. Do they have a chance to recapture what they lost so long ago? Or will long-buried secrets tear them apart? In the flowers she creates from paper and the beauty that grows on the land, Sapphie has found perfect imperfection. Could that be what love is like too?
    Penelope Janu
    About the author

    Penelope Janu

    Penelope Janu lives on the coast in northern Sydney with six wonderful children and a distracting husband. She enjoys exploring the Australian countryside and dreaming up travelling and hiking breaks. A lawyer for many years, she has a passion for social justice, and the natural environment. Whether coastal or rural, Penelope's novels celebrate Australian characters and communities. Her first novel, In at the Deep End, was published by Harlequin in 2017, and her second, On the Right Track, in 2018. Nothing makes Penelope happier as a writer than readers falling in love with her smart and adventurous heroines and heroes.

    Books by Penelope Janu


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