The heart-warming new family drama from the bestselling author of The Cake Maker’s Wish
Award-winning jam maker Aggie is determined to take her Barossa Valley cafe to new heights. She has put the pain of unsuccessful IVF treatments and a broken relationship behind her and is focused on the many wonderful possibilities life still holds in store.
When an invitation to travel across Australia on the Ghan for her mother’s seventieth birthday comes her way, she is at first apprehensive. But the trip offers a precious opportunity to spend some quality time with both her disgruntled mother, Valeria, and her distant daughter, Holly, as well as her meddling great-aunt, Myrtle. The four generations of the family, all single women, will be reunited at last.
As the iconic train chugs its way beneath majestic desert skies, Aggie’s difficult past resurfaces, her business comes under threat, and long-held family rifts reignite. To complicate things further, she’s distracted by the attentions of a handsome younger man on his own search for meaning in some of the country’s most remote and magical places.
Josephine Moon is one of my favourite authors. There, I’ve admitted it. She does incredible work with rescue animals, wrote the wonderful little book Buddhism for Meat Eaters, and is just really lovely. She also writes utterly wonderful weekenders, as I’ve come to call them – those novels that you curl up with for a weekend of recuperation and relaxation. Add to that… I’m a huge fan of train journeys! And I mean huge… I’m the person with coffee table books on great train journeys of the world and a few long-winded tales about the trips I’ve taken. So when Josephine Moon sets a story on the Ghan… don’t interrupt me until Monday please.
The Jam Queens transported me away, with its vivid settings, including the Ghan, and the complex relationships between the characters. Once again, Moon has delivered a cast of likeable and relatable female characters who you feel like you know by the end of the novel, and who you miss as you close the cover for the final time. They bring their share of drama and secrets to the tale, but ultimately this really is a sweet and soulful story about women being there for each other through the stickiest situations.
The Jam Queens celebrates the joys and sorrows of life, and reveals the essential ingredients of the true recipe for happiness. And of course, as she always does, Josephine adds food, this time weaving jam into the very tapestry of this delicious read.