Your Preview Verdict: Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

Your Preview Verdict: Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

The highly original and heartfelt new novel from the author of The Sparkle Pages.

Long past its heyday and deep in drought, the riverside hamlet of Nowhere River is slowly fading into a ghost town. It’s a place populated by those who are beholden to it, those who were born to it and those who took a wrong turn while trying to go somewhere else.

City-born Carra married into Nowhere River, Lucie was brought to it by tragedy, Josie is root-bound and Florence knows nowhere else. All of them, though familiar with every inch of their tiny hometown, are as lost as the place itself.

The town’s social cornerstone – St Margery’s Ladies’ Club – launches a rescue plan that turns everything around and upside down, then shakes it until all sorts of things come floating to the surface. And none of its inhabitants will ever be the same again.

This is the highly original and heartfelt story of a place where everybody knows everything, but no one really knows anyone at all. Brimming with heart and humour, this is a delightful novel that celebrates the country people and towns of Australia.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

Nowhere River is a country town located in the Tasmanian Central Highlands. Caroline (Carra) is the newest resident of Nowhere River after she marries the local doctor, Duncan. Carra finds herself stuck at home with twin babies and starts to doubt her relationship and decision to move away from Hobart. Deep in a drought, Nowhere River’s eccentric townspeople are also struggling with there own ups and downs. Duncan’s family are still haunted by the disappearance of his sister many years before and Carra’s friend Josie struggles to keep her family farm afloat. Can the community pull together to keep the crumbling town alive? With thanks to Better Reading for my ARC of Meg Bignell’s novel. – Sharah, QLD, 5 Stars

Having grown up in a small regional community, the setting, the community politics and gallery of characters, old and young, eccentric and conservative, newly arrived and there for generations, evoked feelings of familiarity and nostalgia in me. For those who have not experienced living in a small regional community, this is your opportunity to enjoy, vicariously, the lives of the citizens of Nowhere River, and the omnipresent river flowing through their valley. The pathos imbued in Meg Bignell’s writing will have you laughing one minute, tearful in places, and experiencing a multitude of feelings in between, as you journey with them, as they navigate the challenges and paradoxes of their relationships with each other, life events and the environment around them. Each striving to make sense of their lot in life while discovering what they must do to fit in and to live fulfilled lives. As a wife and mother, I could identify with moments in a number of character’s lives; young, middle-aged and aging. While the plot flows around the Finlay family, the many facets of Nowhere River’s populace, cleverly inserted into the plot as personal vignettes, reflections, which are a project in progress, undertaken by Lucie Finlay, to record the oral history of all locals. Focusing on rebuilding their small community, reviving the local show becomes a uniting project. Which in spite of the personal, natural and community challenges they encounter, their resilience carries them through, opening up a new sense of belonging, self-awareness and purpose in some. Carra Finlay best summed up the feeling I took away from Welcome to Nowhere River, when she says to her mother-in-law Lucie, at the Nowhere River Show, “I don’t think anyone on this wall is nowhere… because you put them somewhere.” – Neil, NSW, 5 Stars

I knew I was going to enjoy this story only after reading the first few pages. It’s set in Nowhere River in Tasmania, a small country town that’s going nowhere until competition and a 16-year-old girl puts them on the map. It sounds like a place I’d like to live. The characters range from bogans to governors, if you don’t find someone in this book you can relate to you must be an alien. Meg has a way of making you fall in love with them all. I loved the individual character stories at the end of each chapter, it summed the people up nicely. I don’t really read “contemporary romance” and after reading this book it felt more “uplit” genre to me, I loved it and I didn’t want it to end. I’d recommend this book to anyone that wants a bit of a lift. It’s warm and funny, which is sometimes hard to do both justice, but Meg has done it well. – Donna, NSW, 5 Stars

An emotional roller-coaster! At times sweet, haunting, happy, sad, funny and everything in-between. A fantastic portrayal of Carra of how we can lose who we are when we become mothers and how hard it can be to see the light. Lucie was also very well written with her quiet strength to continue life after the devastation of losing her daughter. A great tale of life in a sleepy country town trying to wake back up. – Kristen, NSW, 5 Stars

The main female ‘Carra’ is written so that you quickly form an image of her, and you can hear her voice through the Australian language used. The way the town’s culture has been expressed is done with amazing knowledge of the ‘small town mindset’. The interaction between the different local figures are well rounded and the inclusion of the importance of the animals within the community is well articulated.
The ups and downs of day to day life, with the Australian language, is a refreshing read. This is a book that you can read over and over and find different messages and meanings each time. – Valesha, SA, 5 Stars

Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to read Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell. What a wonderful story that took you into their community and explore their characters. A small town full of very different characters likeable and unlikeable that keep a community together. At times it was heartwarming and at others great heartbreaking. Highly recommend!! Now I’m going looking for The Sparkle Pages. – Judy, NSW, 5 Stars

I loved this book and was sad to finish it, having gotten to know the characters as they experience the emotion of the ups and downs that life brings. It is a heartfelt story about a quintessential Australian country town, its people and the land. The story covers topics such as flood, drought, and how the town comes together with ideas put in place to encourage population growth, which may be dwindling and reinvigorate the area. The storyline moves along, quite funny at times with the added Aussie slang and humour throughout. There are also sad moments, as it raises tricky issues such as parenting, postnatal depression, relationships, feminism, and the death of a family member. All of which are handled in a gentle manner and appropriate to the story. The storyline takes some dramatic twists and turns, further engaging the reader and increasing the connection to the characters. There are all ages represented in the town, particularly seniors, who share their view of town life. I enjoyed the diary-like excerpts, snippets of characters in the town. All in all, an enjoyable book. – Alyssa, VIC, 5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Welcome To Nowhere River’ from the minute I started reading and meeting all the characters.
Nowhere River’ set in (fictional) central highlands of Tasmania. We all know small townships stick together and have many a tale to tell and this town has plenty. I could relate to Carra, a mum (of twins), a wife and community leader, her husband the local Doctor. There is that mystery of the in-laws. I fell in love the spirit of St Margery’s Ladies’ Club and their roll in the community by running the local weddings and funerals (gnomes and all), town shows, competitions like finding ‘Miss Fresh and Lovely’. Lucie (mother-in-law), Flo and Josie and dear old Cliffity and his Ferrets and Father John became my friends. I know these characters in real life. I love this Nowhere River and its people where they share their daily lives intertwined by helping each other out and having opinions and feeling shared by this small-town community. I had a few laughs and loved the Aussie slang (stones humming) and the face pulling and tongue in cheek comments throughout the read. You will find little interviews of the townsfolk throughout the chapters they are interesting. A fun read indeed! I would recommend this book as a book club read. Makes you want to visit Tasmania! – Lz, NSW, 5 Stars

What starts off as easy. light-hearted read weaves itself into a story that draws you into a town full of individual characters that come together to create a community. I loved it! – Kay, QLD, 5 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell is a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. Its the story of Carra Findlay, new mum to twins, married to the local doctor and living in the small town her Husband grew up in. A small town with a big history, but not a forward-looking future. Until, that is, plans are set in motion to revitalise the town. The characters in this book are easy to like and you find yourself empathising with them and their trials and tribulations. If you are looking for a lovely, enjoyable feel-good read, this is it! – Leigh, VIC, 5 Stars

What lovely images of outback Australia popped into my head while reading this story & because of the detail the author describes particular things such as the river & the surrounds. Wow, the ending! Without spoiling it for anyone, I did not see that coming! I was close to tears! – Melanie, VIC, 5 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River – a small-town community, in the Tasmanian Central Highlands, facing the harsh elements of nature. Each individual is dealing with their own personal challenges such as Carra coping with the emotional rollercoaster and self-doubt a young mother of twins experiences; local farmer, Josie, balancing family, community and drought-ravaged farm life; Lucie, pillar of the community, dealing with her own family tragedy and young Florence who is trying to rise above schoolyard bullying while completing her studies. It is a charmingly warm and uplifting story of individuals while resolving their own inner demons, can still work together and save the spirit and prosperity of their treasured community. – Karen, NSW, 5 Stars

Oh, how I loved this book! The main character, Carra, was brave, strong and wise well beyond her years. The many other characters in enticing Nowhere River were all charming in there own way and (as is often the way in small towns!) had personality on steroids. Even the quiet types seemed amplified with pure honesty in abundance. Towards the end, I found myself laughing out loud and the next page I had a tear smudge the page. The suspense was definitely there and found myself reading quickly to see how all things could be resolved. I was left with warm fuzzy feelings and a longing to read lots more from Meg. – Faye, QLD, 5 Stars

When Carra married Duncan, Nowhere River’s favourite son, she thought that she had finally found somewhere to belong. With the fairy-tale wedding behind her, she finds life as a small-town Doctor’s wife with 10-month-old twins is not as perfect as everyone assumes. Carra is lonely and overwhelmed, her husband is always busy, and she’s too embarrassed to admit that she isn’t coping and ask for help. However, she isn’t the only one feeling lost. The town is dying as the drought lingers on and people move away to find work. But then a competition is announced to find Miss Fresh and Lovely. Designed to revive Nowhere River through Community Works, it brings out people’s competitive side, causing quite some drama before ultimately bringing the town together. Scattered throughout the book are snippets from interviews of the town’s many characters. At first, I found them distracting, but then grew to love them. They brought a lovely comedic touch to the story. I also really enjoyed the old Australian slang, which you don’t hear so much of these days. I found myself crying and laughing throughout this book. Well worth a read. – Jenny, NSW, 4 Stars

I enjoyed the chance to review my first Meg Bignell book and have since bought her debut book to devour later. Although her genre is different to my normal choice of novels, I found Welcome to Nowhere River refreshingly different and a good rollicking read with plenty of humour and old fashioned sayings that I haven’t heard for decades and brought back memories of lovely elderly people who are long gone. Her description of the characters and their peculiarities made me smile and remember how life in a small rural area used to be and hope maybe remains in some small towns today. – Diane, VIC, 4 Stars

A look into the life and moments of the quiet country Tasmanian town of Nowhere River which is teetering on the brink of abandonment and only held together by the few remaining inhabitants in a mixture of past memories and future attempt to revitalise the town they both love and hate. All in all a pretty good read with lots of character types and those silly moments that install themselves into local lore likes and dislikes as well as examples of how to maintain hope is often the key to a better life. The story is based around the recollections of the town’s people many of which are brought to us through a competition to try to find ways to heal the community as well as the town itself. A cleverly written story that I found quite enlightening and full of gasps of exasperation punctuated by cleverly, jocular moments that often had me quietly giggling to myself. So many of the characters are for me, very relatable and breathe fresh air into many of my own personal memories of growing up in quiet, country towns that often faced similar dilemmas. A brilliant book that due to its need to instil life into the characters does feel like it is going to be a slow, slog to read but perseverance will open a story that you will both enjoy and love to talk to others about. – Mick, SA, 4 Stars

This story set in a fictional, country town in Tasmania, is an easy read but has a few twists in it to surprise the reader and keeping the lovable characters growing in life. The plot revolves around the main character, Carra who is married to the local doctor, after moving to Nowhere River from a big city and a promising career. Now married with twin babies to keep her from her dreams and sanity, Carra, assists with a town project which highlights the quaint, funny and stoic local inhabitants, some of whom we would recognize ourselves if we have ever lived in a small town. From the amusing, predictable local gossip to the strength of care from the town people, who deeply love their town, Nowhere River gives an insight into small-town goings-on. And the struggle to keep them alive and vibrant, for the next generations. The description of the town buildings and the surrounding scenery is authentic and believable. The ending is quite unexpected but thought-provoking. A delightful read. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book before its release to the public. – Glenmay, VIC, 4 Stars

Tasmania! Anyone who’s been there knows about its beauty and intrigue and anyone who hasn’t will want to experience it after this book. The book itself isn’t about Tasmania, but the characters in a small (fictional) town in Tasmania, but some of the imagery of the area and small towns is spot on. Carra, an outsider, struggles to settle in, feeling lonely and abandoned as her husband is always busy. She is the main character. We learn about other characters from interviews, which is a good way to introduce them without too much backstory. The town itself isn’t thriving and a competition is established to see what can be done to revitalise it – with a cash incentive to help! I wasn’t expecting the mystery that’s also a part of a novel about fitting in, friendship, new families and small towns. At times I laughed out loud, other times I almost cried and felt like I was reliving certain times of my life. Relatable and an easy read, that kept me turning the pages right to the end. – Kerrie, NSW, 4 Stars

Thank you to Better Reading for a preview copy of this book to review. Welcome to Nowhere River is not normally a book I would pick up to read but I’m so glad I did! Set in a small, country town in Tasmania suffering from drought, the entertaining characters really make this book. Their stories which provide the background to the main storylines are warm, witty and really make this little Aussie town so likeable. I really enjoyed this heartfelt and joyful book and am already missing the colourful characters of Nowhere River! – Lisa, QLD, 4 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River – a small town with big characters. As eccentric and unconventional as many of them are, they are all intensely human. We have city-born Carra, who moves to Nowhere River to start a family with her doctor husband. Like so many new mums, her identity is lost in the chaos that is sleep deprivation, crying babies, dirty nappies and basic survival, except she soon decides this is no way to live. Then there’s her mother-in-law Lucie, a pillar of the local community, whose grief over her missing daughter unexpectedly overtakes her, with consequences that reverberate. We also meet Sergeant D, the attractive police officer who has returned to the town where her heart was broken; and Flo, the bullied teenager with a wild streak who makes it her mission to bring the townsfolk together. When the affluent and proud Patricia, head of the local ladies club, offers $100,000 to the woman who comes up with a winning rescue plan to reinvigorate the small town, imaginations are captured and competitive spirits are fired up. But will her initiative divide the community forever or will it bring about the unity they all desire? One thing is for sure, none of them will be the same again. This is an original and enjoyable story that anyone from the country will warmly relate to. – Eynas, SA, 4 Stars

This was a lovely story, telling the tale of the various residents of the sleepy Tasmanian town of Nowhere River. There is a variety of the characters typical of a small town, and their stories are woven together with a background of a contest being run to revitalize the town. It is an easy reading story, worth a read for a book that doesn’t require too much concentration. – Karen, VIC, 4 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River is a delight. I loved travelling to central Tasmania to meet such an eclectic mix of people – good, bad and ugly. Carra is married to the town’s doctor and struggling with twin babies. Her mother-in-law, Lucie, is haunted by her own tragedy many years ago. Josie and her daughter, Florence, also have challenges to face. All are stuck and looking for a way out of their situations and/or the town. When St Margery’s Ladies’ Club launches a contest to rejuvenate a very tired old town and find “Miss Fresh and Lovely”, the locals come up with wide-ranging proposals reflecting their own personalities and interests. From gold rubbish bins to revamped gardens and Carra’s “horticulture” initiative, Florence’s efforts to bring back the Nowhere River Show reinvigorates the whole town and despite the drought-breaking on the day of the opening is a fantastic success. In a town where people think they know their friends and neighbours, there are lots of secrets too. Extracts from Lucie’s “Nowhere People” oral history project are scattered throughout the novel giving insight into the many characters, young and old, in their own voices and enriching the story as a whole. – Sarah, NSW, 4 Stars

This book captured me. I love the way the local town characters’ personalities were described as the chapters unfolded. An enjoyable read with an unexpected but thoughtful ending. – Amanda, QLD, 4 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River is a beautiful Australian book. The story is about a small Australian town in the grips of a terrible drought and the town has become a ghost town. However, the towns Ladies Club take it upon themselves to launch a rescue plan to revive the town, however, things will never be the same again. – Heather, NSW, 4 Stars

Absolutely loved welcome to nowhere river, so beautifully written with interwoven stories of life, love and people longing to find their true selves. – Deanne, VIC, 4 Stars

Thank you for my free copy. I really enjoyed Welcome to Nowhere River. It took me a chapter or two to work out who was who and how the characters related to one another but once I did I enjoyed the ride of getting to know the inhabitants of Nowhere River. The character bites at the end of each chapter were great to get to know everyone, learn what makes them tick and how they’re really going. My favourite person was Cliffy with his ferrets and gnomes followed closely by Flo. Nowhere River is well written and flows along nicely which makes for a great enjoyable read full of heart, hope, sad and funny moments. Loved how realistic life in a small country town with its ups and downs is depicted. The book gets better with each page. Highly recommend. – Simone, WA, 4 Stars

People always say that everyone knows everything about everyone else in a small country town, but when the president of St Margery’s Ladies’ Club Mrs Patricia Montgomery decides to hold a Miss Fresh and Lovely competition to improve the community standing, all sorts of unknown and unexpected things bubble to the surface. Nowhere River has a fabulous cast of characters, the dishy doctor, the heartbroken police officer, the fraught mother of young twins, the farming family dealing with drought and a life-threatening incident, residents at the aged care home—including ferrets and gnomes, grieving parents of a child who vanished thirty years ago, and grumpy shop owners, to name but a few. As you read this tale, interspersed with snippets about themselves from each inhabitant, there will be laughter and there will be sorrow, but at the end of it all there is community, and as Meg Bignell states “If we never get lost, we can never be found.” Welcome to Nowhere River will leave you with a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction of a story well told. – Marcia, SA, 4 Stars

Thank you to Better Reading and Penguin Random House, Australia, for an ARC of this book by Aussie author, Meg Bignell. I so enjoyed that this book was set in Tasmania, in a small rural town in the Central Highlands. My husband and I have holidayed in Tassie twice and really love the place. “Welcome to Nowhere River, the small town with big dreams”. The author described this town with much detail and I could really picture it in my mind’s eye, and imagine I was actually there witnessing the events of the novel unfold. I liked the author drawing me in so that I became attached to Nowhere River and also to its population of wonderful characters. As in any community, there were inevitable personality clashes, and some of the characters were not always lovable, but they were always realistic. I also really liked the way, at other times, the townspeople seemed to work together as a team to try and make sure that their town did not die out but adapted to change. Most of the chapters ended with the short interviews that were conducted as part of Lucie’s “Nowhere People Stories” and I enjoyed reading them. They were such a diverse and unique blend of people. The book had some quite funny moments, and I found myself chuckling away as I read – yet a few minutes later I would be on the brink of tears at some of the situations the various book characters had to contend with. Along with some unexpected twists, this made me want to keep reading to find out how things would end up. The ending which was revealed in the author’s epilogue was different to how I thought it would be, but it was realistic in terms of the lost character of Carra truly finding herself and moving on with her life. If you are looking for a comfortable, relaxing read then I recommend this book to you. I gave the book 4 stars. – Ruth, WA, 4 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River is a fun read about small-town living. Nowhere River is a town that’s slowly becoming more like a ghost town. The residents love the town though so the local women’s club decides to have a competition to try and reinvigorate the town. Carra has moved there to be with her doctor husband and is struggling to cope with twins and the move to a small town. Carra is just one of the many locals we meet. I really love stories set in small country towns as you always find such fun characters that are always entertaining. And this book introduces these stories in a clever way through competition entries throughout the book. This is a book that brings joy but also hits you in the heart. I can relate to so many of these characters. Thanks for the chance to read this book. – Kylie, VIC, 4 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River — a sleepy little riverside town that’s been all but forgotten — but look closer and you’ll find it’s brimming with eccentric, quirky, totally unforgettable characters. Meg Bignell’s second novel will captivate your imagination, melt your heart and immerse you into a disarmingly charming town filled with big love, big dreams and plenty of community spirit. Nowhere River is drought-stricken and fast becoming nothing more than a mere whisper in the parched landscape. The locals are tired and lost, unable to rediscover their purpose nor their way back to the bustling prosperity of the town’s heyday. Carra Finlay is lost too. She finds herself married into the town by way of everyone’s favourite local-made-good hero, Dr Duncan Finlay. But St Margery’s Ladies’ Club is about to change everything, and the locals will never be the same again… The exquisitely crafted characters have voices soaring with clever, witty individuality and unique personalities that will make you laugh, cry, scoff and praise as the story unfolds. The gorgeous prose sings with the romantic nostalgia born of a love for small country towns and their locals. Welcome to Nowhere River awaits with open arms and home-baked adventures. – Linda, QLD, 4 Stars

“Welcome to Nowhere River” is set in a country town, “somewhere” in Tasmania – like most country towns in Australia at some time, struggling to keep their community spirit alive while battling the ravages of drought. While a little slow to start, as we meet the inhabitants of Nowhere River, we are soon drawn into the various threads within the book; Carra’s battle of being a mum of twin babies while married to the town’s dishy doctor, Lucie’s plans, as head (perhaps self-appointed?) of the local ladies club, to revitalise the town by funding a competition within the club, and the various ideas that the townsfolk come up with to save their precious town – all ring very true of the dilemmas faced by country towns fighting for their existence. Throw in the thread of mystery and tragedy surrounding the Finlay family, and an ending that you would never have guessed, and you are captivated right to the last page turn. – Jane, NSW, 4 Stars

So, a book about Nowhere River – how could there be much of a story in a place where nothing much ever happens. Well as you cruise through the chapters, you remove the layers of this little Tasmanian country town and those of its characters and there is definitely more than meets the initial eye. Townsfolk in Nowhere River have a story tell and when the town matriarch, Patricia, announces the ‘Miss Fresh and Lovely” competition the secrets start to surface. Carra a young mum to 2 little ones came to be in the town when she married Duncan, the local doctor and Demi-god to the people who live there. Lucie ends up in the town due to a tragedy that she just can’t get past, farming girls Josie and Flo were born into the place. As the competition heats up, the ladies begin to find out more about each other and more and more about themselves. This was a lovely read, covering love, heartache and joy and I felt drawn in and comfortable as the story unfolded in front of me. It was an easy reading Australian story that could very well be happening in the country town near you. – Suzie, WA, 4 Stars

A book to get totally lost in, easy reading and warmth from beginning to end, everyone should visit Nowhere River to feel belonging. – Lynette, NSW, 3 Stars

Meg Bignell effectively recreates life in a small rural country town not far from Hobart. The range of characters – old and young, men and women, farmers and townspeople, ordinary and quirky- all confront various problems or secrets in the town of Nowhere. As the townspeople cooperate to bring back the Agricultural Show the reader is drawn into supporting their efforts. It is rewarding to see the teenage Flo take on such a mammoth task coordinating the Show. Issues in contemporary society such as drought, loneliness, post-natal depression, loss, ageing, the shortage of employment in rural areas especially for the young, the problems for rural doctors and others confront the many characters. Each chapter ends with a short monologue by one of the many inhabitants of the community enabling the reader to meet so many varied characters. Carra, Lucie, Len, Josie, Patricia are effectively created but a disappointment is Duncan who never really comes to life. Bignall ensures there are light-hearted moments to balance the more serious aspects of life in Nowhere! – Frances, NSW, 3 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed Welcome to Nowhere River. It was an enjoyable and feel-good read. The characters were likeable and varied. You will find someone in this book that you can relate to. Overall a great story that’s well worth the read. – Natalie, NSW, 3 Stars

Nowhere River is a town well past its prime looking ahead to an uncertain future. The St Margery’s Ladies’ Club, once the social hub of the community but now facing dwindling membership, sets in motion a rehabilitation plan to revive the town but the rescue plan brings with it unintended consequences for the town as it both shakes things up and knits together the stories of the women who reside in this unassuming place. The character of overwhelmed new mum and Nowhere outsider Carra, her mother in law Lucie, farmer friend Josie and her teen daughter Flo are women experiencing the things that most of us will at some time in our lives from love, grief, loneliness, parenting worries and trying to define who are we are and our place in the world. Meg Bignell’s ‘Welcome to Nowhere River’ is a heartwarming and humorous read with relatable characters that you grow to care for. – Marie, ACT, 3 Stars

Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell I was really intrigued by this book, sounded right up my alley of Australian stories by an Australian author. The story takes place in a small town, located in Tasmania but in reality, could be in any small town in Australia in the present day. The book started reasonably slow for me, took a while to get into the flow of the story. The main characters, Carra, Duncan and his parent, Lucie and Len were very likeable people each with their own backstories. I felt these stories could have been delved into further, but it did not detract from the main thread of the story overall. I was certainly wanting to know what was to become of the characters in the end. The theme is like many books I have read before but with its own individual writing style, the snapshots of different characters at the end of each chapter were interesting but some felt quite random at times. The different stories of the townspeople were easily relatable to many small towns and were catchy as was the language used, quirky and quaint. This made it humorous and melancholy at times. Overall, this was a pleasant, easy read and would recommend for anyone wanting an easy read about life and its intricacies in small-town Australia. – Gillian, QLD, 3 Star

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but the more I read, the more I was hooked. The story is built around the cast of colourful characters, driven by the community it was set in. A lot is going on in this backwater little town, the characters individual stories intertwined to create a story of hope, grief, loving and acceptance. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments, very real situations that make you think and scenarios that brought a tear to the eye. The Aussie-ness of it is undeniable and I just loved the cover artwork. – Belinda, VIC, 3 Stars

Delightful from beginning to end with a touch of misery. Made me smile & touched my heart. St Margery’s ladies club endeavours to save the town. I was reminded of *The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle* which also explore life’s challenges in a small town. – Annie, NSW, 3 Stars

Lots of characters in this book, male and female. It is typical of a small country town where everybody knows all in the town and they know everything about each other. Carra marries into the town; Sgt D comes back to the town and her first love; the old people are still there after many years. At times it is sad when a little girl goes missing. Her mother always feels her close by. Her father wants to forget all about her. A contest in the town revives old memories of the town from years gone by, and the local show is revived. A flood hits the town on the day of the show and some mysteries are unveiled. Friendships die off and are then revived. An interesting read interweaving the lives of the people in the town into the storyline. Not my favourite read, but still an interesting read. Cannot put it into a particular genre though. – Glenice, VIC, 3 Stars

This held my attention from the first pages wherein we are introduced to Carra who is drowning in the never-ending river of her twin babies demands. We go on to meet the mostly likeable characters of “Nowhere River” as they undertake to revitalise the town through a variety of initiatives provoking some laugh out loud moments I did enjoy Lucie’s Nowhere People Stories which provided a great insight into many of the incidental, fun, characters. An intriguing 30-year-old mystery, involving Carra’s in-laws, runs throughout the storyline. I have to say the ending was unexpected but I ultimately gave “Welcome to Nowhere River” 3.5 stars. – Sue, NSW, 3 Stars

A terrific book for insomnia. This novel has been one of the most boring books I have ever read. The blurb excited me and filled me with anticipation of a good read but left me dreading each time I picked it up. Perfect for sleepless nights, certainly guaranteed to have you in deep sleep after reading half a page. – Diane, SA, 1 Star

It was very hard to get into this book, I had to force myself to read it, there were too many characters, too much going on. Sorry but I could not recommend it. – Kathleen, NSW, 1 Star


Brimming with Heart and Humour: Read an Extract from Welcome to Nowhere River

Review | Extract

2 March 2021

Brimming with Heart and Humour: Read an Extract from Welcome to Nowhere River

    A Small Town with Big Dreams: Read our Review of Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

    Review | Our Review

    1 March 2021

    A Small Town with Big Dreams: Read our Review of Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

      Author of Welcome to Nowhere River Meg Bignell Shares Her Many Inspirations

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      1 March 2021

      Author of Welcome to Nowhere River Meg Bignell Shares Her Many Inspirations

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              20 May 2019

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                To Discard it Would be Rude: Meg Bignell, Author of The Sparkle Pages, Writes About Her Attachment to Her First Library Card


                20 May 2019

                To Discard it Would be Rude: Meg Bignell, Author of The Sparkle Pages, Writes About Her Attachment to Her First Library Card

                  Publisher details

                  Welcome To Nowhere River
                  Meg Bignell
                  02 March, 2021


                  The highly original and heartfelt new novel from the author of The Sparkle Pages. Long past its heyday and deep in drought, the riverside hamlet of Nowhere River is slowly fading into a ghost town. It’s a place populated by those who are beholden to it, those who were born to it and those who took a wrong turn while trying to go somewhere else. City-born Carra married into Nowhere River, Lucie was brought to it by tragedy, Josie is root-bound and Florence knows nowhere else. All of them, though familiar with every inch of their tiny hometown, are as lost as the place itself. The town’s social cornerstone — St Margery’s Ladies’ Club — launches a rescue plan that turns everything around and upside down, then shakes it until all sorts of things come floating to the surface. And none of its inhabitants will ever be the same again. This is the highly original and heartfelt story of a place where everybody knows everything, but no one really knows anyone at all. Brimming with heart and humour, this is a delightful novel that celebrates the country people and towns of Australia.
                  Meg Bignell
                  About the author

                  Meg Bignell

                  Meg Bignell was a nurse and a weather presenter on the telly before she surrendered to a persistent desire to write. Since then she has been writing almost every day – bits and pieces here and there, either to earn a crust, to get something off her chest or to entertain herself. She has written three short films, mostly because she wanted to do some acting and no one else would cast her. She sings a bit too, occasionally writes and performs cabaret, but is mostly very busy being a mother to three and a wife (to one). She lives with her family on a dairy farm on Tasmania’s East Coast. She is the author of The Sparkle Pages.

                  Books by Meg Bignell


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