Can she hold on to her dreams …?
It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place …
Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land, even if it means losing everything else …
AnneMarie has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!
AnneMarie grew up in Australia but now lives in the UK.
A wonderful insight into the hard life of an immigrant family arriving in Australia from England in the mid 19th century.
After a financial disaster, Gerald leaves England and takes his wife and two daughters to Australia to start a new life. Australia, in the mid 19th century, is an undeveloped country with endless possibilities for anyone strong enough to face such a challenging life. After obtaining land, the family moves to the bush, where they plan to start a horse-breeding farm. Daughter Pippa is the main driving force for the farm to succeed, but Australia is wholly a man’s world in those days and she faces repeated disapproval in her determination to be accepted. Thankfully her life isn’t all work, sweat, and tears, she also has laughter and love.
I love Anne-Marie Brear’s writing and I absolutely adored this book. Pippa is a woman who has been unlucky in love and has put up barriers to avoid getting hurt again. Due to her Father’s gambling the family, including her twin Sister Hilary, have debts and move from England to Australia to forge a new life.
This story focuses on the rebuilding of their lives and although the main character is Pippa (Philippa) Noble, the supporting characters such as Millie, her first friend in Australia and Chalker, a man who lusts after Pippa, are brought to life with the magnificent writing and I found it easy to love and hate characters equally.
Pippa realises that the man she loved, Grant, has never loved her and due to her stubbornness and need for revenge against Grant, she pushes away Gil, a man who is in love with her and would do anything to protect her, but will this need for revenge lead Pippa to danger?
Just like Where Dragonflies Hover, this book took me away from my sofa and due to the brilliance of the descriptive writing whisked me away to the story’s setting, with lines such as ‘overnight dew coated the grass and shimmered like thousands of diamond beads. Necklaces of wet cobwebs adorned shrubs and, on the far side of the valley, mobs of kangaroos grazed’.
I would definitely recommend this book and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you decide to read it.
From the first page I was completely drawn into this story of the Noble family. It’s 1850 and they have arrived in Australia to begin a new life. Gerald Noble is a likeable man; he dotes on his twin daughters Philippa and Hilary and is extremely tolerant of his difficult wife Esther who has fought against coming here to live. However, he’s had no option. Losing the family’s fortune due to bad investments and gambling this is his last chance to turn things around. Arriving with a loan from his cousin, he intends to purchase land and open a profitable stud.
Philippa and Hilary may be twins but their personalities are totally different. While Hilary is calm and quiet, Philippa is fearless and ambitious. She is also keen to begin her new life away from the heartbreak and rejection dealt her by a man she really loved. She persuades their father to let her accompany him on his journey to see their land for the first time. As he employs a manager (Rob Robson) to oversee his new workforce and they begin the construction of the stud he is called back to Sydney. Philippa asks to remain insisting someone from the family needs to be there. Reluctantly Gerald agrees. With her father gone she takes charge, embracing her new life with enthusiasm. Her good head for business coupled with common sense become extremely useful as she faces some challenging situations during the construction of the stud and the family home.
This is a lovely read full of great characters. The Australian outback is a wonderful backdrop for the story. It’s described in such a way that it enhances rather than intrudes into the action going on. Philippa (Pippa) is a worthy heroine. She’s tough, confident and single-minded – sometimes a little bossy – and the author puts her through an awful lot of challenges (both mental and physical) before we reach the end of the book.
Gil Ashford-Smith, the son of a neighbouring family, who Pippa meets and becomes close friends with is the quintessential hero. Desperately in love with Pippa he realises all too soon that making a success of her family’s business leaves no room for romance in her life. However, Philippa eventually discovers the path she has chosen, while making her wealthy, won’t bring her love or happiness. But has she left it too late to find those things with Gil?
A fabulous romantic saga. I absolutely loved it!