Title // White Gum Creek
Author // Nicole Hurley-Moore
Publication Date // January 2018
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Readership // Adult
Genre // Fiction
Australian RRP // $29.99
Rating // ✭✭✭✭☆
I received a copy of White Gum Creek from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A romantic and uplifting tale about two people haunted by their pasts, played out against an authentically vivid rural backdrop.
A rural romance with plenty of heart
Nick Langtree has lived reclusively on his farm, Winters Hill, ever since the tragic death of his wife. On the occasional trip into nearby White Gum Creek he keeps to himself and that’s the way he likes it. And though over the last six years the townsfolk have tried to reach out to Nick, he’s pushed them all away.
Whenever Nick comes into the Gumnut Bakery, Natasha Duroz tries to engage him in conversation when she serves him. There’s something about him that intrigues Tash, but she’s not sure if it’s because she feels sorry for him or there’s something more.
At last encouraged by the warmth of a few old and new friends, Nick gradually begins to re-engage with the outside world. Then, suddenly some minor vandalism on his farm escalates and odd things begin to happen on Winters Hill. Is someone out to hurt Nick or have his years of solitude been playing tricks on his mind?
This entrancing novel is about overcoming heartache and loss through the power of friendship and love.
White Gum Creek is the perfect Summer read.
Nick Langree lost his wife six years earlier in a fire on his farm. Left with scars and nightmares, he’s withdrawn from society, save the occasional trip into town. Natasha Duroz runs the local bakery with her brother, and tries to reach out to Nick anytime he comes to town, but he keeps everyone at arm’s distance. She’s trying to decide if she likes him, or if she’s just trying to make sure he’s alright. As Nick slowly begins to engage with the world again, through many friends, things begin to look up for him, until a spate of strange happenings begin to occur, including vandalism on his farming property and items once belonging to his dead wife begin to turn up in odd places.
While White Gum Creek has a romance at it’s core – and it’s a lovely one, at that – it’s real strength in the idea of overcoming loss and the power of friendships. Nick has locked himself away for so long he doesn’t even really know himself – or trust himself – anymore, but others do, and frequently remind him, and there’s something so real and so human about that.
I read this in one sitting on a beautiful Summer afternoon, and I adored it. The writing is wonderful, it’s quick and easy to read and the perfect holiday or weekend book.
I gave it 4.5 stars.