The Bark Cutters, Nicole Alexander

| 16 April , 2010 | Reply

Andrea Parks

The Gordon family is made up of four generations of Australian landowners who have worked hard to win and maintain their farm, Wangallon, the land that sustains them. The Bark Cutters by Nicole Alexander is the story of modern-day Sarah and her great-grandfather, Hamish, who created the legacy.

It is obvious from the beginning, even as a teenager, that Sarah Gordon has the skills and drive needed to run the family property, Wangallon. It is clearly what she is meant to do – though no one else sees it, including Sarah. In particular, Angus Gordon, Sarah\’s stubborn, old-fashioned grandfather doesn\’t make the connection and he owns and runs the place. Sarah is not even being considered for the position, mostly because she is a girl. It\’s the 80\’s, her grandfather is old fashioned and expects her older brother, Cameron, to take his place.  His own son, Ronald, chooses not to take over the “throne” for a variety of reasons, one of which is his wife, Sue.

Angus, the grandfather is a wiley old man who has successfully managed Wangallon for forty years.  To keep his land and his family together, he has a loosely-crafted plan that hinges on Sarah falling in love with Anthony, a skilled jackeroo he hand-picks for the position.  But life, as usual, has other plans.  Tragic loss compels Sarah to make other choices for herself, and Anthony does the same. Both however, have a shared love for Wangallon.  The story follows the trail Sarah takes from Sydney to Scotland and back again until she learns what Wangallon – and all that comes with it – means to her.

That\’s the present day part of the Gordon family saga. The story of Wangallon begins in Scotland with young Hamish Gordon. His wounded soul and adventurous spirit lead him to Australia. Through hard work, old world cunning and new world rules, he and his unwilling wife Rose pull themselves from poor, working class to wealthy landowner in the New South Wales bush.

The Bark Cutters is an engaging saga of pioneers in a new land. It\’s a romantic story about the choices we make and those made by our hearts. Both a historical account and modern love story, it\’s the kind of book you can curl up with on a cosy Saturday.

Available now:  Random House RRP$32.95

Andrea

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