Molly Jones is a horse whisperer, able to calm down and train horses that nobody else is able to get anywhere with, inJacaranda, Mandy Magro’s second novel, set in Australian farming country. Molly lost her parents at the age of six, but then at nineteen she learns she is pregnant after a one-night stand at a muster. The novel is set when Molly’s daughter Rose is six years old herself, and living with Molly and Molly’s grandparents on the family property, Jacaranda.
For Molly, life is all about family, but at times she feels like she would just be able to do it all better if she had a husband and more children to share life with. Her grandparents won’t be around forever, and Rose needs a father figure. It doesn’t help that one of the stationhands, Heath, seems to feel that he is the perfect candidate, and while Molly does not disagree, she is wary as Heath’s fiancée Jenny was Molly’s best friend before her tragic death a year ago in a farmyard accident. So when, out of the blue, Molly’s one-night-stand Mark turns up, she is torn between letting him know that he has a beautiful daughter, and thus letting Rose know who her father is, or following her heart and letting Heath step into the place he’s been eyeing for a while.
The novel is a simply written tale, of relationships and family in the Australian farming country. At times, the Aussie slang gets a bit over the top as Mandy Magro lets the idiom come thick and fast. Even I sometimes found it a struggle to understand the ocker-isms, but they do add character to what could otherwise be a fairly predictable story. If you can let yourself not get distracted by the language then you’ll find this is an easy-going read typical of the genre and won’t be at all taxing to enjoy with a mug of tea amidst the gum trees, or wherever you may find yourself.
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