Source- My TBR pile
Publisher- Penguin Australia
Publication date- 2009
Synopsis- Isabelle Simpson longs to take over the family farm, but her ailing father is locked in a tragedy of the past and won’t give her the chance she deserves. The stand-off between them threatens to tear the family apart.
Izzy decides to break free and make a new start for herself — even though that means leaving the handsome Will Timmins and all her mixed emotions about him behind.
But when hardship falls on the farm again, Izzy returns with an even greater determination to resolve the family feud. As she gathers with her friends in the close community under the shade of the gum-tree tavern, confessions are made, long-held secrets are revealed and hearts are set free.
Set under the blazing blue skies and in the golden wheatfields of Western Australia, this is a colourful story of family life on the land, and a heartwarming romance about finding true love and following your dreams.
Review- Isabelle (Izzy) Simpson returns home to her family farm in WA with the hope of convincing her father to let her take over it, but he is quite adamant that a woman’s place is not working on the farm. The death of her older sister Claire, several years prior has caused a rift between Izzy and her father as he tries to protect her from harm, but in doing so holds her back from fulfilling her dreams.
Not only does she return to work with her stubborn father but she must also confront a long-standing grudge with her teenage crush, Will Timmins. The young bloke who has grown into a man in the years she’s been absent but in her eyes is still the flirtatious, careless mate she left behind. Living on adjacent properties they grew up together, Izzy as the younger sister tagalong while Claire and Will were best mates. Now she’s returned and Will realises she’s not that little kid sister anymore, but a grown, beautiful woman and he struggles to make sense of their past and present.
Izzy is strong-willed, hard-working and determined to make a life for herself on the land, whether her father agrees to it or not. When he is injured in a fire on the property and hospitalised for several weeks, Izzy takes the opportunity to prove to her father that she can run the farm all on her own- even though she’s a woman. Unknowingly he leaves Will in charge of the property which infuriates Izzy further and requires that they work together despite their differences.
A growing attraction between Will and Izzy challenges their beliefs about each other, the past and the chance of a future together. A string of events bring them together but the feud with her father ultimately drives them apart and Izzy runs away to start afresh, leaving behind Will to pick up the pieces of her fragile family.
I loved The Family Farm, Will and Izzy are great characters who have individual conflicts that make them vulnerable to deepening their newfound friendship into something more serious. Both are insecure in their own ways, fearful of losing their friendship and this gets in the way of them making any real headway and revealing their true feelings. Izzy is an admirable protagonist, with a clear vision about her future and isn’t willing to let anyone get in the way of it.
Another fantastic addition to the Australian rural romance genre. I’ve also read The Road Home by Fiona Palmer and enjoyed this too so I will be tracking down her other novel, Heart of Gold.
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About the author: Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three-and-a-half hours south-west of Perth. She has extensive farming experience, does the local mail run, and was a speedway-racing driver for seven years. She is the author of three novels, The Family Farm, Heart of Gold and The Road Home.
More titles by Fiona Palmer:
This book was read as part of the these two 2012 challenges: