Aussie Book Review: Brumby’s Run by Jennifer Scoullar

Brumby's Run Jennifer Scoullar- Brumby’s Run

 Format- ebook

 Source- Review copy/ netgalley

 Publisher- Penguin Australia

 Publication date- 2nd July 2012

 Synopsis- Brumby’s Run tells the story of Samantha Carmichael, a young woman whose life is turned upside down when she discovers she was adopted – and that she has a twin sister, who is now critically ill. With little warning, Sam finds herself looking after her newfound sister’s farm, high in the Victorian Alps. What starts as a daunting challenge soon becomes a wholehearted tree change, as Sam grows to love the property and the locals – especially handsome mountain cattleman Drew Chandler. But is Sam’s sister ready to really accept her into her life? And can Sam truly leave the city behind?

 Review- Another wonderful addition to the Australian rural romance genre by author Jennifer Scoullar who debuts in this category. Brumby’s Run is a story characterised by family secrets, relationships, growth and passion and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Samantha Carmichael is eighteen, loves horses, and has a strained relationship with her perfectionistic mother and her father who spends most of his time abroad. Life is going along as usual when her mother drops the bombshell that she is adopted and has a twin sister Charlie, who remained with their biological mother when they were born. Not only does Sam have a sister she never knew about but Charlie is sick with leukaemia and Sam may be the only person who can save her.

Within twenty-four hours of her life being turned upside down, she is travelling to the Hospital to undergo tests to see whether she is a good match to help her sister. She takes the opportunity to make up for lost time with her vivacious but fragile sister and her unpredictable, hippy biological mother. When Sam declines an invitation to go to France with her mother for the month, they are driven further apart and Sam is further drawn to the family she never knew.

Charlie grew up with her mother on Brumby’s Run, a small run-down farm in a community where both of the women have a poor reputation and are outsiders. Sam, desperate to leave her old life behind for a while accepts Charlie’s offer of looking after Brumby’s Run while she moves into an apartment with her mother and undertakes her recovery.

Sam immediately falls in love with the property and also with the handsome neighbour, Drew Chandler who helps her get the farm back in working order for Charlie’s return. It seems Drew and Charlie’s ex-lover Spike are the only two people in the whole town who really know who Sam is. It’s seemingly easier to allow the town folk to think she is really Charlie rather than explain the real odd story for her arrival. Charlie wants her illness kept a secret, but as Sam begins to find comfort in the identity of Charlie she risks making a mess of her newfound sibling relationship. Especially when she learns of Drew and Charlie’s history.

What stands out for me about Brumby’s Run is the clear passion of the main characters for horses, namely Brumby’s. Charlie, Sam , Drew and even Spike love horses and much of the plot is around helping, working and taming horses alongside all the relationship issues and conflict in the story.

Sam and Charlie are likeable characters, I particularly related to Sam who seems to grow from a naïve city girl to a hard-working woman of the country. It took a little longer for me to get to know Charlie which makes sense given her dysfunctional upbringing and entrenched defences in close relationships. I wasn’t sure if I could trust her at first, worried that she may hurt Sam, but eventually she became more open as a character, her barriers wearing down and she matured.

Drew is a great love interest and it was interesting to experience his perceptions of the twins who are identical in appearance but very different in temperament. There are plenty of challenges for Sam and Drew to overcome to find a trusting medium in their relationship and I enjoyed seeing this grow. Although there were times when I just wanted Sam to come clean and talk about her concerns rather than just avoiding it for several weeks. But it all worked out in the end and I really recommend Brumby’s Run to any Aussie rural lit fans out there.

4/5 rating

 

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK

This book was read as part of the AWW2012 challenge:

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10 comments

  1. I enjoyed this one too – I blame a lot of these rural lits for my growing desire to have a house on a bit of land! And the horses…I’ve always wanted a horse and these books keep reminding me how much I’d love to have one.

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  2. I just read this yesterday with the theme song of The Man From Snowy River running through my head the entire time!

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