Review copy provided by publisher
Penguin Australia, April 2013
Synopsis- A powerful, passionate and moving rural love story from the bestselling author of Promises and Heart of the Valley.
When Callie Reynolds arrives at Glenmore, the property she’s recently inherited, the last thing she wants is to be saddled with a warty horse, an injured neighbour and a mad goose. Haunted by her sister’s death and her fractured family, all she wants is freedom.
But Callie hasn’t counted on falling for Matt Hawkins, an ex-soldier determined to fulfil his own dream of land and family. Nor could she predict the way the land, animals and people of Glenmore will capture her heart.
Callie is faced with impossible choices. But she must find the courage to decide where her future lies, even if it costs her everything she holds dear.
Review- Heartland is a character driven, emotionally charged novel about letting go of the past and being open to finding love and happiness.
Callie has been running since the day her older sister Hope died, she blames herself for her sister’s death and as a result has isolated herself from her family, avoided intimate relationships and left behind Glenmore, the one place she felt she truly belonged.
When she receives a letter advising her of the death of her nanna one month prior and is bequested the Glenmore estate, Callie is forced to face her past and reconnect with her country roots that have always been a part of her. Her plan is to go to the property, pack it up and sell it so she can donate the money to the charity that was created in her sister’s honour. Instead, she arrives to a home with a horse named Phantom that her nanna left for her, a goose who is a bully and a handsome neighbour who may be scarred on the outside but has allowed his inner turmoil to heal.
Matt makes his feelings for Callie clear from the outset, he’s a man who has fought in the war and he’s learnt to not waste any time. Callie is a little more reserved with her feelings, she may succumb to occasional flirty banter with her handsome neighbour and rely on him for practical support around the farm but she’s not one to wear her heart on her sleeve.
Callie really makes Matt work hard and the suspense of what her final decision would be was drawn out to the very end. I think the scene where they reconcile would have had a bigger impact if it was told from Callie’s perspective as I really wanted to know what was going through her mind at that point and how she was able to succumb to her feelings for him.
Heartland is the kind of book that draws you in and makes you not want to put it down and if you do, then the characters will haunt you until you pick it up again. Hein knows how to create characters with depth in communities that come alive on the page. This one’s definitely a keeper among my rural lit shelves.
* I was really excited when I discovered my copy of Heartland quotes my review of Hein’s last novel, Heart of the Valley.
Heartland can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers
This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge: