Aussie Book Review: Poppy’s Dilemma by Karly Lane

Poppy's Dilemma  Poppy’s Dilemma by Karly Lane


Review copy provided by publisher

Allen & Unwin, December 2013

Synopsis- Poppy Abbott seems to have it all. Bright, successful and attractive, she lives in a beautiful apartment with sweeping views of Sydney. However, since the recent death of her beloved grandmother, she’s been struggling to come to terms with her grief.

Feeling nostalgic one evening, Poppy decides to sort through her grandmother’s belongings, which she hasn’t been able to face before. She’s hardly started when she comes across an old leather diary with the name ‘Maggie Abbott’ written in the front. It’s not long before she’s drawn into Maggie’s life and her fears for her soldier boyfriend during the First World War.

As her interest in Maggie’s diary intensifies, Poppy decides to spend some time at her grandmother’s house in the country. Away from the city, Poppy begins to wonder if all the things she’s always valued so much are what she really wants out of life. And then love intervenes…

From the bestselling author of Bridie’s Choice, this is the story of a woman leaving a fast-paced existence in the city for a calmer, more meaningful life in the country, where she finds herself re-evaluating just about everything.

Review- I’m a pretty big fan of Karly Lane’s rural novels that seem to always offer up just enough mystery, small town community connections and romance to keep me turning the pages and leaving me wanting more.

Poppy returns to her small, country home town and moves into her grandmother’s cottage. She is determined to learn more about the woman named Maggie Abbott whose diary entries she has inherited with her grandmother’s belongings.  As she’s drawn into these old letters and diary entries she becomes fixated on uncovering the mystery behind Maggie’s death. At the same time she befriends handsome neighbour Jim and makes an unlikely friend in his teenage daughter.

Returning home hasn’t worked out as expected and the successful forensic accountant living the high life in the city ends up baking cakes, offering fashion and romance advice to a teenage girl and falling for the ‘good’ guy next door- something she vowed she wouldn’t do. But, her hometown has a way of getting under her skin and Poppy begins to question what she values in life and whether she’s willing to make some changes to form connections and a relationship that she could retain for life- of if she throws will throw it all away and return to the city.

It was a slow start, but once it really got into the story I was hooked. Karly Lane always has a way of drawing an emotional connection with me as a reader and I particularly like the rawness and vulnerability that she creates in her characters by pushing them to their limits. The mystery just adds to the mood and makes me want to uncover the small town secrets just as much as the fictional characters do!

I’d recommend any of Karly Lane’s rural novels and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Overall Rating


“I loved this book!”

Poppy’s Dilemma can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge:


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