Bibliophile | ‘Deception Creek’ by Fleur McDonald

Deception Creek
by Fleur Mc Donald
Allen & Unwin

The farm called Deception Creek has been in Emma Cameron’s family for three generations. Newly divorced at forty, she couldn’t live anywhere else. Sitting on the verandah as the sun rises gently with pinks and golds spreading across the sky she remembers her father used to say, “If you’ve got dirt in your veins you can’t wash it out.”

She still has nightmares of the accident that claimed a woman’s life ten years previously – the early hours of the morning bringing the smell of burning rubber, the sound of the women’s screams and her own fruitless attempts to pull her from the wreck. Emma dedicates her life to running her farm with the help of farmhand Matt and when Kyle, the husband of the woman in the accident reaches out to her, it is a relief to have someone to talk to.

For a small town, Baker seems to have a lot going on. Joel Hammond is bunkered down in his old run-down family home after spending the last nine years in goal, for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. But small towns have long memories and a penchant for bearing grudges, and there are people who don’t want Joel in the town.

Befriended by his elderly neighbour and the detective’s wife Kim who runs Catering Angels, Joel tries to keep out of everyone’s way and salvage the house and his mother’s beloved garden. When investigative journalist Zara, who just happens to be married to the town’s other police officer Jack, looks at Joel’s claims, she finds that stories link in ways you least expect.

Currently living on her Esperance farm, Fleur McDonald has a reputation for writing about strong women overcoming adversity and her rural adventures have been best sellers since Red Dust in 2009. Dubbed the Voice of the Outback, she gives a voice to women of the outback in her fiction as well as in her life.

Lezly Herbert

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