ARC Review: The Grass Castle by Karen Viggers. #AWW2014

I mainly read YA novels, but every now and again I venture out and read an Adult book. I saw the Grass Castle on the Goodread’s giveaway page and was intrigued by the beautiful cover, so I entered to win it. And I did, my first ever Goodreads win 🙂
I would like to thank Goodreads and Allen and Unwin for the copy.
This is the third book I have read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Australian Release Feb 1st 2014. Allen and Unwin.
Australian Release Feb 1st 2014.
Allen and Unwin.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A moving and captivating story of displacement and belonging, love and forgiveness from the bestselling author of The Lightkeeper’s Wife.

The daughter of a pastoralist, Daphne grew up in a remote valley of the Brindabella Ranges where she raised her family with her husband, Doug, in a world of horses, cattle and stockmen. But then the government forced them off their land and years later, Daphne is still trying to come to terms with the grief of her departure from the mountains and its tragic impact on her husband. It is during a regular visit to her valley that she meets Abby, a lonely young woman shying away from close contact with others, running from a terrible event in her early teens. But Daphne is a patient mentor, and slowly a gentle friendship develops between them.

While Abby’s family history means she tries to ignore her feelings for journalist Cameron, Daphne struggles with her own past and the long shadow it may have cast over the original inhabitants of their land. Both women must help each other face the truth and release long-buried family secrets before they can be free.

The Grass Castle is a sweeping rural epic that reflects the strength which resides in us all: the courage to grow and learn from the past.

My thoughts:
4 out of 5 stars.

In the Grass Castle, Karen Viggers tells an epic story of love and loss and the strength it takes to keep on living after. It is a beautifully written tale that I enjoyed immensely. Karen really impressed me with her writing style and I loved the setting. I love novels set in Australia, but it’s even better when it’s a location that I actually have been too, or visited close by.

The Grass Castle tells the story of Abby, a student scientist studying Kangaroos, and Daphne, an elderly lady with a love of the land. Abby is deeply scared by her past. She is swept up in a whirlwind romance, but she is not one to be tied down. Her path crosses with Daphne and an easy friendship forms between them. Connected by the land Abby’s Kangaroos live on, they slowly start to share the history of their tragic pasts.

These women will draw you in with their stories and make you care about them. They were so well rounded, as were the secondary characters, that you felt like you were sitting there with them listening to their conversations, wanting to reach out a hand to comfort them. Daphne’s story added extra depth to the novel, a story in a story, which I loved. It was told in captivating snippets that had you waiting impatiently for the next one. Times were hard in Daphne’s day and I am so glad I didn’t live in that time.

Interestingly enough, it had me thinking about Kangaroos in a way I never have before. I don’t have much experience with them, I think of them as the cute creatures you see in wildlife parks and places like that, hopping around harmlessly, letting you go up to them and pat them and feed them and things like that. It was definitely a unique story line, adding yet another interesting layer to this complex tale.

The Grass Castle was full of surprising plot twists and I loved how everything and everyone was connected in one way or another. It was an engaging, beautifully written story that I highly recommend. Karen Viggers is a very talented woman and it is clear why she is a bestselling author.

You can add it to your Goodreads here

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Grass Castle by Karen Viggers. #AWW2014

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