Stepping Out is a feature on my blog where I step out of the world of YA and review an adult book. Today I am reviewing Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer. This is also the 16th book I have read for the Australian women writers challenge.
Release Date: September 1st 2014.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia.
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From the bestselling author of Thornwood House
When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?
Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.
Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.
Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.
Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.
A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself…
Anna Romer delivers again! After reading, and loving, Thornwood House, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Romer’s much anticipated second book, Lyrebird Hill.
She returns with her winning formula – a rural setting, a gorgeous property, old letters, a murder mystery and sweet romance.
Lyrebird Hill tells the story of two women who both grew up at Lyrebird Hill. We have Ruby, who is living in the present and is trying to remember what happened the day her sister died all those years ago. And Brenna, a young girl who must enter a loveless marriage to a rich man to save her family home. Sometimes, when there are two stories in one book, I find I like one better than the other, and I am eager to get back to the story I liked the most. Not so with Lyrebird Hill, both stories were completely captivating. I was drawn quickly into the lives of both women and held there until that breathless finale.
The history lover in me loved Brenna’s story. It is set in 1898 and deals with the hardships of the time. Brenna has a heart for the aboriginal people who live on her father’s land. Romer did not shy away from the horror aboriginal people faced in this time.It broke my heart reading it and made me ashamed of the actions of some of the white people. Her new husband is nothing like he appears to be, but Brenna finds a friend in his sister. She was strong-willed and often found herself in trouble, beginning a downward spiral she cannot save herself from.
Being the only witness to her sister’s death, Ruby has been haunted for years about what happened that day. Desperate to remember, she accepts an invitation from her old neighbour, who now lives in Lyrebird Hill, to visit. Ruby starts to remember in bits and pieces. But she is not sure if she is ready for what she is going to find out. With a childhood friend there to help her through it, Ruby slowly remembers, and what she remembers is truly mind blowing.Congratulations to Romer for giving us such a sensational twist. I never saw it coming.
Lyrebird Hill is a thrilling, edge of your seat rural mystery. It is a gripping, tragic story of family and love. Romer delves into the heart of violence, asking whether it is something that is passed on from one generation to the next. Anna Romer is an outstanding writer with such beautiful and descriptive passages that you easily imagine yourself standing at Lyrebird Hill. A definite must read. I can’t recommend it enough, If you haven’t read Romer’s books I would encourage you to do so ASAP.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.