When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard

‘Everything had ended, and started, the day her youngest brother had died.’

Meet the Fairley family of Miners Ridge, a small farming community in South Australia.  Once, Doug and Sarah Fairley had four children: Grace, Faith, Tim and Luke.  The death of Luke fractured the family.  Sarah left Doug, Tim works on the farm reluctantly, Faith hasn’t forgiven Sarah for leaving and Grace tries to keep them all in touch.  But then Grace, a financial analyst, accepts a promotion to the London office of the firm she works for.

Sarah, estranged from her husband, has limited contact with Faith and Tim.  She has grandchildren as well.  In Grace’s absence, Sarah finds herself drawn back to Miners Ridge.  Can she possible rebuild family relationships?

The story alternates between Grace and Sarah.  We learn about the events of the past that have broken the family apart, we learn a secret, and we share hopes for a better and brighter future.

I enjoyed this novel.  I like the way in which Ms Appleyard kept the story moving, balancing past and present, giving insights into most of the characters and their actions.  I felt a range of emotions: anger, hope, sadness, and sorrow as the story unfolded.

‘Her leaving had certainly been a catalyst for change.’

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin HQ for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith