Banjo was always going to be a winner for me, as it includes all the things I love about a quality rural fiction book From the strong West Australian based setting, to the emphasis on letters as a form of storytelling and the deeply romantic relationship between two childhood best friends from neighbouring cattle stations Dear Banjo has so much going for it It comes as no surprise that I was genuinely thrilled when an opportunity to review this novel presented itself to me.Dear Banjo is the touching story of Willow Banjo Patterson and Tom Forrest, who hail from neighbouring cattle stations in the Kimberley region, located in the north of Western Australia Willow and Tom are as thick as thieves, in fact, as teenagers they make a pact that they will never let anything get in the way of their rock solid friendship All that changes when life gets in the way Tom crosses the boundaries of their friendship while celebrating the success of both of them gaining entry into university With the death of her mother still fresh in Willow s mind and the incident with Tom delivering feelings she would rather not confront, Willow escapes to the city While Willow immerses herself in university life, Tom is left behind in the country, deferring his studies Tom continues to fight for Willow and he pours his heart out to her in the form of many letters However, Willow painfully shuts Tom out from her new life and his letters go unanswered Some ten years later, after carving out a successful career at university, Willow must return to her family s property With Willow s father taking a turn for the worse health wise, Willow must put the skills she learnt from her years in study into practice Transforming her family s property into a thriving sustainable and organic cattle station is no easy task But what proves even harder for Willow is her relationship with Tom, which seems beyond repair.As far as rural fiction goes, Dear Banjo is easily one of my favourite novels now from this fantastic genre This pleases me greatly as I love to support new authors, especially writers from my home state of Western Australia, which is where Sasha Wasley hails from Sasha Wasley is not a debut author, she has written books under the name S.D Wasley in the mystery paranormal genre Dear Banjo signals the first book Wasley has written in the rural fiction or life lit genre and it is also her first publication for Penguin Random House Australia.I adored Dear Banjo The combination of elements in this novel seemed to click together just perfectly The unresolved and simmering relationship history between the leads, Willow and Tom, was the overwhelming reason why I loved this book It was also the reason why I found it extremely hard to make way for real life while reading this book All I wanted to do was stay with the characters and continue to experience this stunning story.What I loved about Dear Banjo was the progression of Tom and Willow s relationship Wasley comprehensively covers the couple s shared times as childhood friends, through to the changes that occur to their lives as teenagers and finally to the present day In the here in now, we discover Tom and Willow are estranged An eventual partnership seems unlikely, but the romantic in me was hopeful On the whole, I found Tom and Willow s relationship to be realistic, emotional and deeply human.Willow and Tom are well developed characters Whilst it took a bit for me to like Willow, I eventually began to make sense of the decisions she made, even though I didn t always agree with them Willow makes a great transformation in character during the progression of Dear Banjo In contrast, Tom was a protagonist I took an immediate liking to The addition of his letters to the narrative gave us a deep insight into his character I loved the character of Tom immensely, in fact, I wished my husband could express his feelings in the way Tom romantically does in Dear Banjo Tom and Willow are supported by a solid cast of supporting characters, who all make a solid contribution to the unfolding story Two periphery characters featured in Dear Banjo, Free and Beth, Willow s sisters, left a significant impression on me I was over the moon when I discovered these two sisters would eventually get their own stories, courtesy of the next two books to be written by Sasha Wasley.The setting of this book must be mentioned, as it is so well drawn Wasley s setting descriptions bring us deep into the heart of the Kimberley It was a place I didn t want to leave, thanks to Wasley s prose Likewise, Wasley s focus on the farming practices on the two outback stations featured in the novel was informative, authentic and accessible It reflected the depth of research Wasley has clearly undertaken in this area.I could pipe on and on about Dear Banjo, but as this review is already proving lengthy, I will wrap it up by concluding that I endorse this book completely It is utterly deserving of a full five star rating Dear Banjo should be an auto buy for readers who are drawn to rural fiction or contemporary life literature. At age 15 Willow Patterson otherwise known as Banjo and Tom Forrest, who live in neighbouring cattle stations, make a pact not to let anything ever interfere with their friendship But then when they get their University acceptances, Tom does something that Willow cannot overlook or forgive As a result, Willow has not spoken to Tom for ten years When her father has a heart attack and is restricted in what he can do, Willow heads home to Paterson Downs to take over running the family property, which is what she has always wanted to do Her plan is to make it into a sustainable organic cattle station But there are than a few obstacles There are obstacles in trying to make some sort of feasible connection with Tom since he seems very cold Some might say with good reason Since they will be living in close proximity again Willow needs to try and make things better That includes doing something about the pile of letters Tom wrote to Willow after she left for university Letters she has not opened over the ten years Maybe now is the time to see what they said Although I enjoyed this story, I did find the reason Willow ignored Tom for so many years very flimsy Yes, the author gives reasons why she behaves as she does, but to me it never rang true Could be just my take, but there were times when I felt like clonking Willow on the head and telling her to wake up to herself Tom is a lovely character and his letters are beautiful He is a man any woman could fall in love with There are several other characters I really liked and one I didn t, but you are not meant to like him The setting in the Kimberley s is well conveyed It is obvious the author knows the area well I did feel the organic cattle station idea tended to become a little preachy at times.Despite that, this was an enjoyable rural read which gathers momentum towards the end It deserved a better cover My first read by this author it will be interesting to see what she writes next. Childhood friends Willow Banjo Paterson and Tom Forrest, grew up on neighboring properties in the Kimberley Most days Willow and Tom would kick about on the farm together, making their own fun and adventures In between their fun they would talk about their dreams for the future and it seemed they both wanted the same things But all their hopes and dreams suddenly change and Willow and Tom end up going their separate ways The years go past quickly and over the years Willow has often thought of Tom A friendship like theirs should ve lasted forever, but sometimes life takes a different turn to what you might have planned Willow s father has taken ill and she must return to the family property How will Willow and Tom react when they see one another again Can they have a future together or has too much time gone by Some would say this is just a rural romance novel and I m going to agree in part that yes it is, but for me it was so much than that In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how much emotion was in this book A captivating story about friendship and love The descriptions on the outback throughout this story are remarkable and a credit to the author A really enjoyable read which I HIGHLY recommend. I have to state, right up front, that I enjoyed this novel immensely To me, the story was rather reminiscent of McLeod s Daughters, but in the very best of ways, and I felt myself slipping into quite a comforted state of being each evening as I read my next hundred pages or so.I love the representation of Australia that is depicted within this novel Sprawling stations, communities within themselves, and deep connections to the land and each other Through Willow s and Tom s shared passion for organic beef production, Sasha Wasley was able to weave the subject of sustainable organic farming deep into the narrative and I found this focus of the novel quite fascinating, along with the notion of continuing on with the family farm but with a newer, sustainable long term aspect The environmental and welfare implications for this interested me greatly and I enjoyed the accessible way Sasha presented this topic.The challenges Willow faced when returning to the station were quite realistic and stretched her character well We saw Willow shift and grow in such a positive way throughout the story, both within herself as well as within her family relationships, within her employee relationships, and of course, within her relationship with Tom This type of character development is not always so apparent, particularly in a story where there are quite a few other things going on all at once Often times one aspect may get sacrificed for the other and it takes skill to balance a great story with realistic character development, and I feel Sasha Wasley handled this brilliantly in Dear Banjo Much of the background to Willow s and Tom s relationship was communicated through Tom s ten year old unread letters to Banjo I ve always been partial to letters within novels, so I was quite looking forward to these parts of the story and they did not disappoint The letters were heartfelt, honest, and above all, realistic There s a tendency with letters and diaries within novels to sometimes become a dumping ground for backstory Again, it s all about balance explanation versus emotion Sasha found the right balance from the get go and maintained this well, Tom s mounting frustration and heartache coming through as the letters progressed Likewise, the letters Willow wrote to Tom towards the end of the novel were also very well done In trying to find the perfect way to tell Tom she was sorry and that she loved him, Willow also laid herself bare and turned a corner that had previously been so far off for her A true coming of age moment that is quite memorable taken within the context of Tom s follow up grand gesture.Billed as a rural romance, I felt this novel could be adequately described as a turn in the road coming of age love story, but I guess rural romance is concise The personal journey for Willow was as much of an integral part of the story as the relationship between Willow and Tom I m so pleased to find out that this is the first in a series as I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and looked forward to getting lost in its pages each night It will be lovely to return to these characters and see what Sasha has in store for Beth and Free, as well as to check in with Willow and Tom as they forge ahead with their new life and shared vision for their stations As far as rural fiction goes, Dear Banjo is one of the best I ve read in a very long time aww2017 Swoon worthy, un put downable gorgeous rural romance from Sasha Wasley.Banjo Paterson and Tom Forrest were inseparable growing up on neighbouring cattle stations in the remote wilderness of northwest Western Australia When Banjo loses her mother at fourteen years she finds herself shutting everyone out even her best friend Tom Years later, Banjo returns home to the Kimberley full of optimism about introducing new sustainable farming practices to the family s cattle station Can Banjo reconnect with Tom and take up their friendship again or was the rift all those years ago too large to repair Dear Banjo is a swoon worthy, un put downable book that had me hiding away for sneaky reads.Bravo Sash Wasley on writing a gorgeous story about the love between best friends and what it means to come home. Astonishingly good My View A few months ago now, author Sasha Wasley contacted me regarding the release of her new book Dear Banjo and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing We struck up a on line friendship based on our mutual love of our journeys to the north of Western Australia the cover of her book had evoked many memories of camping caravanning working in that region based on that red pindan infused cover, I decided to give this book a chance And what a fabulous read I discovered This book is so much than an Australian rural romance in fact I would describe it as a coming of age or contemporary fiction, life literature with a dash of humanism In this read there are three main characters Willow Banjo Paterson, Tom Forrest and the rugged Kimberly outback Whilst Patterson Downs is a fictional town, the settings and the local community come to life on the page The protagonists aspire to sustainable farming practices a unique perspective in rural writing and hopefully one that is becoming popular with actual graziers This aspect of the novel was fascinating, the hero of the book Engaging, well developed characters, realistic settings and a narrative that enchants this is a must read This review may contain SPOILERS I absolutely love this book, it s got everything a good romance novel has to offer Love, Excitement, Action and a special twist that no other book so far has had, at least no book I ve encountered, which is the rural Australian bush I didn t even realize how much I needed someone like Tom and Willow, and their amazing friendship relationship, before I read about them He is the absolute wothiest love interest I have ever met, cause he s loyal, sweet, genuine, nice, hot, patient, and he s always there for Willow I could also relate to Willow since her trouble, both with being a social butterfly and with finding the strength to overcome life changing happenings, makes her a bit of an introvert Ultimately, I loved the fact that this book had so many small details that helped those two to finally be together, such as the letters or those small things that were hidden in the boab tree These little things make for a sweet and heart warming romance 4,5 5 stars Auf Outback Dreams war ich wirklich sehr gespannt, da der Klappentext wirklich toll klang Leider waren meine Erwartungen wohl ein wenig zu hoch, denn so richtig konnte mich das Buch nicht berzeugen.Willow und Tom kennen sich seit Kindertagen, sind zusammen auf den Farmen ihrer Eltern aufgewachsen und wollten gemeinsam zur Uni gehen Doch dann passiert etwas, was die beiden entzweit 10 Jahre sp ter kehrt Willow zur ck, um die Farm von ihrem kranken Vater zu bernehmen.Mir hat das Setting mit den Farmen und das australische Outback prinzipiell wirklich gut gefallen, allerdings hat die Farmarbeit und die Umstrukturierungen sehr viel Raum eingenommen, was mich mit der Zeit ein wenig gelangweilt hat.Auch die Liebesgeschichte kam leider nicht so richtig in Fahrt und am Ende war alles sehr berhastet und ging mir dann insgesamt zu schnell, besonders im Vergleich dazu, dass es drei Viertel des Buches sehr gezogen hat.Die Charaktere waren in Ordnung, wobei Tom mir wesentlich sympathischer war als Willow Er ist einfach ein lieber Kerl, der immer ein paar Spr che auf Lager hat Willow hingegen fand ich teilweise sehr anstrengend und konnte ihre Gedanken nicht immer nachvollziehen.Der Schreibstil war an sich angenehm und fl ssig zu lesen, nur vieles war leider zu sehr in die L nge gezogen. They Were Best Friends Who Were Never Meant To Fall In Love But For One Of Them, It Was Already Way Too Late Willow Banjo Paterson And Tom Forrest Were Raised On Neighboring Cattle Stations In The Heart Of The Kimberley As Young Adults, Sharing The Same Life Dreams, Something Came Between Them That Willow Cannot Forget, And Now Ten Years Have Passed When Her Father Falls Ill, Willow Is Called Home To Take Over The Running Of The Family Property, Patterson Downs Her Vision For A Sustainable, Organic Cattle Station Is Proving Hard To Achieve She Needs Tom S Help, But Is It All Too Late, And Too Difficult, To Make Amends A Pile Of Tom S Heartfelt Letters Has Remained Unopened And Unspoken Between Them Willow Must Find The Courage To Finally Bring Them Out Their Tattered Pages Reveal A Love Story Like No Other And One You Ll Never Forget Dear Banjo Is A Wildly Romantic And Utterly Captivating Story About First Love And Second Chances, From An Exciting New Australian Author Abgebrochen auf Seite 110
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Outback Dreams book, this is one of the most wanted Sasha Wasley author readers around the world.
- 381 pages
- Outback Dreams
- Sasha Wasley
- 10 March 2019 Sasha Wasley