2016 Reviews · rural ficition · small town

Beauty & Lace Book Review: A Chance of Stormy Weather by Tricia Stringer

stormy-weather

Book blurb:

City girl Paula married her lovely farmer, the only problem is he comes with a farm… Another heart-warming rural romance from the queen of Australian story-telling, Tricia Stringer.

Self-reliant Sydney girl, Paula, is looking forward to a new life in the country. Just married to sheep farmer Dan Woodcroft she can’t wait to escape her protective family and exchange her busy existence for a new life down on the farm in rural South Australia.
But life on the farm proves rather different to what she was expecting. Why does everyone talk about the weather all the time? Why does no one seem worried by the mice plague? And how is she supposed to feed all those shearers?

With Dan’s brusque Aunt Rowena to contend with, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend showing up with a grudge, and communication between her and Dan breaking down, Paula begins to question whether she can cope — is the life of a farmer’s wife is really for her? Forecast: stormy weather.

My review:

A Chance of Stormy Weather is a novel that I whipped through in under a day. To me, this always signals a sensational novel. Tricia Stringer’s latest novel definitely comes highly commended by this reader.

What I found enlightening about A Chance of Stormy Weather was the acknowledgements page. Here I learnt that Tricia Stringer, an author I have admired since my introduction to her writing in 2013, originally self published this book in 2004. Furthermore, another interesting fact about this novel was that it worked to provide an essential guide of sorts, offering city come country women some valuable words of advice on their new way of life. I found this absolutely fascinating, what a great idea to support newly ordained farmer’s wives!

Onto the story, in a nutshell, A Chance of Stormy Weather does initially appear as a predictable city girl becomes country girl rural romance story. However, I urge any reader that opens this book to look deeper into the story at hand. Tricia Stringer vividly brings to life the story of Paula, a young city and career based woman, who has just come out of a bad relationship.  She attends a wedding and falls head over heels in love with country boy Dan. The romance is frenetically paced, with the end result being a quick walk up the aisle for Paula and Dan. Paula soon packs up her apartment in the city, quits her job and wholeheartedly immerses herself in her new life based at Dan’s farm. It isn’t long before the harshness of farm life leads Paula to learn a few tough life lessons hard and fast. These include numerous cringeworthy mouse plague scenes, kitchen disasters through the demands of farm based cooking, the long working hours, distance to basic amenities and sheer isolation of these districts. Added to the story is an intriguing secret that Dan withholds from Paula, until near the close of the novel. This part of the narrative kept the pages turning for me, along with Paula’s emotional transformation into a true blue farmer’s wife. Populating the pages of A Chance of Stormy Weather are some cracking secondary characters. These include; staunch Aunt Rowena, villain Katherine, kindly Jane, welcoming Dara and the loveable rogue pet pup Tarzan. Each and every one the characters in the novel, as well as the many locals who offer the new couple a hand or simply gossip about them, are well formed by Stringer. On the whole, as a non rural dweller, I found Stringer’s depiction of life in a rural community in this particular novel, a highly enriching experience.

Established readers to Stringer’s work, such as myself, will be sure to lap up another addictive rural fiction read from this engaging storyteller. For new readers, A Chance of Stormy Weather is the perfect novel to lose yourself in for a weekend. I’m pretty sure if you are not a fan of rural romance prior to reading A Chance of Stormy Weather, this one will convince you to try more from this genre, as well as Stringer’s impressive backlist.

A Chance of Stormy Weather by Tricia Stringer was published in November by Harlequin Australia.

Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty and Lace. To read the original review on the Beauty and Lace website please visit here

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