#aww2018 · 2018 Reviews · Book Broadcast · contemporary fiction · romance · rural fiction

Book Broadcast: The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer


Book Broadcast is a post I have created to help ease the load of the books I have for review. It is a great way to spread the word, providing recognition to an author or publisher for sending me a book to review. As my reviewing and blogging duties have stepped up a notch in the last year, I don’t often have the time to complete an in depth review. I hope you can discover some new titles to read through this regular book post.

Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl so when she takes up a posting at a tinysaddler boys small school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock. But she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society life in Perth and the rural community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.

Popular Australian rural fiction novelist Fiona Palmer has a great set collection of novels under her belt. While eagerly waiting her latest (Sisters and Brothers is out very soon) to hit bookstores, I realised I had not read an older title (released 2015) by Palmer lingering on my TBR shelf. The particular night I turned to The Saddler Boys I was in need of the warm comfort of a rural fiction novel. I knew that The Saddler Boys, or any novel written by Fiona Palmer would give me exactly what I needed. In The Saddler Boys, I was welcomed with a rural fiction storyline which was a close to my heart. It features a narrative based on the life of a freshly graduated teacher from the city making her country teaching debut. As a primary school teacher myself I immediately formed a connection to Natalie, the central figure of this novel. Palmer does a very good job of setting her scene, both highlighting the issues at stake in a local community dealing with possible school closure, through to agonising scenes of domestic violence, child abandonment, drug abuse and custody rights. This is entwined with an overarching arc about Natalie, a young teacher coping with a new life in the country. Natalie is determined to succeed, despite the odds that are stacked up against her. The Saddler Boys is a novel composed of romance, friendship, career aspirations, balancing a family and livelihood, farming pressures and the diminishing rate of small town resources.  The Saddler Boys demonstrates why Fiona Palmer is one of my boomerang authors, I keep coming back for more, time and time again! The Saddler Boys represents an excellent declaration to the plight of small town schools up and down our country.

The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer was published on 16th September 2015 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

The Saddler Boys, is book #106 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge

3 thoughts on “Book Broadcast: The Saddler Boys by Fiona Palmer

  1. Steven and I went to her author talk when she was in Wollongong promoting The Saddler Boys. Steven found her talk to be quite interesting and had a longish talk with her after the event. All her books are quite fascinating and I’m looking forward to reading my signed copy of The Saddler Boys.

    Liked by 1 person

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