Title: Bottlebrush Creek
Author: Maya Linnell
Published: June 2nd 2020
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Rural
Rating: 4 stars
A pitch-perfect rural romance of changing relationships and family ties from the bestselling author of Wildflower Ridge.
When Rob faces retrenchment, and the most fabulous fixer-upper comes onto the market, Angie knows this derelict weatherboard cottage will be the perfect project to draw their little family together.
There’s just one catch: the 200-acre property is right next door to Rob’s parents in south-west Victoria.
It doesn’t take long for rising tensions to set a wedge between the hard-working couple. Angie and Rob have to find out the hard way whether their grand design will draw them closer together or be the very thing that tears them apart.
A sparkling rural romance of changing relationships and family ties from the bestselling author of Wildflower Ridge.
If you want to glean a little more about living in our beautiful country, look no further than Bottlebrush Creek, by Maya Linnell. An engaging tale of the triumphs and tragedies of rural life is explored in Linnell’s second novel. This wholly enjoyable contemporary fiction title will earn a solid place in the hearts of fans of the rural genre.
The bestselling author of Wildflower Ridge returns with Bottlebrush Creek. In this new tale from Maya Linnell, we are acquainted with lead Angie McIntyre, a busy mother and business owner. As Angie grapples with her parental and financial commitments, her relationship with her partner Rob is floundering. A rundown cottage proves to be the saving grace in Angie and Rob’s rocky relationship. A renovation project to refurbish the old cottage will help draw this estranged couple back together. But tension comes not only from the renovation project, but from Rob’s meddling parents, who live next door to the cottage. Things reach boiling point at the cottage, forcing this couple to reassess their relationship and love for one another. They must come together to save their relationship, family unit and new home. Questions of family dynamics, relationship strains, dedication and commitment define Bottlebrush Creek.
Bottlebrush Creek is my second helping of Australian author Maya Linnell’s work. I really enjoyed Linnell’s debut Wildflower Ridge, so naturally I was excited to read Bottlebrush Creek. In a testament to my adoration for this novel, I sacrificed some sleep to continue reading Linnell’s engaging tale until I had closed the back over. What an engrossing read!
Linnell puts an interesting spin on the traditional rural romance genre. Adding in a renovation project, that brings about plenty of issues, tension and challenges provided another dimension to this rural fiction novel. In my pre marriage years my husband and I renovated a couple of properties, but none were anywhere near as rundown as the cottage the couple in this tale tackled! I admired their sheer determination, dedication and resilience, despite the clear setbacks! For those who enjoy property renovation shows, or readers who like to dabble in their own renovation projects will appreciate all Bottlebrush Creek has to offer.
Linnell’s characters are well drawn, personable and authentic. It was a pleasure to be acquainted with Angie, Rob, Claudia and the support cast. Linnell provides us with a colourful cast and many of them feel like someone who know. The leading couple and their romance is hampered by miscommunication, tensions, pressures and misunderstandings. Many of these situations felt completely natural and normal, which added greater appeal to this novel.
Family dynamics play a big role in Bottlebrush Creek. Linnell does an excellent job of teasing these out to their fullest degree. It was easy to sympathise with Angie and my heart went out to her many times over. As for Rob’s family, I could empathise with their problems very much. Linnell has managed to pen a connective novel that will unite all readers in this story of the pains of love and life.
A successful rural romance novel must always have a strong country based setting. In Bottlebrush Creek we are transported to a beautiful and picturesque rural locale. I looked forward to Linnell’s descriptions of country living, which I know is lovingly drawn from Linnell’s own first hand experiences of living in a rural setting. Readers will be impressed with the truly majestic bush based backdrop of Bottlebrush Creek.
Bottlebrush Creek is an inviting novel that will embrace rural fictions fans in an engaging tale of home improvements, family relations, the pressures of love and life stresses. I send my full recommendation to Maya Linnell’s splendid second novel.
Bottlebrush Creek by Maya Linnell was published on 2nd June 2020 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Bottlebrush Creek, Maya Linnell, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Bottlebrush Creek is book #78 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge
I am offering 1 lucky reader an opportunity to win a copy of Bottlebrush Creek. Simply leave a comment below on why you like rural fiction to be entered into this competition! Good luck!
*Competition open to Australian postal addresses only. Winner selected at random. Closes Monday 13th July 2020, 11pm (WST).