2022 Reviews · Beauty and Lace review · contemporary fiction

Beauty & Lace Book Review: A Caravan Like a Canary by Sasha Wasley

Title: A Caravan Like a Canary

Author: Sasha Wasley

Published: March 29th 2022

Publisher: Pantera Press

Pages: 464

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating:  4 stars

wo road trips. Twenty years apart. Can the memories of a troubled family past finally be put to rest?

When Tara Button’s mother asks her to drive the bright yellow family caravan from one end of the state to the other, it’s her charming but unreliable brother, Zac, who convinces her it’s a good idea. Besides, the road trip might keep Zac out of trouble – and that’s always been a second job for Tara.

Tara doesn’t expect Zac’s enigmatic friend Danh to come along for the ride. Or the bikies that seem to be following them up the coast …

As they travel along the open road, memories of the Buttons’ last trip in the caravan engulf Tara, while a rediscovered love for the wild, glorious ocean chips away at her reserve. When forced to face her past, will she find the courage to let go and discover her dreams?

Review:

In West Australian author Sasha Wasley’s second outing in the contemporary fiction drama field, A Caravan Like a Canary is a strong values-based tale. A story of the past, travel, family, trauma, love, residue and adversity, Sasha Wasley’s latest hits all the right notes.

At the centre of this contemporary fiction release from Sasha Wasley is a bright yellow caravan, that closely links a mother and daughter. When Tara Button receives a request from her mother to drive an unmissable yellow caravan across the state, she is not sure what to expect. However, with her brother tagging along, Tara knows she must help her family. Joining Tara and her brother Zac on this unforgettable journey is Zac’s friend Danh and a few bikies. With the town of Elsewhere set as their final resting point, the past catches up with this brother and sister as they try to fend off memories of their last caravan journey together. Will Tara finally put the past to rest and move on towards a settled future?

Fellow successful West Australian author Rachael Johns has described Sasha Wasley’s previous book as a ‘heart grabbing Aussie story’. This is the perfect description and ideal label for Sasha Wasley’s work. A Caravan Like a Canary is a splendid title, that I relied on as a source of respite to take me through a hard-working week.

Structurally, A Caravan Like a Canary is set out well. It alternates between the past and present, revealing a raw, realistic and honest story of family values. Interspersed between the emotional and tender narrative are various communications between the main family members of this novel via email and text. I valued this extra insight into the lives of these colourful personalities. Tara was a fantastic lead character in my eyes and I enjoyed following her caravan pilgrimage. I think I appreciated Tara’s state-wide expedition, as she learnt so much about herself through undertaking this grand adventure. Tara’s West Australian road trip also serves to remind us that it is not always about the final destination, it is the experience itself that makes us stronger. There is much to learn from this reflective slice of fiction from Sasha Wasley.

I expected no less from Sasha Wasley in terms of her setting. In a beautiful tribute to Western Australia, her home state, we are treated to a vividly rendered setting. I loved being a part of this poignant and busy trip. It even inspired me to one day find my own canary yellow caravan to trek around our state in – if I’m lucky! I’m sure West Australian readers will find a connection to Wasley’s well depicted setting, while our national and international friends will definitely be attracted to this book’s location descriptions. It really made the book a memorable read in my eyes.

Wasley embeds some serious and hard-hitting issues in her second contemporary fiction novel. Although there are lighter elements of love and romance, we also gain an insight into the pain, trauma, upset and upheaval that has followed this character set. With plenty of emotional depth, heart and feeling, Wasley knows how to pull at the heartstrings. I was able to fall for A Caravan Like a Canary every second of the way.

A Caravan Like a Canary by Sasha Wasley was published on 29th March 2022 by Pantera Press. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of A Caravan Like a Canary, Sasha Wasley, visit here.


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

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