Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Willow Tree Bend by Kaye Dobbie

Title: Willow Tree Bend
Author: Kaye Dobbie
Publisher: 18 September 2017 by Harlequin (Australia), TEEN / MIRA
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary, cultural Australia, mystery
My Rating: 4 crowns


An interrupted phone call and a mysterious disappearance brings a family’s secret past crashing into the present…

It’s 1969 and small-town girl Faith Taylor longs for the excitement of the city. Leaving her family home in Willow Tree Bend, Faith lands a job at The Angel — Melbourne’s most infamous nightclub. While Faith relishes her new-found freedom, she can’t help but notice that there are some things about the club that don’t add up. So when a policeman shows her a shocking photograph, and reveals that a former waitress was murdered, Faith realises she must help to bring down the shadowy owner behind the club’s activities.

More than thirty years later, what happened at The Angel remains a closely held secret, never spoken about. When Faith disappears, her sister Hope — now a famous movie star — is left with an intriguing, though frustrating, piece of the puzzle. But with a tell-all documentary film crew constantly by her side, how can she find where Faith is — and what she’s hiding — while making sure her own secrets stay hidden?

Faith’s daughter, Sam, is also concerned by her mother’s uncharacteristic behaviour. When she overhears a clue to Faith’s past, she’s determined to unearth the truth. What is the connection between The Angel and Willow Tree Bend? What does Faith's disappearance mean? And what will happen when the final secret is revealed?

My Thoughts

The previous work of Kaye’s, ‘Mackenzie Crossing’, was a superb five star read for me. So I was excited to read her latest tale. Whilst not as captivating, ‘Willow Tree Bend’ was still an engaging read.

“There were things going on here that I didn’t understand, like a dangerous undertow beneath a calm surface.”

Here is another dual timeline story, however on this occasion, it was only a thirty year gap - late 1960s and the year 2000. Dobbie does a great job at moulding and interweaving all the pieces of the puzzle to build suspense and present a good mystery - providing an even blend between both the contemporary and historical tale. This is a story about family secrets and how their revelation will have a major impact on the present.

This narrative is presented through three voices - Faith in the 1960s and Hope (her sister) and Sam (her daughter) in the present. We see Faith as a young girl from the country who finds work in the city and the troubles she encounters. Her sister, Hope (by the year 2000) is a famous Hollywood actress who has returned to her country home and learns herself, about what had unfolded back in the late 60s. Then there is Sam, and her story is all about reaching understandings in her relationships with family members and a prospective partner. Sam is struggling with all these well kept secrets and is trying to ascertain the truth.

“I was becoming more and more convinced that there was a dark underlying thread to this tale that I either wasn’t seeing or no one was telling me about.”

I have to admit to struggling a bit with the slowness of the tale; at times, not a great deal was happening and I found myself becoming disengaged from the story. Nothing really happened by a third way through and the pace only increased in the last twenty percent. I appreciate that Kaye was leaving little clues sprinkled throughout her narrative, but there was just not enough for it to be compelling.

Willow Tree Bend is a solid story with Kaye doing a good job of blending all three stories together very smoothly. Take some time to go back in time with the Taylor girls to unravel well kept family secrets.

‘The pain never goes away, does it? It fades, but when you dig a little, there it is, still hurting.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

No comments: