Two households, both alike in dignity…
Aunt Alice Dwyer loves her small Australian town. She’s rarely left its comforting embrace. She knows everyone in it; in fact, she’s related to most of them. All she wants is to keep her family safe and the town running exactly the way it always has. Her way. But when an exotic French artist comes to town, her hold begins to weaken…
Lucienne Chevalier, once the toast of Europe, has come to Nyringa after a tragic loss to hang up her sequins and create a place for her circus family to rest between tours. With her is Simon, her grandson, recovering from an injury so damaging he can no longer perform. Lucienne fears he’ll never embrace a new future. That is, until she notices the chemistry between him and the new schoolteacher… All they need is a push.
Both grande dames think they know what’s best, but with equal amounts of stubbornness on both sides, peace looks unlikely. Then a relationship between Alice’s rebellious great-niece and a teenage acrobat sets the two communities on a collision course. But when the bakery starts making patisseries over lamingtons, the battle lines are truly drawn…
Close to Home, by Janet Gover, is set in a small Australian town with a close-knit community. When Lucienne and her grandson Simon arrive the people are excited, apart from Aunt Alice who is not enthusiastic about ‘carnies’ moving in. Lucienne wants to have a property in which her circus family can enjoy in the times when they are not away performing. Aunt Alice is concerned for her family and does not trust the circus performers.
Along with Lucienne and her family, Meg, the new school teacher arrives. Meg has been through a horrific incident in her life, as has Simon and in time they get to know each other. The two romances in the novel kept me on the edge of my seat. The young love between Jenny and Finn is also very sweet. I fell in love with many of the characters in this novel.
The circus comes alive on the pages. I could visualise the characters’ daring acts. Gover returns to the past incident which has torn Lucienne and Simon’s world apart. These moments are terrifying, emotional and heartfelt.
I also loved the carousel that Simon works on. I wanted to ride on it myself. Sometimes there is something in a novel that binds characters together along with the reader. This was it for me. As Simon and Meg work on the carousel they begin to understand each other. Carousels rotate on a centre pole. The carousel soon becomes a symbol of the town. Although the characters are spinning in their own worlds they are connected by the love of the town. When needed the townspeople are there for one another.
Lucienne brings a lot more than French pastries to this town. Her presence challenges and changes this small town community in ways they had never imagined. I love Lucienne – her elegance and big heart.
This is a story about relationships and the tender care we must give one another and ourselves when we grieve and are suffering. Janet Gover is an author who brings the reader close to her characters. What a beautiful story and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Thank you @harlequinaus for sending me a copy of Close to Home ♥
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