Wednesday 7 October 2020

Book Club Book Review: The Farm at Peppertree Crossing by Léonie Kelsall

The Farm at Peppertree Crossing
Léonie Kelsall 

Publisher: Allen & Unnwin 
Publication date: 2nd July 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Rural
Pages: 432
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Beauty & Lace Book Club
About the book
An unexpected inheritance, a traumatic past and a family whose secrets are kept by the town.

After a fractured childhood spent in foster homes, city-girl Roni has convinced herself that she has no need of anyone - other than her not-as-tough-as-he-looks rescued street cat, Scritches, and her unborn baby.

Despite facing a bleak future, Roni distrusts the news of a bequest from an unknown aunt, Marian Nelson. But, out of options, she and Scritches leave Sydney behind, bound for the 800-acre property on the edge of the wheat belt of South Australia.

However, this is no simple inheritance. With everything at stake
, Roni must learn to believe in the truth of Marian's most important lesson: everyone deserves love.
My Review
When city-girl Roni inherits a farm from an aunt she has never known she decides she will take a look and then sell as quick as she can. However Aunt Marian hasn't made the process of the inheritance that easy. She wants Roni to have the chance to fall in love with the farm.
I was immediately pulled into the story - with the threat of danger hanging in the air.
Roni is instantly likeable. She cares for stray cats and runs errands for her elderly neighbour. Her life spent in foster homes has been let down after let down and she has past traumas that are still affecting her life. How can you not like, and feel empathy for this girl! 
I loved how Aunt Marian's character was introduced through letters to Roni and even though she had passed we got to know her and she was an integral character in the story.
I could totally relate to the city-girl stuck in the country and wondering how she was going to manage and feeling isolated and scared.
"There was far too much country out here for her liking."

The Farm at Peppertree Crossing subtly covers some heavy topics but there is plenty of humour, cute farm animals and a cute farm hand to lighten the mood.

It was a delight to watch Roni grow and start to trust people and also learn to say no when needed. She slowly came to realise not everyone was out to hurt her or rip her off and maybe, Matt was helping out on the farm because he was genuinely a nice guy. 

I loved all the cooking and cakes, both disasters and successes, and the CWA meetings and their small town gossip. Lots of humour here!

Léonie Kelsall knows how to create an ever changing atmosphere as it moves from foreboding, funny, breath-holding, sad and sweet. I loved the way  Léonie Kelsall unwrapped the secrets slowly throughout the story - little teasers that kept me glued to the pages.

The Farm at Peppertree Crossing is a story of belonging, moving forward, guilt, secrets and learning to trust.

I was keen to read this book as soon as I heard about it and I was not disappointed!

5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plus an extra ⭐ because the main character's name was Veronica 💖

About the author

Photo: Goodreads
 Though fortunate to grow up in the South Australian country – initially on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in a tiny town where the school had a total enrolment of only eleven students, and later on a sheep and wheat farm in the Murraylands - in typical teen fashion, Léonie couldn't wait to hit the bright lights of the big city when she graduated.
However, a couple of years working in various government departments, including the State History Trust and the Education Department, saw her longing to make her way back to the country.
Through a circuitous route (isn't that life?) she now finds herself splitting her time between her home and professional counselling practice in the beautiful Adelaide Hills and her childhood farm. She definitely has the best of both worlds!


Challenges entered: Aussie author challenge  #AussieAuthor20
                                 Australian Women Writers Challenge #AWW2020





  1. I want to read this too. Great review, glad the wait was worth it.

  2. Thanks so much for your review, Veronica (before I even read it I thought 'oh, you're Roni, too!) I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
    ~ Leonie

    1. You’re welcome Leonie. Congratulations on such a fabulous book.