Sunday 5 June 2022

Book Review: The Wattle Seed Inn by Léonie Kelsall

The Wattle Seed Inn
Léonie Kelsall 
Bestselling author of The Farm at Peppertree Crossing
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 5th July 2021
Genre: Rural Romance
Pages: 416
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
My review
I absolutely loved this story and can't believe I let it sit on my shelf for this long!! 
Rich city girl meets and falls in love with country boy.

Told through the eyes of Gabrielle, a city girl with something to prove, Hayden, the country boy that has underlying demons and Ilse, family matriarch and original owner of The Wattle Seed Inn (formerly Wurruldi Hotel).
Gabrielle, having bought out her ex-fiance, is now the owner of the dilapidated Wurruldi Hotel. She has grand plans to turn it into a B & B and prove to her ex that she can do this on her own.
Hayden just wants to be left alone, he feels he can't be relied upon as he let the one person that means the most to him down. But the new girl in town as caught his eye.
Ilse loves the Wurruldi Hotel, it has been in her family for generations. She is hoping the new owner will take her advice with renovations. 
I thoroughly loved being back in the small country town of Wurruldi on the Murray River and I loved the casual banter between the friends and how they eagerly included Gabrielle into their lives.
Both Gabrielle and Hayden had hidden demons that they held close preventing them from opening up and starting a relationship. Strong themes of forgiving yourself and accepting yourself are explored through these two characters.
The mysteries that surround each character weave themselves throughout the story urging the reader on, looking for answers.
Léonie Kelsall explains, through Hayden, that PTSD is not only about nightmares and panic attacks. There is also the self loathing, paranoia and catastrophising. The inclusion of the aptly named companion dog, Trigger highlighted the work of companion dogs in situations I would not have normally thought of.
I found the encounters between Ilse and Gabrielle both endearing and heart-wrenching. Kelsall writes with real emotion.
I enjoyed revisiting characters from The Farm at Peppertree Crossing as they popped in and out of the story as Kelsall included many themes around country living.
Léonie Kelsall has written another winner; heart-wrenching, endearing and full of country charm. A story of forgiveness and moving on...
My rating 5 / 5   ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author
Raised initially in a tiny, no-horse town on South Australia's Fleurieu coast, then in the slightly more populated wheat and sheep farming land in the Murraylands,
Léonie Kelsall is a country girl through and through. Growing up without a television, she developed a love of reading before she reached primary school, swiftly followed by a desire to write. Pity the poor teachers who received chapters of creative writing instead of a single page!
Léonie entertained a brief fantasy of moving to the big city (well, Adelaide), but within months the lure of the open spaces and big sky country summoned her home. Now she splits her time between the stark, arid beauty of the family farm at Pallamana and her home and counselling practice in the lush Adelaide Hills.

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