The Willow Tree Wharf
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 4th July 2023
Genre: Rural Romance
RRP: $29.99AU (paperback)
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
Review: The Willow Tree Wharf
With The Willow Tree Wharf Léonie Kelsall has written a slow-burn romance with depth and compassion.
All Léonie's books read well on their own however if you read them in order you get that extra level of character connection.
I absolutely loved being back in Settlers Bridge with old friends from Léonie's previous books; Roni, Jack, Lucie, Gabrielle, Tracey and Christine. This is one fabulous community and I love feeling a part of it whilst I read.
Samantha is in an abusive relationship and her husband has gaslighted her so much she is afraid to open her mouth. She had no self worth and was very insecure.
"After so many years she should have known better than to provoke him."
These are the thoughts of someone who has been spoken down to all their married life.
Kelsall brings the whole community together as they close ranks around Samantha. Small towns are known for their gossipers but they also know how to protect their own.
Pierce is a city boy, he has spent his life appeasing his parents and working in their restaurant with their rules. He would love to branch out and live his own dream but feels trapped by obligation.
I enjoyed the parallels between Sam's and Pierce's lives. Even though their circumstances were poles apart they were both forfeiting their dreams and happiness for someone else.
Lots of road bumps and misunderstandings made for an immersive read that had me eagerly reading knowing that all will come good in the end. That's what I love about romance!
Léonie's novels are extra special because they have layers of depth as well as the happy endings I expect.
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 at Pallamana, 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.
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.
Reviews of Léonie's other books: