I have just finished reading the last book in an enthralling series by Australian writer, Joy Dettman.
I was lucky enough to be sent the first five books last year and took my time reading them, devouring each word and transitioning seamlessly onto the next book in the series, and then waited VERY impatiently for the next instalment. When Pan Macmillan advised the next book was soon to be released I jumped at the chance to get a review copy sent to me. I was so excited to read it and so upset to learn it was to be the last in this series.
It took awhile to become reacquainted with the characters, because by the sixth book there are so many of them!
Settling in to the book, I decided that if it was the last book, surely all loose ends would be tied up in a nice neat bow for me. After all, the book is even called The Tying of Threads. I had even predicted what would happen to most of the characters. But I was so very wrong and the end of the book left me crying for more. MORE!
How dare she stop writing. What happens now? Am I left to write some hideous fan-fiction just to finish these stories for my own satisfaction. *sigh*
The Woody Creek series starts in rural Victoria in 1923 with the first book, Pearl in a Cage. While reading that first book, every old shack in the rural properties I drive past everyday became Gertrude’s house. I loved that old lady.
These books are not my usual style. When I first started reading, the story reminded me of Virginia Andrews’ books that I read as a teen, with family secrets, a touch of incest, betrayal and hideous relatives. But Dettman’s characters are so easy to relate to and lovable and believable, easily and quickly setting her high above Andrews.
The familiarity of the settings and the Australian voice made these books even more enjoyable and my almost obsessive search for the real Woody Creek was a touch insane. Knowing full well that this small rural town is just a fictional place made up of every rural town you have ever been to.
Joy Dettman was born in Echuca and the real life details of Melbourne and surrounding rural towns in the book are written with a local knowledge. I really wanted Woody Creek to be Riddell’s Creek, which is very close to where I live and even if Jenny caught a bus from Greensborough back to Woody Creek and the bus went through Kilmore, thus disproving my Riddells/Woody Creek theory unless the bus route was seriously inefficient, I don’t care. Woody Creek will always be Riddells Creek to me even if the evidence points to Echuca. – See what I mean? I’m obsessed with this fictional town being real.
Anywhooo. My slipping grasp of reality aside, I LOVED these books. I loved the characters and the intertwined stories and the terribly tangled family tree that grows more and more tangled with each new novel. Thankfully Dettman includes a family tree at the front of the book to remind us who belongs to who.
This final novel begins in the late 1970′s and gallops to it’s end in this new millennium and I see why Dettman thought it was time to put Woody Creek and it’s inhabitants to bed for good. but I don’t have to be happy about it. *grumpy face*.
The only thing that pleases me now is finding out that Joy Dettman has eight earlier books that I have yet to read! All the yays!
The Woody Creek Series includes:
Pearl In A Cage
Thorn on the Rose
Moth to the Flame
Wind in the Wires
Ripples on a Pond
The Tying of Threads
As well as being available as proper hold in your hands and curl up and read books, they are also available on iTunes and Kindle. I have been sending them to my mum and she is also loving the series.
I give each book in this series an easy five stars. Thoroughly recommended reading.