Recently I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Summer at Mount Hope by Rosalie Ham from Serpent’s Tail publishing. (THANK YOU!)
Having not read a historical book set in Australia before… *Thinks hard* I’m not actually sure I’ve ever read a book set in Australia before! I was intrigued to read this one, and immediately moved it onto my August TBR.
Guys. I read this book in a single day. In a word, this was addictive!
The blurb on the back of the book summarises the story quite nicely:
Phoeba Crupp lives with her squabbling parents and younger sister Lilith on a small farm in rural Australia. Her father is an eccentric ex-accountant who moved his family from the city in order to establish a vineyard, a decision her mother bitterly – and loudly – resents. But Phoeba has loved it here since they day they arrived and she met Henrietta and Hadley Pearson, a brother and sister from a neighbouring farm who instantly became her closest friends. At their mother’s urging, Lilith throws herself into trying to find a husband but Phoeba resists, until circumstances beyond her control push her towards the world of men and money. All the while the local community is shaken up by the arrival of pastoralists, suffragettes and squatters, carrying the threat and promise of change to their quiet corner of the country.
As Phoeba wakes up to the realities of the adult world, she comes to realise the friendship of those near to her may count for more than she could ever have imagined. Told with Rosalie’s Ham’s trademark wit and wisdom, Summer At Mount Hope is an unputdownable story of a young woman finding a way to take control of her own destiny.
Set in the outback in the late 1890’s, Summer at Mount Hope follows Phoeba-a smart, forward thinking woman who struggles with her position in life and future prospects. I particularly loved the characters of Phoeba and her similar best friend Henrietta and thoroughly enjoyed reading about their hardships and developing independence. This book had more than a touch of the Austen about it, so if you’re an Austen fan, check this one out!
The characters were strongly written and the setting deeply evocative; both marks of a fine writer, penning a story you’ll want to savour.
I’m giving Summer at Mount Hope 4/5 stars as it had a slower start, however once you get into this book, you won’t want to put it down! At only 296 pages, it’s perfect to pop onto your reading pile for the last, lingering days of summer.
“There is everything here for me. What about you?”
– Rosalie Ham, Summer at Mount Hope.