The Red Heart
Availability Update: Steam eReads has ceased operating, so this book is temporarily unavailable until a new publishing contract is signed.
Set in Alice Springs and the surrounding, the story loosely follows some of my own experiences in this country in the early 1980s. Whereas I learnt to fly in Alice, I didn’t work as a pilot and all of the characters in the book are fictional. They are all so familiar though, and I have met the likes of Mum Gardner, Chris and Mark the helicopter pilots and Rose Woodleigh, all within the settings described in the book. The other similarity to my time in Alice is the fact that I also drove a station wagon called Gordon, as does the character Sarah in the book. I also found sitting atop Anzac Hill at dusk to be a magical experience as the softening sky bathed the ranges in those wonderful hues of lilac and pink.
Our dinner the other night prompted me to buy The Red Heart. I am really enjoying it (except for the early description of Kathy as being ‘all woman’ under her uniform or something). The pilot and flying details are really interesting and give an unexpected dimension to the character and story, and the setting must be a writer’s dream. I have only been to Alice Springs one (on a school trip) but I can still remember Anzac Hill Lookout and Kathy’s view took me right back there. Looking forward to the rest – don’t tell me.
..You have at least one reader for your second book.
I was drawn to this book initially because I am also a pilot and have been to Alice Springs, though just passing through. I loved the descriptions of the country in that area and the technical aspects of flying ran very true for the time in which the novel was set, which must have been in the eighties.
It was a slow start but I was soon drawn into the story and the characterisation of the people who featured. Brandon was very difficult to like initially with his patronising attitude but he gradually became more personable. Perhaps there could be a follow up on Brandon and Kathy’s life on the station? Sarah, Chris and Mark were great supporting characters. It finished up being a good read for anyone who likes an authentic story of the Australian outback.