The blue mountains unfold as the backdrop or the lonely cattle station in the scrub brush, dry withered grasses struggling to survive. We readers feel completely inundated with the place, from sights to scents, the outback comes alive. The community, old friendships, and rural location all give us a sense that Sarah is far from the place and person she has become. And is that what she wanted? We have to wonder...did she just take up the life she found when she ran away from that one mistake? Sarah's anxiety about disclosure is actually quite secondary to her grief at that long-ago decision. And as the secrets come out, so too do the possible entanglements.
Ms. Brandyn writes beautifully of this exotic locale, in fact her descriptions would give even area residents a new perspective on their home. Descriptions are never overdone either - a line here or there, interspersed, work to give us an overview that we are hardly aware is building in our minds. Not so our main character's internal monologue, which occasionally does drag drearily on...but always clarifies the past.
Ethan, the Aussie cowboy, tough as he is, is every girl's dream, but somehow a little bit more, too. There are definitely surprises in store. Sarah is not the only one with a secret.
Wonderfully evocative and engaging, Heat in the Outback should be on everyone's summer reading list.
And if you haven't read it there are so many places to purchase in print or e-book. For a list of where or how to go to http://www.suzannebrandyn.com/