I would like to thank Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours for my spot on this blog tour.
This is an absolute 5⭐️ read, I picked it up late one evening and couldn’t put it down until I finished the last page. Set in a remote town in Australia with a population of around 887. The narrative tells of events leading up to a firestorm that threatens to turn the whole town to Ashes, as the storm is happening, and also going back 30 years as the reader learns of Frans life growing up. Mainly told through Fran, but interspersed with bits from her father as well as teenager Rosie.
Fran thought she had left her old home town for good, but now she finds herself back to look after her dying father, who can no longer look after himself. He has a nurse, but he needs more care, Fran has an older son Dante, and a teenage daughter Vonny.
I love the relationship that Fran has with her son Dante, as soon as I saw his name I immediately thought of Dante’s inferno, which for more than one reason seemed quite apt, we learn about secrets as to why Fran left her home town, the small mindedness of small town people. The relationship with Dante who I really liked. Then Vonny who is at the difficult teenage age, but again the relationship with her father, they had stayed together for Vonny, until they realised they were letting life pass them by. But they are still there for their daughter and each other as friends.
The storylines and plot draws you in, keeping the reader engaged throughout, the humour is dark, descriptive and cleverly written. Old rivalries are still there, but so are old friendships, as well as the chance to find a new love. I loved the story of the Ostriches and the names.
There was so much going on within the story, but to say too much would give away spoilers, but everything just flows and fits so well, there is a little bit of everything, some of what Fran has been through in her life is tragic, heartbreaking. But some of the story also brought back some memories of growing up for me, because of the timeline, which I and anyone born around Frans time will probably relate to.
But the description of the bushfires was hauntingly devastating, as this happened earlier this year for real. You could picture everything as it had been written, some of it tragic and emotional.
The story has everything, some dark humour, relationships, mistakes made, suspense. Sexuality, sexual abuse, death. But everything handled so well, this is a poignant book that will stay with you.
I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’s escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead end job in the city anyway.
She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer. As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants….
Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever Ash Mountain is a heartbreaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband
PUBLICATION DATE: 14 MAY 2020 | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99 | ORENDA BOOKS