This series is an epic saga; a delicious blend of contemporary and historical fiction. I keep wondering how the author can maintain the momentum, but she has done it once again. And each instalment has been wonderfully unique.
Cece, the quiet sister who was never far apart from her sister Star, has been frustrated by her inability to find herself or her niche as an artist. In the wake of a perceived abandonment by her sister, she decides to follow the clues left to her by her dear father Pa Salt. Following nothing more than a name (Kitty Mercer known as the “the pearling pioneer”), geographical coordinates, and an old black and white photograph, her quest brings her to Australia (via Thailand) where she not only discovers her family, but also her inner self. I liked how Cece’s new link to an Aboriginal culture where story-telling and art are major forms of communication, make her more accepting of her dyslexia. I loved the descriptions of Australia as harsh and unforgiving, but also full of heart, soul, and opportunity.The plight of indigenous people is considered, as well as the ways of the early settlers: both are treated with respect by the author. Riley intertwines established history with imagined backstories that are thoroughly engrossing. Lucinda Riley’s research is very thorough and her website provides information about the real stories behind the books. For that background information, here is the link.