This Australian novel is a many-faceted love story encompassing characters of a wide range of ages. After Natalie’s stepfather dies, Irma Townsend and her children remain with Grandpa at Ironbark Hill. Through the years, two of Irma’s maturing daughters find the solace and happiness of sharing their dreams with soul-mates. Natalie, the eldest, wonders if she will ever know the love of a worthy man. Almost giving up hope, she continues to tread her well-worn path of duty – caring for Irma, Joey and Grandpa. The hard-working daughter resigns herself to a single-woman destiny but eventually meets another searcher oriented on the same journey. Could this person be her soul mate?
This is a wonderful historical novel that takes place in Australia. The sequel to Ironbark Hill, Irma’s Daughters begins shortly after the death of Irma’s abusive husband. However, you don’t need to read the first book to understand this one.
Irma and her daughters as well as her son must learn to live with what happened that fateful day. The story chronicles their lives for several decades, as they live on Ironbark Hill with Irma’s father, and even after they move away. Though the story centers around Natalie, the eldest daughter, all of the daughters and Irma offer their perspectives over the years.
I love the universal themes in this story: the power of family, the resilience of children, the power of love, and the lengths people are willing to go to protect and care for those they love.
People who read women’s fiction or historical novels will enjoy this story.