Ella West, Rain Fall, Allen & Unwin, Jan 2018, 213pp., $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760296834
Annie and her mother and father live in a small town, Westport, near Dunedin, on the west coast of New Zealand, where it rains from ‘the beginning of August to the last day of July’. It is surrounded by lush rainforest and rivers that are always on the verge of overflowing. Everyone knows everyone else – no secrets can be kept.
While riding her chestnut horse, Blue, Annie meets another rider, a good-looking cowboy sort of boy, Jack, and love blossoms. The trouble is, that while nothing much happens in Westport, suddenly everything happens, including explosions and murder, and Annie is in it up to her eyeballs.
West’s exciting story about what happens when mines are closed, people are out of work, and small towns are threatened with extinction, catches the mood of the times. It is written with humour, but has a serious situation at its heart. Love conquers, at nobody’s expense, and Annie and Jack will be OK in the end. This is a good story told very well.
Reviewed by Stella Lees