Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2021 on Amazon by Cristella
A wonderfully written Australian story depicting life for those who live on a cattle station.
The descriptions bring into focus those every day occurrences. Sending children away from home and off to boarding school for their education. How they ultimately discover their chosen career. An understanding of their career choices. And of course the awakening personal lives.
Life on a huge cattle station is a complexity of diversity with many considerations to be taken into effect. All of this is summed up in Gordon Smiths exciting tale.
Every page is an occurrence you will not want to miss. I loved experiencing the journey.
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2021on Amazon by
Grady Harp Amazon Hall of Fame top 100 reviewers
Australian author Gordon Smith has spent most of his life in sales, public transport and Traffic Management, managing traffic movements through and around major roadwork sites through out Queensland. Gordon retired to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2014 and started to take in interest in researching his family. He discovered links back to the 1400’s and even a distant link to the Royal Family of United Kingdom. During his research he discovered that he had 6 relatives who fought in the Great War. He knew about his relatives in the 2nd World War but knew nothing about the men in his family who had fought in the Great War. The result – his first books – FROM THE FAMILY THAT WENT TO WAR and AN AUSTRALIAN STORY –reflecting his rather profound research, a rather magnum opus of Australian history over two centuries worthy of careful study. He has published eight books to date.
Having read Gordon’s other books bringing history to us in a most serviceable manner, it is refreshing to see that he is equally capable of writing solid novels. KARANJA RUN opens with a sensitive rendering of a key incident that propels this story: ‘Eileen was sitting on the veranda, feeling the cooling effect of the breeze blowing across the waterhole. Lunch was all prepared, and while she waited for Stephen, her husband, the phone rang…”Mrs. Fitzsimmons, this is Mary Von Dwyer, Principle of St. Florence’s School. I am afraid that you will need to arrange to collect your younger daughter, Allison, from school. We have no alternative but to expel her…Last evening, when one of the house mothers made an unexpected visit to her room, it was discovered that Allison and another girl were naked and it appears that they were touching each other, inappropriately…’ Tough scenario, managed well!
Gordon’s synopsis generously shares the plot – ‘Karanja Run is a family owned cattle station located in the Channel country of north Queensland. Stephen Fitzsimmons inherited the station from his father ten years after marrying Eileen. A tough, no-nonsense man with a love of his country only exceeded by the love of his family. Eileen is the mother of 3 children, Gloria. Giles and Allison. Runs the household with a firm, but loving hand. The story starts with the expulsion of Allison after being discovered in a compromising position with another girl. Allison always claimed that it was an innocent incident, but the shame of a same-sex relationship haunted her. She returned to Karanja Run. After a short, while her father sent her to be trained as a helicopter pilot working with the cattle movements on Karanja Run. After a short-lived romance with a station hand she is recruited as a helicopter pilot by the Volunteer Emergency and Search Agency. Her sister, Gloria trains as a nurse and eventually becomes a Flying Doctor nurse. Their brother Giles prepares to take over and run the family station. After several rescue operations Allison and her crew are kidnapped by a crime syndicate. Her subsequent rescue from an Asian jungle location is a gripping adventure on its own. Returning from a normal Flying Doctor mission, Gloria’s aircraft runs into a bad storm, drifts well of course then crashes into the thick bush. Her pilot eventually dies from his injuries while Gloria uses all her survival skills waiting for a rescue. Enduring bushfires and floods all contribute to each other’s strength of character.’
The scope of this novel is broad and comfortably explores family issues in addition to presenting a fine thriller.