Australia 1962: Susie has just arrived on the boat from England. She is clutching a newborn baby, but has no wedding ring on her left hand.
The land is dusty and hot, and the work is hard and tiring. All Susie wants is to go home. But with no money, and no hope, how can she turn her life around?
Published by: Head of Zeus - Fiction
Year: 2014 - Kindle
ISBN (E): 9781781859384
Having read LoTF I felt I deserved a little treat and decided to read the latest Amanda Prowse short story released on Kindle.
For those of you who have read 'Clover's Child' you will remember that whilst Dot Simpson was staying in Lavender Lodge she became friends with Susie. Susie had given birth to twins, a boy and girl. She had named her son Nicholas and her daughter Abigail. She was forced to give up her daughter for adoption by the Nuns, but refused to part with her son Nicholas. Her only hope of keeping him was to accept a ten pound ticket to Australia. At this time a ten pound passage and sponsorship from someone in Australia was readily available. Susie took this opportunity in order to keep her son with her. Not knowing what to expect when she arrived there she was hoping that she would be able to make a fresh start and give Nicholas a good home whilst always hoping that one day she would be able to be reunited with Abigail. Things aren't quite what she hoped for when she arrives at the sheep station where she will both live and work. Her sponsor Mitch Gunnerslake turns out to be an older man with few manners and the liking for alcohol. He constantly tells Susie that she belongs to him now that he has paid for her passage and she spends her first year out there fending off his advances. All Susie wants is to find away of riding herself of this man and longs to return to England. When her sponsor Mitch Gunnerslake is found dead and his nephew Philip Gunnerslake inherits the sheep station all Susie hopes for is that she will at last be able to break free from this nightmare, but will the nephew be just as bad as his uncle and will she ever be able to escape.
In our romantic worlds we would all hope that Phillip Gunnerslake would not be like his uncle and that he would fall in love with Susie and they would all live happily ever after, but of course this only happens in fairy tales doesn't it. But we all know that Amanda lives in the real world and writes her novels and short stories to reflect the hardships of life. In reality Phillip Gunnerslake is married and according to the terms of his uncles will he inherits everything including Susie as part of the fixtures and fittings. Some how Susie realises she has to get her and her young son away from the hell she has been living for the past year.
I am a real fan of Amanda Prowse novels and short stories. Within her novels you get to meet her main character and along the way you are introduced to various other characters who together make for a good read. What I especially like about some of Amanda's short stories is that she will bring back a character from a previous novel and you can almost build a family tree of her characters and how they are linked. In this particular short story she brings back Susie from 'Clover's Child' a friend of Dot Simpson who you will remember is the grandmother of Poppy Day. Very cleverly written. Who knows at some stage in the future she may well write a short story that includes 'Simon' or 'Peggy and Max'.