If Wishes Were Horses by Karly Lane

Karly is a well-know Australian author, famous for her rural romances, a genre I don't normally read. But we have had an online friendship for quite a while now and I've found her to be an outgoing, funny, gregarious and totally down to earth person who I really enjoy engaging with. I thought ... I need to read one of her books; not for moral support - she doesn't need that - but out of curiosity. I wanted to see how much of Karly spilled over into her writings.

As a horse and history lover, If Wishes Were Horses spoke to me, so when I finally saw a copy sitting next to me in the local post office I grabbed it. That night I began to read.

I am not going to go into the storyline or even do a rehash rundown of the back page blurb; you need to read the book for yourself to discover those details. I'm just going to write my review ...

The lack of unbeliably beautiful girls, buff, arrogant, rich men and chapters of sex that are too good to be true, was totally refreshing. A touch of humor also made this read into a more realistic take on life and love. I adored the use of Aussie language, I delighted in the small town idiosyncrasies, and the word paintings that describe the landscapes down under are spot on. As for the back-story, it is based on a true part of Australian history that brings a certain amount of pathos into the story, causing one to reflect on the sadness  and waste of war. Altogether, these things made for a fabulous read and I would recommend it to all those jaded people, like myself, who are over Hollywood's concept of romance. Well done, Karly ... you got me.

Outback Exodus – Books 1-5 by Dawn Millen

OUTBACK EXODUS – BOOKS 1-5 by Dawn Millen

I downloaded the ebook free many years ago but never got to reading it. Now I am happy that this is the case for this series needs to be read as a whole, to enjoy the story to its fullest.

Miss Millen’s style is unique and it shows as you progress through each individual book. Books one and two – Outback Exodus and Settled on the Coast - have the feel of diary entries with the third book – Gordon Under Attack - drawing you into the story in a different way. The fourth book – Sloan - comes from a totally different POV with a new and independent character. And the fifth book – New Generations – shoots off into the future by a good fifty years. Regardless of these different styles and approaches the story is a nice easy read.

So, to the content.

Outback Exodus is set in Australia and it is a story unto itself. It starts at the aftermath of a series of earthquakes that are so violent that they literally take the world as we know it out of commission. Devastation is rife, along with death and disease. There are no communications systems, no electricity, and most of the buildings have been flatten, leaving those that are still standing as death traps. The few survivors have two choices … they can either stay where they are and die along with the rest of the population, or live. Simple as that!

Those that choose to live slowly gather themselves together and make their way towards the east coast. It is not an easy task as every step needs to be planned around the new and unfamiliar circumstances, using whatever they can salvage along the way. As usual there are disputes and injuries to deal with, as well as the lack of knowledge of working within their changed situation. Life is not easy in the outback at the best of times. It is almost impossible under these circumstances. But against all odds the group perseveres.

I loved the scenario of this book, not just because of its story but because of the way the characters needed to explore another world, one that had thrown them back to colonial times.

I highly recommend this book and give it four and a half stars.