You won’t be able to put down this rural drama from the bestselling author of The Bark Cutters and Wild Lands. River Run is set in January 1951, and after a year away Eleanor Webber has returned home to River Run, her family’s sprawling sheep property in western New South Wales. Fleeing a failed love affair back in Sydney, she hopes for some time and space to heal. But with shearing of over 25,000 sheep about to commence, and the infamous and moneyed Margaret Winslow and her husband Keith staying in the main house as her mother’s guests, that dream is quickly dashed. More worryingly, her half-brother Robbie is increasingly running wild, playing tricks on his governess, antagonising the jackeroos and obsessing about a communist invasion. Though only eleven, Robbie has appointed himself guardian of the property and, in his tree house by the river, he readies for an imminent attack. Armed with a gun. Then, with a storm looming and tensions rising in the shearing shed, a mysterious stranger appears on the horizon. And in one disastrous moment young Robbie entangles Eleanor in a situation that will have serious repercussions for every member of the Webber family . . .
As with every Nicole Alexander book (I’ve read them all), River Run will be your best friend through to the end. Life and chores will not matter until the very last page is read–and then some while you continue thinking about how the characters move on (and after you’ve read the very personal author’s note).
It is once again a treat to become a part of the rural setting. Nicole does this so authentically that you are there for every event that takes place. I loved the characters as they each get into trouble and then back out again. I especially wanted to give Robbie a good talking to and I found myself wanting to give Eleanor a good push in a certain direction. (No more to be said on that for now.)
I loved the narrative around the shearing shed and the characters involved there. Each of them so unique, as I imagine they would have been on properties like River Run, in those earlier days.
Thanks to Nicole Alexander for another great read. You are the heart of Australian storytelling.
Published by Random House Australia Pty Ltd