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Mallee Sky - Kerry McGinnis

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Published: 21st August 2013
Format: ePUB

When it all goes wrong, where is there left to run to but home?

Kate Gilmore hasn't been home in years, but with her marriage over and her job in jeopardy she doesn't know where else to turn. Desperate for comfort, Kate retreats to the Mallee, a place crawling with dark secrets and lingering childhood memories.

When she's offered a carer's job on the isolated Rosebud Farm, Kate soon meets old Harry Quickly, an intriguing young boy called Maxie, and a handsome harvest contractor who's not shy about making his intentions known.

Under the endless Mallee skies, Kate discovers that she might just have a future in the place that has haunted her past. But are some family secrets better left in the grave or can new friendships heal old wounds?

A moving and evocative novel of mystery, heartbreak and courage by the bestselling author of Wildhorse Creek.

About the Author

Kerry McGinnis is the author of two volumes of memoir, Pieces of Blue and Heart Country, and the bestselling novels The Waddi Tree and Wildhorse Creek.



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Mallee Sky

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


3/4 read, can't put it down...love it!!


from Ripplebrook, Vic, Australia

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  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Page-Turner


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    Comments about Mallee Sky:

    3/4 read, can't put it down...love it!!

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    Kate dreamed of home.

    She was a pigtailed child again in the sunlit stubble of the wheat paddock, with the wind in her face and the sound of laughter drowning the song of the ground larks. Megan squatted beside her, plucking the scarlet poppies and plaiting them into a chain. In the dream her adult self remembered how hard it was to actually split the slender stems. Instead they wound them together, producing scarlet coronets with which they crowned each other. 'It's too red,' she said, giggling to see the results when set on Megan's ginger curls.

    'Don't care.' Megan wound another strand around her pale freckled wrist. She had lovely creamy skin that burned red and peeled; she was supposed to stay covered from the sun, but her hat was off now and her face already turning pink.They had been looking for the fox's den in the next paddock when the blaze of poppies amid the silvering stubble caught their eye. Tomorrow the sheep would be turned into the paddock, as they always were after harvest. So it was now or never, and with one accord they'd abandoned their quest in favour of gathering the fragile blossoms growing wild in the wheat.

    'They won't last.' Kate's voice was sad. And as if her words had conjured it, a cloud covered the sun, cooling the air and hiding their hunched shadows.

    'So what? There'll be more,' Megan said, but Kate turned her head and looked away down the slight slope to where her family's farmstead lay in the hollowed shell of mallee scrub that had been left as shelter against the hot north-easterly winds. The farmhouse with its red roof and stone chimneys lay under the cloud but the iron roofs of the sheds, some patched with rust, glinted in sunlight. Sheets flapped on the washing line and smoke rose from the kitchen chimney.

    'There's Dad.' Kate pointed at the distant figure but Megan was silent. Kate looked back then, but in the way of dreams her friend had vanished and the stubble and poppies with her, leaving a formless grey emptiness. Her heartbeat quickened. She shivered in sudden cold and woke to find a fine mist of rain blowing in through the open bedroom window.

    Lying in the unfamiliar bed, Kate blinked, wondering where she was, then memory returned and she sat up, reaching for the digital clock beside the bed. The bright figures showed it to be past seven. Kate rose and shut the window, then stood studying the day, or what she could see of it over the motel courtyard with its parked cars and line of dripping bushes thrashing in the wind. The sky was a uniform grey and the window ran with light rivulets of rain. She hated driving in the wet. The driver's window leaked slightly and the wipers needed new rubbers – just another thing that Guy had let slip, along with his job, the rent payments, and his marriage. Perhaps she should have flown after all, she thought, but then she'd still have needed public transport to finish her journey – and country bus schedules were a pain. No, she decided, heading for the shower, Guy's lack of wheels was his problem. Or rather Luci's; she was his latest conquest. No doubt he preferred her smart new Hyundai to the battered old Commodore anyway.

    By the time Kate had breakfasted the drizzle had stopped.

    'Thanks, love,' the woman behind the desk said as she accepted her room key. 'Going far? Not the best day for it.'

    'No. But perhaps it'll clear.' Dodging the first question, Kate gave her a meaningless smile. The glass door mirrored her slim form in its cotton top and jeans, the bounce of her heavy fair hair, as she stepped through the doorway and out into the forecourt, where large puddles lay on the asphalt, their surfaces shivered by the wind. A dumpy maid pushing a trolley of cleaning gear wished her good morning and her lips moved mechanically in reply as she nodded, hand fumbling in her shoulder bag for the keys. Unlocking the boot of the red Commodore, she fitted her bag in, then paused to tip her chin upwards when a bird sped past with a raucous cry. Cuckoo – the identification was automatic. A large, strong bird, but for all that not so much flying as blown by the thrusting force of the wind. Makes two of us, mate. The words were a faint echo in her head. How often had her father murmured them while his hands smoothed a piece of timber, or sharpened a chisel blade? The difference being that as a child she had never understood the quiet resignation behind them.

    Kate's mouth twisted, thinning her lips so that she seemed momentarily older than her twenty-eight years. Sadness shadowed her eyes but there was nothing to be gained by dwelling on the past. Done and dusted; her father's words too. Best to remember them now that she was finally going back. The seat was damp as she slid in and belted up. Three times she turned the key (the last with her fingers crossed nervously) before the engine fired. When it did she drove out of the forecourt and made a right-hand turn into the traffic, wriggling about and pressing her shoulders back into the seat, getting comfortable for another long day's drive south.

    ISBN: 9781921901461
    ISBN-10: 1921901462
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 368
    Published: 21st August 2013
    Country of Publication: AU
    Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 3.0
    Weight (kg): 0.45
    Edition Number: 1