25 September 2023

Someone Like You

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Karly Lane, Allen & Unwin, $29.99.

Past lives and new beginnings take centre stage in this book that deals a lot with fate, when life leads you in a direction for some unknown reason.

Recovering from her marriage breakdown, it’s reasonable to expect that Sydney author Hayley Stevens would be suffering from writer’s block. What doesn’t help is her agent chasing her to get the opening chapters of the new book.

Twelve months later, Hayley said goodbye to the city. She was excited to be heading west to Lochway, a small colonial village sitting on the beautiful Macdonald River.

On impulse, she buys a small house in a small country town in her efforts to get a fresh start.

What she didn’t expect was the almost immediate ‘gift’ of a very noisy donkey named Errol. Nor did Hayley expect to meet her handsome new neighbour, Luke Mason, when she was covered in mud trying to drag Errol out of the dam.

As Hayley slowly gains acceptance into her small community and starts writing again she becomes almost afraid of the inexplicable visions she sees. There’s a lot to appreciate about Someone Like You. While the characters have an originality, are amiable and varied, not all are people.

Lane’s novels are a little unusual, containing more than a mention of funniness and often draw inspiration from Australia’s history. Rural Australia is a favourite backdrop for Lane.

There’s a back-story that touches on convict times, so there was also a bit of research involved.

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