Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Rouseabout

The Rouseabout by Rachel Treasure
- audio version read by Miranda Nation

I received a copy of the audio book from someone who lives down under. I have to say that Bolinda does a fantastic job with their audios. The reader is great, the music feature is nice and not overused, and each CD is divided into lots of tracks so that you can easily pick up where you left off.

Kate Webster is a loveable larrikin* who likes to play hard now and worry about the consequences later. She can't help mucking up the opportunities life gives her. Rocked by the death of her mother, she takes on a dare at one of Australia's wildest rural social events - a Bachelors & Spinsters ball - to 'scalp' gorgeous farm boy Nick McDonnell. It's a dare that changes everything. For just as Kate is ready to start her new life, away from her grieving father and the pressures of the family farm, she discovers she is pregnant.

Now, several years later, with toddler Nell by her side, its time for Kate to come home to face the music - and the father of her child.

Set primarily in rural Tasmania, The Rouseabout follows Kate Webster as she finally gets over herself and grows up. That sentence makes it sound like the novel is chick lit, but I can assure you that it is most decidedly not. It is more serious than playful and it deals with some tough issues.

When I first started listening, I really wasn't sure about this book. I couldn't relate to Kate who was drinking and carousing and possibly neglecting her daughter, but once all the subtleties of the story started being revealed I got into it and ended up really enjoying it (and being able to relate to Kate despite the fact that she's not at all like me). Overall I really liked this book. There were certain things that happen in it that I'd have preferred didn't happen,** but I know why Treasure made them happen and understand why they were important to the story and the development of the characters.

* a person given to comical or outlandish behavior, a hoodlum. (This, and Russell reading Reading the OED is making me want to do make something of the idea I've had about periodically featuring interesting words that I come across in my reading on the blog).
** without spoiling anything I can say that I specifically took exception to what happened to Will.

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