Kim Richards was a down to earth farmer – she loved nothing better than getting her hands dirty with harvesting, mending fences; whatever it took. She and her brother Matt co-ran the farm, with Matt living offsite with his wife Loz and their two children. Lake Grace had been home to the family for a long time and when their parents had moved to Perth, both Kim and Matt were happy to continue on at the property where their roots lay.
Kim had been hurt in the past by unscrupulous men – she wasn’t sure she’d ever trust one (other than Matt) again. But when the new Elders man arrived to process her claim from the latest storm – the storm Kim had been trapped in and rescued by the elusive and elderly Vietnam vet, Harry - she was shocked at how attracted to him she was. Plus he was older than she was – surely he had a past; she definitely didn’t want to go there!
Charlie McNamara had arrived in Lake Grace with confusion in his heart and a determination to discover the riddle of his past. When he first met Kim, he felt drawn to her but he had no idea why. Then as Kim and Charlie began a tentative friendship, Kim also visited Harry whom she found to be a friendly fellow who loved his dogs, but didn’t want to talk about his past during the war. Kim’s kind nature was a balm for Harry while Kim felt comfortable and contented around the old man.
What would be the outcome of Kim’s friendship with these two very different men? What were the secrets that had long been buried – would they eventually come to light?
The Family Secret by Aussie author Fiona Palmer is a wonderful tale of tragedy, hope and friendships; of redemption and loss; of sadness and forgiveness. The touching of the heartache of the Vietnam vets and their struggles to return to civilian life; of the eventual diagnosis of PTSD that the majority of them suffered was extremely well done. I absolutely loved The Family Secret and enjoyed catching up again with some of The Saddler Boys’ characters – Fiona Palmer is an excellent writer of rural romance and I have no hesitation in highly recommending The Family Secret.