Georgia Ballantyne is mourning the death of her partner, Amy. Georgia lives in an apartment in Brisbane and has been left with a dilapidated cottage Amy bought in the small town of Elizabeth Creek. The cottage used to hold the promise of a new, simpler life with Amy, but now it’s just a painful reminder of Georgia’s loss.
Georgia hires Zoe and Jack Jennings to renovate the cottage so it can be sold. Zoe loves to spend time in the old workshop where she learned woodworking from her dad, and she is not impressed by the city-slicker who seems determined to get in the way on the job site.
For Georgia and Zoe, animosity soon turns to attraction. Is Georgia just another tourist looking for a fling, or can these two rebuild more than just the cottage?
Georgia is a refreshingly mature character. She is eager to provide hands-on help with the renovation to save cost. She also manages to rock a pair of “work” jeans and make them attractive.
Zoe has spent her life in Elizabeth Creek. She dutifully helps her brother keep the business afloat, but it’s past time for her to make her own path in life.
Both women spend a lot of time thinking about loved ones they’ve lost. Amy has been gone for almost three years. Zoe’s parents have been gone even longer. However, as Zoe transforms the cottage she also transforms Georgia’s outlook on life. Likewise, Georgia inspires Zoe to think beyond the confining role she has built for herself in Elizabeth Creek.
The Writing Style
This book has medium/low angst and has good pacing. Silcox treats grief respectfully while not allowing sadness to permeate the story. She has also done her homework, as evidenced by Zoe’s concern that Georgia wear appropriate boots at the job site.
My favorite part of the book was learning several Australian expressions that I found as delightful as they were confusing. For example, the characters kept referring to an eskie. A quick internet search led me to an image of what my momma always called an ice chest. However, the best part of the internet search was learning that New Zealanders call it a … chilly bin. I’m still smiling.
For me, Amy’s Rest continues a recent trend of reading books featuring home renovations. It inspired me to take on my own project, and my wife has been thrilled (even if my back has not). You should buy this book if you enjoy characters from the land Down Under, and if you love to imagine the smell of freshly-hewn wood and the sound of a well-struck nail.
Excerpt from Amy’s Rest by S. R. Silcox
Zoe dropped a coin into the drink machine beside the shed and pulled out a can of lemonade. She may as well have a cold drink while she waited for Nick to finish up. She’d just popped the top and was about to have a drink when a high-end pretend all-wheel-drive pulled up in the car park. “Nick, come have a look at this.”
Nick loved cars and she figured he’d get a kick out of this one. It was sleek and black and, judging by the lack of dings and scratches, Zoe guessed it hadn’t seen a dirt track since it rolled out of the sales yard.
Nick appeared beside her and when he saw the car he whistled. “Nice car. Who is it?”
“No idea,” Zoe replied and they both watched as a woman with salon-perfect brown wavy hair and over-sized dark sunglasses got out of the car and walked towards them. Zoe took another drink from the can and watched the woman approach.
Everything about her screamed city-chick and Zoe wondered whether she might be lost. Most people like this woman just drove on through Elizabeth Creek, maybe stopping for fuel and a quick bite to eat on their way to somewhere else more exciting.
As the woman walked towards them, she shoved her sunglasses onto the top of her head. “Hi,” she said. “I think I’m after your husband, Jack?”
Nick snorted and Zoe dug him in the ribs before he could say anything. “Go and grab Jack,” she ordered. To the woman, she said, “I’m Jack’s sister.”
Nick scuttled off to find Jack, who was probably going through paperwork in the office out the back.
“Oh, right. Sorry,” the woman replied.
It wasn’t the first time someone had confused her for Jack’s wife and it wouldn’t be the last. Being a woman and a builder just didn’t compute in some people’s heads. It used to bother her but it didn’t any more. It gave her an element of surprise she could use to her advantage if she needed to.
“You want a drink while you wait?” Zoe asked.
“Sure. If that’s okay,” the woman replied, wiping her hand across her forehead.
Zoe pointed to the vending machine. “We’ve got water and soft drinks. A dollar each.”
The woman’s eyes narrowed. “I’m fine. Thanks.”
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Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: Juggernaut Books
- S. R. Silcox Online
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