4 out of 4 stars
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Ironbark Hill by Jennie Linnane is written in such a manner that the reader wants to continue to the next page and find out what will happen next to Natalie Chapman. This story follows Natalie during her 16th year of life; acknowledging the many emotional stages she goes through as she learns about her family members and friends that live in the small town of Ironbark Hill.
Natalie is like any teenager who is turning into a young woman, and nothing can prepare her for when she learns about how life really works. Listening to life stories about her biological father, her step-father, grandfather, mother and what really happened to a younger brother. The emotions this girl goes through could break a weak mind but Natalie shows how strong she really is. When Ms. Chapman starts working for Mr. and Mrs. Grover she is taken under Mrs. Grover’s wing and given lessons on how to draw and paint. The reader will find out how delightful and whimsical Mrs. Grover is as a teacher and friend to dear Natalie.
The author takes us on a dramatic and wonderful story about Natalie. We get to follow the discrimination, emotional stages, love of her heifer, secrets, and her will to be an artist. All of these situations can happen to anyone during their lifetime. As you read this story you will get caught up in the delicate details of Natalie and how she remains strong even when trouble follows her. Natalie’s strength comes through as she wants to protect everyone in her family from the strong arm of her step-father.
I have not read a book recently that is so descriptive. You find yourself walking the trails, being punished by the step-father, or feeling guilty and nervous about her romantic tendencies. One wants to know how Natalie Chapman will deal with the next issue that is presented to her. It is wonderful how the author presents each family member or neighbor’s side of the story.
Kudos to Jennie Linnane! She has written about the many layers of family relationships in a way that keeps a reader intrigued. Ms. Linnane has given us a book that not only teenagers can read but adults would find rather stimulating, also. The writing is flawless so my rating for Ironbark Hill is 4 out of 4 stars.
I can’t wait to pick up another book written by Ms. Linnane and be taken on another emotional/descriptive journey.
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