Starting From Now
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Fans of rural fiction will enjoy Fleur McDonald’s new offering, Starting From Now. Part romance, part crime novel, the story features 25-year-old rural journalist Zara, who is torn between her city job and the family and countryside she loves in rural South Australia. Opening with the death of an activist in a sabotage gone wrong, the story moves into Zara’s turmoil wrought by the loss of her brother, Will, and her mother’s struggle to cope alone. Within this framework, Zara investigates a series of disruptions to farms by a group of animal activists. How far will some rogue members go and who might get hurt? McDonald’s story acknowledges the two sides of the animal activism/animal farming debate, and Will’s death is depicted with tenderness and insight. The main characters are likeable, and the spirit of country townships is warmly evoked.