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Ash Mountain

by Helen Fitzgerald

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253906,724 (3.7)None
Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she?d escaped. But her dad is ill and needs care. Her relationship is over and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway. She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer. As past friendships and rivalries are renewed and new ones forged, Fran?s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants ? Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life - and a woman and a land in crisis - and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget ?.… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
4.75 Stars. What a superbly written novel. Ash Mountain is a gripping read in so many different respects.

Sure, this is a disaster thriller; an absolutely devastating one. But thanks to FitzGerald’s sophisticated, layered revelation of characters’ backstories, the tension and suspense reaches fever-pitch well before that disaster’s impact is depicted.

I found the authenticity of Ash Mountain’s characters searing; their attitudinal quirks and fallibilities beguiling. And the feeling in this resilient country town, as it sweats and bristles under the weight of its dark past, it's palpable. However, the icing on this cake for me was FitzGerald’s shocking aplomb with the darkest of dark humour. Continue reading: https://www.bookloverbookreviews.com/2021/03/ash-mountain-by-helen-fitzgerald-re... ( )
  BookloverBookReviews | Mar 29, 2021 |
The story of a fictitious town in Victoria that is told in the disasters that it suffers over a 30 year period. These disasters are both man-made and natural. The story climaxes with a bushfire that all but destroys the town. But it covers about 6 time periods, from the day of the fire, a few days before the fire, a couple of weeks before and 30 years before the fire, I found it hard at times to keep all the storylines straight. It wasn't a bad read and reminded me of the recent 2019-2020 fires and the Ash Wednesday fires many years ago now. I will probably try another of her books later. ( )
  Steven1958 | Mar 21, 2021 |
A quick read that triggered lots of emotions. I laughed at the various father on a stick outings and stoner Face and Finger Dancing. The description of when the fire hit (especially Rosies') and its impact on the characters bought home memories from Black Saturday. The chaos, running on adrenalin, the worry about family. I enjoyed the books insights into small town life and Frans narration of the characters and story. A fitting ending to wrap up a pacy book. ( )
  SteveMcI | Mar 19, 2021 |
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'If you want Farn to die, add two. That's zero-two if you would like to say goodbye to Francesca.' Fran unstuck herself from the couch and reached for the alarm.
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Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she?d escaped. But her dad is ill and needs care. Her relationship is over and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway. She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer. As past friendships and rivalries are renewed and new ones forged, Fran?s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants ? Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life - and a woman and a land in crisis - and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget ?.

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