I grew up in Tasmania. The Apple Isle.
The Last of the Apple Blossom is a novel set in the orchards of the Huon Valley, a love song to a way of life long gone, erased by natural and economic woes.
Two orchards, two women…and a secret that binds them.
The Last of the Apple Blossom will be published by Harlequin HQ in 2021.
Here’s a little bit about it to whet your appetite.
7th February, 1967 and walls of flame reduce much of Tasmania to ash.
Young schoolteacher Catherine Turner rushes to the Huon Valley to find her family’s apple orchard destroyed, her childhood home in ruins and her brother dead. Despite her father’s declaration that a woman will never run the orchard, Catherine resolves to rebuild the family business.
After five sons, Catherine’s friend and neighbour, Annie Pearson, is overjoyed by the birth of a much longed for daughter. As Annie and her husband Dave work to repair the damage to their orchard, Dave’s friend Mark pitches in, despite the fact that Annie wants him gone. Mark has moved his family to the valley to escape his life in Melbourne, but his wife has disappeared leaving chaos in her wake and their young son Charlie in Mark’s care.
Catherine becomes fond of Charlie, whose strange upbringing has left him shy and withdrawn. However, the growing friendship between Mark and Catherine not only scandalises the small community but threatens a secret Annie is desperate to keep hidden.
Through natural disasters, personal calamities and the devastating collapse of the apple industry, Catherine, Annie and those they love, battle to save their livelihoods, their families and their secrets.