'The Fine Color of Rust'
Author: P.A. O'Reilly
Published: Washington Square Press; Sept. 2012
Synopsis: Set in the Australian bush, a wryly funny, beautifully observed novel about friendship, motherhood, love, and the importance of fighting for things that matter.
Loretta Boskovic never dreamed she would end up a single mother with two kids in a dusty Australian country town. She never imagined she’d have to campaign to save the local primary school. She certainly had no idea her best friend would turn out to be the crusty old junk man. All in all, she’s starting to wonder if she took a wrong turn somewhere. If only she could drop the kids at the orphanage and start over . . . But now, thanks to her protest letters, the education minister is coming to Gunapan, and she has to convince him to change his mind about the school closure. And as if facing down the government isn’t enough, it soon becomes clear that the school isn’t the only local spot in trouble. In the drought-stricken bushland on the outskirts of town, a luxury resort development is about to siphon off a newly discovered springwater supply. No one seems to know anything, no one seems to care.
With a dream lover on a Harley unlikely to appear to save the day, Loretta needs to stir the citizens of Gunapan to action. She may be short of money, influence, and a fully functioning car, but she has good friends. Together they can organize chocolate drives, supermarket sausage sizzles, a tour of the local slaughterhouse—whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home.
My Take: Has anyone out there ever watched the Australian series McCleod's Daughters? I was obsessed with this show for quite sometime. It's about a couple of sisters and their female friends who run a ranch out in the middle of the bush in Australia. Basically it is awesome, and it is streaming on Netflix so if you've never seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out!
So what's the connection to McCleod's Daughters and The Fine Color of Rust? Well a few things actually. The lead character in The Fine Color of Rust was a spunky female lead who had a lot of knocks in life but ultimately didn't let them get her down. Similarly, both The Fine Color of Rust and McCleod's Daughters were set in the middle of nowhere Australia which comes with similar hardships. For me, it meant there was no stopping it, I'm going to love this book!
Our leading lady is Loretta and she has two young children and a husband who has left her to fend for herself. She lives in a very small town. The kind where everybody knows everybody. It's so small in fact that the officials want to shut down the local school. Well Loretta doesn't want to have that taken away from her children and she tries to rile up the other local citizens to fight back with her.
Loretta's best friend was my favorite character. Norm was an old man who lived in a junk yard. Everybody liked him and came to him to just discuss life. The way he protected Loretta and her children was incredibly endearing.
With that setup, the rest of the story is for you to read and enjoy. Underlying everything in this story is a great sense of humor. I was laughing out loud the entire time I was reading The Fine Color of Rust and I can't remember the last book that did that to me. If you need a great escape or just need an uplifting read, then I can't recommend a better book then The Fine Color of Rust to fill that need.
Cover Lust: I think this cover is perfect. It's kind of rust tinted and Loretta drove a beater of a car.