Read from October 27-30th 2013.
Synopsis: Sam is devastated when her partner, Ben, has an affair. More than a betrayal, it is a wound so deep her life seems to simply stop, and she has trouble moving on.
Sam tries to confront Rachel, the woman Ben cheated with, but leaves it too late. Rachel has gone, has had her own marriage end because of the affair, and instead Sam meets Rachel’s husband, Tim. Sam hasn’t thought of the other person caught in all of this, but now she begins to. She and Tim have a lot in common. Tim is struggling, as overcome as Sam. Shocked, battered by what has happened, doubting themselves, Sam and Tim begin to find some comfort in one another’s hesitant friendship.
Sam wants to put Ben behind her, and get on with her life, but that may be harder than it seems. Ben wants her back, and Rachel won’t stop hanging around Tim, and everything just seems to keep getting more complicated when all Sam wants is a little peace.
Grey Jack Road is a novel about relationships, and how they end, and about living with the consequences of other people’s actions. It is a story of devastating endings, but also of hope and healing, and of the strength of the bonds between people. Grey Jack Road is set on a farm near Canberra, in the Snowy Mountains district of New South Wales, in Australia.
Bookish things: 408 pages. The cover, while depicting the countryside, probably could have more to do with the actual story, or perhaps be of a more impressive piece of scenery.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.69 or in paperback for $13.49
Grey Jack Road is set in the New South Wales countryside nestled somewhere between Canberra, Cooma and Bredbo. For Aussies who know this area, this book will probably feel a bit like coming home. For Aussies who aren’t from that area, it might remind them of rural Victoria or other farming areas. For those readers who aren’t Aussies, this will be a glimpse into the wild and wonderful bush land life of the farming community.
Some of the imagery was so brilliantly described in poetic visions, so clear, it was as if the image had been plucked straight from my mind. J.T. really has a way with words, especially for describing scenery and the change of seasons.
The story… Well, that felt a little melodramatic. A bit too internalized and a little woe-is-me at times. At others it felt just right. I suppose with the type of story it is, the internalizing was bound to happen, but it will put some people off with its slow pace and rambling nature.
The little quirks and adventures that were to be had by Tim and Sam(antha) were a welcome detour from their inner turmoil. They made the tale feel real, like snippets taken from real life and captured forever in J.T’s written word. I truly enjoyed the slow unfolding of the story, it felt like a gentle exploration of a delicate flower, too fast and it would be ruined.
A word of warning, the language used by pretty much every character, is likely to offend those who dislike swear words, it will probably put off potential readers because of this fact, but I felt it was necessary. As much as this stereotype annoys me, Aussies do tend to swear a lot more than others. This is especially true of some of the rougher types. So when just about every sentence has shit, fuck, bitch or the c-bomb in it, it is more to show the emotional distress and Aussie nature of the characters rather than just being crude. It didn’t bother me, I felt it helped me to form a better picture of who Tim and Sam were as characters, but I can completely understand how it might put people off. I believe J.T. has offered a swearing free manuscript to those who request it.
When it comes down to it, this story is an emotional exploration. It shows the damage caused by relationship break ups and how different people cope and deal with things. It shows how humans can overcome and blossom even after the most damaging of storms. It is a detailed look at relationships and coming to terms with ones situation.
The book needs a once over from an editor, there were a lot of small typos and errors that can be easily fixed by a good line edit. It didn’t hinder the reading much, but for those readers who are more aware of those things it will be a touch annoying.
A few things I noticed:
18% – ‘Her (He) was staring at her stubble…’
34% – ‘Tim sleep (slept) poorly too,…’
46% – ‘pecked to dead (death)’
67% – instances of ‘rung’ should be rang
69% – ‘…she could think of.She (add space)…’
70% – ‘…we can light then (them) all, if you want.’
‘A (An) Airliner ten kilometers…’
71% – ‘…and he said that guy said(delete said) had never waved…’
75% – ‘…talking in low voices,. (Double punctuation)’
‘…but was (delete was) kept talking…’
88% – ‘She’d (She) knew she’d been…’
99% – ‘…Still seemed pretty firm that (he) didn’t want…’
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**