In Maggie Mackellar’s acclaimed previous memoir When It Rains, she told of her moving to the Orange district after Maggie’s vibrant young husband, father to a five-year-old daughter and an unborn son, dies tragically. Maggie is left widowed and due to give birth three months later to their second child. Then her beloved mother, backbone of the family dies suddenly of aggressive cancer. In two short years, Maggie’s life was shattered.
In her second memoir she traces with her characteristic candour and perception her move to Tasmania, for love, and the struggles and joys of settling there with her children and assorted menagerie to live with a farmer. In the book she explores learning to love again after living through grief, and the complexities of doing this in a community with which she is unfamiliar, with two young children. She reflects on love after grief, juggling being a mother and negotiating a burgeoning relationship, the rhythms of country life, displacement and the writing life.
This is a book for anyone who has imagined taking a risk, for anyone who has moved to a new place and struggled with feelings of homesickness and displacement. It is a story about making a life in a remarkable setting – the east coast of Tasmania, on a sheep farm in a stone house built by convicts in 1828.