> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  1 September 2020

 

The Bush Telegraph book club notes

Gather your book club and get ready to gossip about the inhabitants of Spinifex.

Midwife and bestselling author Fiona McArthur once again weaves a heartwarming tale of rural romance. Set in the small outback town of Spinifex, The Bush Telegraph follows Maddy Locke, who returns after ten years to run the medical centre. For station owner Connor Fairhall, who's dealing with a rebellious son and a drunk brother, Nurse Maddy is the only bright spot on the horizon. Can Maddy ignore the rumours about Connor and risk her heart again? Or will the bush telegraph spread along the wire fences and stand in the way of trust?

Discussion points and questions:

  • Who was your favourite character in the novel, and which one did you relate to the most?
  • Maddy hasn’t been back to Spinifex for over ten years but knows she has to confront her past. Would you have gone back if you were her? Why or why not?
  • Connor feels out of his depth when it comes to his rebellious son, Jayden, but ‘Grandma’s Rules’ help him to restore some discipline. What parenting tips would you give him?
  • Would you like to work in a remote community like Maddy? Why or why not?
  • Bridget is obsessed with finding the Min Min light. Why do you think some people see the Min Min or other phenomena we don’t fully understand?
  • Phyllis takes out her anger at her own problems on Maddy, and Jayden is mean to Bridget at first, but they all become friends by the end of the book. Have you ever overcome a rocky relationship to become close friends with someone? What happened?
  • The book deals with some heavy themes, including alcoholism, domestic violence and the threat of homelessness for older women. Which characters are you most sympathetic towards and why?
  • Would you trust Connor if you were Maddy? Why or why not?
  • Do you think gossip and rumours can ever be positive or only negative? Discuss.
  • Maddy and Bridget are inspired to bring tourists and new residents to Spinifex. How would you attract new people to your neighbourhood or town?
  • If you could write an additional scene for this story, what would it be?
  • What other books have you read by this author, and how did this one compare?

The Bush Telegraph Fiona McArthur

The heartwarming new medical rural romance from the bestselling author of The Desert Midwife.

Buy now
Buy now

Related features

Q&A
Fiona McArthur Q&A

Renowned midwife and bestselling author Fiona McArthur on delivering babies, being a 'pantser' and reading on a river.

Article
Love in all its forms

Four authors on penning the many dimensions of love.

Book clubs
Thursday Murder Club book club notes

A classic whodunit for the most perceptive reading groups.

Book clubs
Life After Truth book club notes

These friends think they know everything about one another, but time has a way of making us strangers to those we love...

Book clubs
The Champagne War book club notes

Sweep your book club off to the sun-kissed vineyards of rural France.

Article
The allure of fantasy

The author of City of Lies discusses revisiting Silasta and exploring the traumas and triumphs of her characters in the sequel.

Article
Classic of the Month: Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

This December we found exquisite rays of light amongst the dark verse of an American maestro.

Article
Classic of the Month: Little Women

This November we revisited Louisa May Alcott’s towering work of American fiction.

Q&A
Lee Child and Andrew Child Q&A

Lee Child and younger brother Andrew have collaborated for the first time on The Sentinel and Jack Reacher fans are in for a treat.

Q&A
Richard Flanagan Q&A

The Booker Prize winning author answers our questions about his strangely beautiful story about hope and love and orange-bellied parrots: The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.

Article
Classic of the month: The Woman in Black

In the spirit of Halloween, this October we revisited Susan Hill’s classic horror.

Article
Twenty insights: twenty years as an author

2020 marks Monica McInerney’s 20th year as a published author. Here she offers 20 memories and observations on her writing career.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes