Set over ten tumultuous months in 1945, The Woolgrower's Companion is the gripping story of one woman’s fight against all odds, and a sweeping tribute to Australia's landscape and its people.
‘A wonderful new voice in literary rural fiction' Australian Women's Weekly
Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on Amiens, her family’s sprawling sheep station in northern New South Wales. The horrors of war have for the most part left her untouched. But with her father succumbing to wounds he’s borne since the Great War, the management of the farm is increasingly falling on Kate’s shoulders.
With only the sheep-rearing book The Woolgrower’s Companion to guide her, Kate rises to the challenge. However the arrival of two Italian POW labourers unsettles not only the other workers, but Kate too - especially when she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali.
Then she receives devastating news. The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear.
‘A heart-breaking tale beautifully told . . . This compelling story of war and love, of family and prejudice is magical’ Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help
‘This sweeping epic set in rural NSW is about love, family and testing our mettle – and it’s compulsively readable. Just the thing for those lazy summer days’ Marie Claire
“Joy Rhoades is a skilful writer who draws reader in with a story that twists and turns.”
“A novel about endurance and a stubborn will to survive, it is written with passion and intensity that is hugely attractive.”
“Fascinating debut novel.”
“Joy Rhoades’ Kate Dowd is Elizabeth-Bennet-meets-The-Drover’s-Wife . . . an accomplished debut.”
The Saturday Age
“A story of survival and forbidden love, this hooks you in from the atmospheric first pages, and will have you rooting for the feisty heroine.”
Sunday Mirror (UK)