August 2018 | Marguerite McNeill
ROMANTIC CONNECTIONS in JH Fletcher’s latest novel In the Valley of Blue Gums are softening backdrops to the perilous and frantic life of story heroine journalist Thea Anderson.
From frightening childhood adventures in Malaya to journalistic experiences in Vietnam and America, Thea is a magnet to high drama that sees her caught up in intrigues that are explosive and dangerous, both overseas and in Australia.
Her refuge is in southern Tasmania with wine maker Peter Torrance, the love of her life who, despite her restless lifestyle, she finally marries.
The calming effect of the vineyard nestled in a blue gum valley, reverberates through the story as a recognised safe haven from a career spiced with fear and the horrors of war and death.
Fletcher’s skilful imagery transports readers to various locations around the world and envelopes them with the sensations associated with the climate, landscape and culture of each country.
The Tasmanian scene is an added bonus for people who know and love the area and, while giving the whole story a local focus, it also highlights the value of local viticulture.
With its fast moving action, intrigue, romance and superb imagery, there is plenty of scope in this novel to please a wide range of readers.
JH Fletcher is the author of eighteen novels, numerous short stories and plays for radio and television. Educated in England and France, he travelled and worked in Europe, Asia and Africa before emigrating to Australia in 1991.
He now lives in Mole Creek.
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