01 April, 2015

The Maxwell sisters by Loretta Hill [Kathy, Collections Development]

Last year I revisited one of my favourite areas in Australia, the Northern Victorian wine country. When I saw this book was about a family of winemakers, happy memories of my trip prompted me to choose it to read.

The story is set in a different area, Margaret River, but my imagination had me visualising the Maxwell’s winery as a sort-of collage of all the wineries I’ve visited in Australia and New Zealand.

Loretta Hill writes really good descriptions of the Australian countryside and I have enjoyed her earlier titles set in the mining areas of Western Australia.

The youngest of winemaker John Maxwell’s three daughters is getting married and plans to hold the ceremony at the family vineyard. She wants to use a fire-damaged building on the property and calls in relatives and friends to help restore it in time for the big day. The three sisters used to be close but have fallen out over the years and no longer tell each other everything. As wedding preparations go on, bit by bit the secrets start to come out.

The characters reflect those of many families and their extended circle of friends, with a wide range of personalities. It’s easy to read with plenty of romance and humour but also some well thought out coverage of the issues the family members face. I particularly liked the author’s explanation of the message she wanted to give in this book –how relationships can change over the years and at all stages of life.

As a result of reading this book my travel bucket list has just had another entry added - Margaret River, Western Australia!

Title: The Maxwell sisters
Author: Loretta Hill
ISBN: 9780857984296
Published: 2015
Publisher: Random House

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