A vast outback property. An unforgettable season. A family’s fight to save their livelihood. A sweeping tale of love and loss, and the highs and lows of life on the land, from an utterly authentic new voice in rural fiction.
Many of Peter and Kelsie Dalton’s friends thought they were crazy when they bought Ridgeview Station. But five years on, their hard work, help from Kelsie’s parents, and record rainfall have them in high spirits as the summer muster approaches.
Realising they’re going to need more help this season, Peter rings around the neighbouring stations to try and find a good worker. After a glowing recommendation, Alexi arrives to give them a hand – and is not at all what they’d expected …
Everything is going smoothly with the muster before disaster strikes and the Dalton’s find themselves battling to save their livestock, their property and their lives.
An entertaining yarn set on a vast outback property peopled with colourful and authentic characters, Ridgeview Station is about love, loss and the spirit of the bush.
Right from the opening pages of Ridgeview Station, you are immersed into a world that has clearly been crafted by somebody who has lived the very life that this story revolves around. The authenticity that Michael Trant brings to his writing gives Ridgeview Station an almost memoir like quality in its delivery. I had a strong sense while reading that many of the anecdotes sprinkled throughout were in fact based on real events, and likewise, the cast of colourful and oh-so-Australian characters had me feeling as though I was being treated to a mish-mash of personalities that very much exist in another time and another place.
The ebb and flow of station life was depicted with realism rather than romanticism, an important distinction that I appreciated fully. Michael takes full advantage of his audience when weaving important rural and farming issues into his narrative, but he does so with a deft hand at maintaining balance between informing and politicking. I picked up more detail about several issues I only knew the barest about and was also exposed to other situations pertaining to farming that I would never have otherwise contemplated.
I have to say, in all honesty, Ridgeview Station would make a terrific television series. Realistic, funny, authentically dramatic, and above all, a window into a lifestyle still revered throughout this country, despite the majority of our population being concentrated in urban areas. Australian literature, film, and television has a long list of excellent representations on the Australian outback way of life and Ridgeview Station fits perfectly into this catalogue.
Thanks is extended to the author, Michael Trant, for providing me with a copy of Ridgeview Station for review.
Ridgeview Station is published by Allen & Unwin.
Michael Trant been involved with agriculture for most of his life. After 16 years running a sheep station, he took up writing to report on the live export controversy from the farming side. Michael currently lives in Perth. Ridgeview Station is his first novel.