About the Book:
Teddy Broderick has lived on her farm almost all her life, committed to the rhythms of the country – seeding, harvest, shearing and the twice daily milking of the cow her grandmother has looked after for years, but she dreams of another life, in the wide world away from the confines of her property.
She thinks she knows her home and its community inside out, until her grandmother Deirdre announces there is a house buried on the property, and Will Hastings, an archaeologist, is coming to dig it up again.
As they work together to expose Deirdre’s past to the light, the stories they tell bring them together and pull Teddy further away from her home.
But what is hidden in Deirdre’s childhood house that she needs to see again before she dies – and why? What is it that stops Teddy from living the life she truly wants? And will she ever find her freedom?
The Cowgirl by Anthea Hodgson is a very fine novel indeed. A familiar setting with familar characters is accompanied by some new additions as we focus on the family of Deirdre Broderick, that grumpy neighbour that was Ida’s best friend in The Drifter.
I love Deirdre. I’ll just get that out here and now. Yes, she’s grumpy and bossy, but you just know she has a loyal heart of gold. For me, it was Deirdre’s story that held me captive with The Cowgirl. I did like Teddy, for sure, and found myself quietly hoping that she might be able to overcome all that was holding her back, but it was Deirdre that really had me by the heartstrings. Her story was devastating, but she was so strong and so brave; what an amazing woman. Just when I thought she had faced all she could, Anthea would throw her another curveball. A true survivor, Deirdre might just be one of my favourite characters in a novel from here on in; it’ll take a lot for anyone to measure up to her.
The sense of community is strong within The Cowgirl. There’s lots of gatherings for tea and cake, lots of supporting each other, and lots of good old country vibes that all together make for a warm and hearty read. I found the whole ‘digging up a house’ rather fascinating, the idea of it all buried lying in wait, as well as discovering what had stood the test of time, and most importantly, what was hidden in the end. This was a unique plot for the story to orbit around, I certainly hadn’t heard of a buried house before!
The Cowgirl is a treat for fans of rural fiction and for those who loved The Drifter, rest assured, this novel stands in its stead very well.
Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of The Cowgirl for review.
About the Author:
Anthea Hodgson is a country girl from the WA wheatbelt. She worked as a radio producer in WA, NSW and Queensland before returning to WA, where she lives with her husband and two children.