A Family of Strangers. Fiona Lowe

book cover

Published:  Harlequin Australia
Date: 2nd March 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

With a coveted promotion dangling within reach, the last thing Addy Topic needs to do is waste precious time singing in Rookery Cove’s choir. But when she’s reminded how much music meant to her late mother, she can’t say no. The building pressure raises the ghosts that sent her running from Rookery Cove years earlier – memories she’s spent decades hiding from, silencing them with work, alcohol and sex.

For Stephanie Gallagher, Rookery Cove was meant to be a new beginning in the slow lane. A place where she and her husband can embrace community, parenthood and evenly share the load. But the sea-change is changing everything. How much longer can they survive as a family?

Brenda Lambeck is finding her feet after the death of her husband when her best friend convinces her to join the choir. Beloved as a grandmother, Brenda is determined to mend the fraught relationship she has with her daughter, Courtney. But is that even possible when she continues to lie?

In the wake of a spectacular betrayal, three women are forced to face the uncompromising truths about the choices that have shaped their relationships with those they love most. The consequences will shatter their lives and all they hold dear. After such a disaster is rebuilding even possible?

Australian author Fiona Lowe has done it again. She has totally reeled me in and made me feel so fully involved in the lives of her characters. At first I found all the characters and situations a little overwhelming, but once I was in – I was in! A little bit of reader concentration and work never hurts us!

The story is told from three women’s point of view. They all live in a small town in Tasmania and while they start out not very linked, its not long before they are all interacting and enabling each other to work through the challenges facing each of them.

Addy has returned to the Rookery Cove to take up a teaching job and refurbish the house where she lived with her parents. It soon becomes apparent that she drinks heavily and that her life is not going well. She overworks and quite frankly her school situation stinks.

Brenda is in her late fifties and has just started living with her lover Miriam. But her family think Miriam is just a lodger. Miriam wants to share with others who they are, but Brenda is nervous and holding back. Plus she just doesn’t seem to get along with her uptight daughter Courtney. Her lovely grand daughter Livvy is however nothing short of a blessing.

Stephanie and her husband Henry have moved to the Cove to get more of a work/life balance. Only trouble is that just isn’t working out from Stephanie’s way of seeing it. Add to that now Zoe, Henry’s daughter has been foisted upon them by Zoe’s mother. Baby Monty is a charm but he is in constant need of care of course.

So many issues in this book that the characters are dealing with. It soon becomes obvious what the three main characters are coping with or in fact not coping with. However as a reader I wonder as I read why Zoe is acting out?

Tying all this together is the Rookery Choir, resurrected by Miriam and Brenda. It brings people together, and eventually helps bring about wondrous things. I can’t sing and would never join a choir but I can really see the benefits.

As each of the three women face into how they need to move forward, I was returning to the book every minute I had. Wanting to move through it, yet aware I was moving to the end. I loved the ending but am already missing these characters.

7 thoughts on “A Family of Strangers. Fiona Lowe”

  1. This sounds lovely and just the kind of book I’m in the mood for right now! I haven’t read anything by Fiona Lowe but I feel like I have a book or two by her on my TBR. I feel like that’s probably your doing!


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