When Jenn J McLeod quit Sydney’s corporate communications chaos, she bought a little café in a small town and ran a unique, dog-friendly B&B in country NSW. Home now is a fifth wheeler caravan, her days spent writing heartwarming tales of the Australian countryside that weave intricate tapestries of friendship, family and love, contemporary human issues and small-town life. Her latest book Simmering Season is out now.
When I’m asked about my favourite books, my mind goes straight to those that have been the greatest influence on me as a writer and being the author of small town stories, the very first one that comes to mind is P.A O’Reilly’s The Fine Colour of Rust.
I love a book that can make you laugh and cry in all the right places and no book has made me laugh out loud the way I did when reading The Fine Colour of Rust. Refreshingly different, the abandoned, broke and bogan-like Loretta Boskovic is so far from clichéd, and only one of many likeable characters to be found among the mangy mob that calls the dingy and dying small town of Gunapan home. It’s not a big read, and yet Paddy manages to give the most minor character and the smallest of scene so much love and attention that she drops the reader smack-bang in town.
For me, this book was the perfect example of a familiar plot—small town against corrupt developers, etc—fabulously told. In fact, I would love to meet the author one day. (Better still, I’d love to meet Loretta!)
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