Aussie Book Review: Hope's Road by Margareta Osborn

In association with Random House Australia, I am delighted to form part of the Hope’s Road Blog tour and in particular, wish to thank their publicity department for the invitation to participate.

There have been some great reviews published so far on this book tour, so please be sure to visit Reading in the Bath where BryOak published her wonderful review yesterday and do go along to Mrs Michelles tomorrow, for the next stop on the tour, where I have no doubt you’ll be treated to another great review of Hope’s Road.

My rating:                   4 / 5
Format:                      Paperback, courtesy of Random House
Publication date:       1st March 2013
Extent:                       416
ISBN:                         9781864713169
Imprint:                      Bantam Australia
RRP:                         AU$32.95

The Blurb

"From the author of the bestselling Bella's Run comes another captivating rural romance set in the the rugged, beautiful Australian bush.

Hope's Road connects three very different properties, and three very different lives …

Sixty years ago, heartbroken and betrayed, old Joe McCauley turned his back on his family and their fifth-generation farm, Montmorency Downs. He now spends his days as a recluse, spying upon the land - and the granddaughter – that should by rights have been his.

For Tammy McCauley, Montmorency Downs is the last remaining tie to her family. But land can make or break you - and, with her husband's latest treachery, how long can she hold on to it?

Wild-dog trapper, Travis Hunter, is struggling as a single dad, unable to give his son, Billy, the thing he craves most. A complete family.

Then, out of the blue, a terrible event forces the three neighbours to confront each other - and the mistakes of their past …"

Thoughts and Summary

“Forever is a long time to live with regret …”

A decades old family feud, a stubborn old man, a determined young woman and a man trying to come to grips with raising his son!

Having not read Margareta’s first novel, Bella’s Run, I was quite intrigued to discover this new to me author and so, when I was invited to be part of the Blog Tour, I jumped at the opportunity to read this Australian romance which borders on a family saga.  Being a fifth-generation farmer herself, Margareta Osborn writes about what she knows, blending life and love on the land, thus creating a novel with characters who have depth and the added bonus of a slow building romance.

Tammy McCauley is strong-willed, determined and confident in her skin as a farmer, and she’s not about to allow her husband’s indiscretions and philandering to get her down, tenaciously confronting life on the land with a hands-on approach whilst trying to pluck up the courage to tell him to leave, after a sudden bout of physical abuse.  Thankfully he’s about to save her the trouble by announcing that he’s leaving … but not without a financial battle looming of which the one hundred and fifty year old Montmorency Downs is going to be the victim!  To make matters worse, she still has to break the news to her estranged uncle.

With vivid memories of a life once lived, a love lost, another found and a bird’s eye view from McCauley’s Hill, Joe McCauley is quite capable of keeping an eye on his once loved Montmorency Downs through the eye of his rifle!  Lonely by choice and stubbornness after the death of his loving wife, he’s never quite let go of the fact that his brother, Tammy’s grandfather, stole his girl right out from under his nose.  Preferring to indulge in bitterness for the hand that life has dealt him, Joe never leaves McCauley’s Hill, instead, relying on both his land and the kindness of others to sustain him.  With no children of his own and preferring the company of his dogs, he’s not prepared for the feelings which are going to surface when a young boy enters his life threatening to tame this cynical, crass old man whose use of profanity when finding himself in situations which had me laughing out loud, just added to his dynamic character – a genuine bushie!!  Whilst I found him to be rather unlikeable at the beginning, once I warmed up to him, he managed to wrap me around his little finger.

Travis Hunter a wild dog tracker is new in town after recently relocating to be near his mother who is now in a local nursing home.  Overwhelmed with angst and desperately in need of healing, thanks to years-old divide between him and his brother as well as his ex-wife’s abandonment which still gnaws at him, he tends to keep to himself and is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that he is now solely responsible for raising his son, Billy.  While he’s not looking for a relationship, a few interactions with Tammy sees him becoming quite taken with her resilience, determination and caring attitude, all of which soon threaten to topple the barriers he’s built up around himself.

While the three properties are all adjoined to Hope’s Road, Tammy has never met her great-uncle (her closest encounter being a bullet whizzing past her head at about the age of seven) but with the arrival of the new neighbours, that is about to change, with a needless accident, a massive flood and little Billy and Montmorency Downs being the ties that will bind these once whole people together.

With uniquely fleshed out characters, such as Joe, who kept me thoroughly entertained with his antics, Margareta brings us a story about loss, courage and second chances proving that no matter what life throws at you, there is always hope.

Margareta has penned a warm and satisfying read in which she manages to convey her deep love of the bush – a novel I thoroughly enjoyed, although the unexpected ending had me reaching for the tissues.

Click here for an extract of Hope's Road.

About the Author

Gippsland author Margareta Osborn has penned Hope’s Road, inspired largely by her own life living on family property sourcing back over 150 years, which is still owned and farmed on by herself and her family.  Facing plenty of adversity in both her personal and professional lives, she’s encountered numerous floods, marriage break-up and lived with a hearing impairment since the age of seven.

Margareta’s love of the bush, and the people who live there, is evident in her writing.  The resilience they show, their sense of togetherness and the spirit of community is strong, and she truly manages to give an insight into life on the land.

Home is the beautiful Macalister Valley of East Gippsland where with her husband and three children she spends many hours in the mountains in which her stories are set.

Bella’s Run is her first novel and she is also the author of the bestselling e-novella, A Bush Christmas.

Contact the Author

Visit Margareta's website
Tweet with her on Twitter
Like her on Facebook

This book also forms part of my ever-expanding list for the 2013 Australian Women Writers' Challenge.


  1. Nice review Marcia :-) I also enjoyed this book and particularly crotchety old Joe! He was certainly a character and my favourite of the book.

    1. Thanks Jennie - I really did fall in love with Joe and think he is one of the best characters I've had the chance to "meet" in a long while :)

  2. Great review Marcia!

  3. Apologies for the delay in catching up with you, but I wanted to say thank you so much for reviewing Hope's Road. Sorry about the tissues.

  4. Apologies for the delay in catching up with you, but I wanted to say thank you so much for reviewing Hope's Road. Sorry about the tissues.


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