Stars Over the Southern Ocean by J.H. Fletcher (2020).
**3.5 out of 5 stars**
**Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me a free advance readers copy of this novel; published 15 June 2020**
1937. 17 year old Marina has always lived in a small logging town. When she meets Jory she is intrigued by him and follows him to his isolated homeplace.
1993. After a terminal diagnosis, Marina knows she wants to spend her remaining days at the remote coastal Noamunga. Her memories are imprinted on the walls of the house and the rocks of the cliffs. Here she raised their 3 children, survived a war, worked hard, grieved deeply and lived a good life.
But there are forces that threaten to pull her away from her beloved home. Daughters with selfish ambition, a foolish son and an oil company who is interested in her land.
I liked the respective storylines within this novel. We have Marina, who is dying and just wants to live in her isolated house. Marina’s eldest daughter is Charlotte who is extremely ambitious and wants her mum to sell her land to her husband to advance his career. Marina’s other daughter Tasmyn is also ambitious but needs a lot of money to advance her career. Finally there is Greg who is simply an extremely naive man in business and suddenly owes a lot of money. I found Charlotte very unlikable and Greg I just didn’t really have much respect for. I didn’t like Tasmyn much but when her backstory was revealed my opinion changed. I quite liked Marina; she was an extremely strong woman her entire life and I thought her kids were being selfish to try and discourage her from living how she wanted at the end of her life. What I didn’t enjoy about this book was I found the composition to be quite disjointed; we flick between different characters and different time periods so I felt it didn’t flow. Others might really enjoy that style though.
Overall, an interesting saga that covers a family’s journey over time. I think a lot of readers would enjoy this one.