Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft. (2020).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Wanted: companion to escort a young, orphaned child home to Australia. All expenses as well as passage covered. Interested parties to apply without delay…
Rose is in desperate need of a fresh start. There are many reasons she should ignore the advertisement (the war, the treacherous seas, her family, her fiancé) but she can’t help herself. Within weeks she is on her way to Australia with 5 year old Walter. But rural Queensland and the cattle station home is not what they were expecting. Rose can’t leave Walter, who she now loves, until he’s happy and she knows the key to this is Walter’s wounded fighter pilot uncle Max. But how will she ever part from Walter? And what if he isn’t the only reason she wants to stay?
Another great historical fiction read to add to your list if you are a fan of that genre! This one starts in England before heading to rural Australia, via a long sea journey (no thanks from me, I felt as sick as poor Rose just imagining it). Rose and Walter arrive in Australia expecting to be greeted by open arms…alas, Rose was deceived (by a woman with good intentions though) and so they have a rocky start. I think at it’s core, this novel is about love: the love one can have for someone who is not blood related; romantic love; love leading to forgiveness; love providing happiness. Rose, Walter, Max and Max’s sister Esme were great main characters, I particularly enjoyed Esme’s sass. A combination of historical wartime fiction, domestic drama, and some light romance, I have no doubt many readers would enjoy this one and would not hesitate to recommend.