‘I’m sorry, I’m on my way home from work and it’s pouring with rain. Can you say that again?’
“I can call you back later?’ Dr Becker, the Head Geneticist at the Hereditary Cancer Clinic, said.
‘No, no. It’s fine,’ I replied, eager to know what I’d just heard about a cancer gene was correct.
‘Your family has a hereditary gene fault that increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer,’ Dr Becker repeated. ‘We’ve tested your dad and he’s a carrier of the gene.’
Tanya Saad hadn’t heard of the BRCA 1 gene until a family study revealed that her father was a carrier, and that many female relatives had died prematurely from breast or cervical cancer. When tests revealed that she too had the gene, her life changed irrevocably. Decisions had to be made about how to confront this news – whether to have difficult preventative surgery, or to rely on regular testing t pick up early signs of cancer, if she should develop it. The fact that one of her two sisters also tested positive added an extra challenge. As she navigated her way through these challenges, Tanya also revisited her childhood and her heritage, as well as reassessing her future.
From The Feet Up is an honest, personal account of one woman’s journey through a complex health issue. Blending the exploration of her experience with BRCA1, including the decision to have a preventative mastectomy with a memoir of her experiences as a Lebanese child growing up in a country town, her sporting career and her family life, makes for a complex and rich story.
An intriguing memoir.
From The Feet Up , by Tanya Saad
Harlequin Mira, 2014
Available from good bookstores or online.
“Why didn’t he meet your plane?”
Her moment of spunk faded and an aura of fragility hovered around her making her seem smaller than her five feet four inches. “Because, like I said, I’m a surprise.” She plucked at the folds of satin. “You know, the girl jumping out of the cake, only I’m the bride jumping in holding the cake.”
He tried to keep his disbelief out of his voice just in case he’d missed a vital piece of information. “You’re arriving unannounced to get married?”
She shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea last week when I was at home in Narranbool.”
Matilda Geoffrey has been swept off her feet. Her Nana told her she would have a romantic adventure, and this is it. Meeting Barry online, falling in love, then dashing across the world to surprise him by arriving unannounced in her wedding dress, is everything she’s ever dreamed of. But there’s one problem. When she arrives in Hobin she finds herself alone on Main Street, in front of an abandoned building. Not only is there no sign of Barry – it turns out that no one has ever heard of him. Could it be that she’s been conned?
Marc Olsen has never met anyone like Matilda – especially given that when he meets her she’s dressed in an antique wedding gown, clutching a wedding cake and staring at an abandoned shopfront. He’s got bigger things to worry about than another man’s abandoned bride, but somehow circumstances keep throwing them together.
The Boomerang Bride is a warm hearted tale featuring an Australian/American romance which makes lotsof false starts. Matilda has been jilted by a con man, and also has issues with her distant parents and the loss of her much-loved Nana. Marc, too, has lost someone – his father, whose early death left Marc the mainstay of his grieving family. Now he is supporting his sister through a cancer battle, and he has no time for romance, and no intention of ever risking the kind of loss he saw his mother experience. Before they can find love with each other, they must get over their past hurts and their individual misconceptions.
Readers will enjoy following their individual journeys in a tale that combines humour, pathos and, of course, romance.
The Boomerang Bride, by Fiona Lowe
Mira (Harlequin), 2012
Available from good bookstores or online.
She imagined most people in her situation would be smiling, reminiscing fondly, eager to start adding to their memories. She had fond recollections too, if she looked back far enough, but they’d all been railroaded by her most painful memory. the memory of making the biggest mistake of her life and, as a result, having to leave the only place she’d ever really called home.
Ten years ago Ellie left Hope Valley in a hurry, leaving not just the town she’d come to know and love, but her jilted fiancee, Flynn. Now she’s back, hoping she cna keep a low profile while she cares for her godmother, Matilda, recovering from a fall. But the town is small and Ellie is now a famous soap opera star, so keeping that low profile is going to be impossible. Add to that the fact that the whole town seems to hate her for what she did to Flynn. then, of course, thre’s Flynn himself, who she’d like to avoid, but who seems to be everywhere, still just as handsome. Ellie finds her feelings for Flynn haven’t changed – but surely it’s too late to undo the past.
Jilted is a rural romance set in country Western Australia. Hope Valley is a fictional town, but the surrounding towns – Katanning, Tambellup and others – are very real, and the author has worked to create a believably West Australian setting. But readers don’t need to be familiar with the region to be able to connect with the characters and become absorbed in their relationships. As well as watching Ellie and Flynn reconnect and try to figure out their past – and future – we see Ellie also deal with the ageing of her godmother, and struggle with her past. Otehr characters too have difficulties to face and triumphs to celebrate.
A heartwarming read.
Jilted, by Rachael Johns
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Jacqueline Havelock has never lived in the country, but she needs a fresh start, so when she’s offered a job as a rural psychologist, she takes it. Her first patient is Damien McAllister, a man on the brink.
The saltbush plains stretched for miles all around and without another car in sight, Jacqueline had begin to feel isolated and melancholy. She’d read that the rate of suicide was highest in young men living in rural and remote areas. No wonder, she’d thought wistfully; the environment was so grey, brown and stunted. Refusing to accept any internal suggestion that she was having second thoughts, she’d put on a CD and sang loudly while her eyes focused on the endless white lines dividing the dark bitumen road.
Jacqueline Havelock has never lived in the country, but she needs a fresh start, so when she’s offered a job as a rural psychologist, she takes it. Her first patient is Damien McAllister, a man on the brink. Since his father died and his mother remarried, Damien has been running the family farm. It’s hard, lonely work, and he isn’t even sure why he bothers. He’s certainly not used to sharing his problems, so ending up in the psychologist’s office is painfully embarrassing. Even more embarrassing is the fact that he finds her so attractive – and she’s telling him up front that their relationship must be strictly professional.
As the pair get to know each other, though, both of their lives change. JAcqueline learns about coutnry lfie – its highs and its lows – and Damien learns tof ind hope. If they can both break free fromt he ghosts of their pasts it’s just possible that the pair might find happiness.
Wattle Creek is a rural romance novel , which is also a story about following dreams, unlikely friendships and life in rural Australia. The characters and events will be familiar with those who live in, or have lived in, farming communities. The book also deals with the issue of depression and is dedicated to those who have suffered depression.
A warm tale.
Wattle Creek, by Fiona McCallum
Mira Books, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.