Tess had very young and very foolish, and because of this she was on a farm in the hills outside Byron Bay with no family, no friends, no phone, no car and no money. She had her daughter, Nellie, aged three, and of course there is her husband, Jay. It was he she was most afraid of, because is she tried to run away he vowed he would fi nd her, wherever she went, and bring her back. She was his possession,and his alone. By chance Tess meets a young couple who were heading back to Melbourne that week, and she grasped at the opportunity to beg a ride with them. Planning a perilous escape, with Nellie in her pusher, was no easy, but she managed it, only to fi nd that the young man was on his own in his BMW was Tess walking into trouble again? Deep down she told herself that “what had happened to my family wasn’t my fault …. and yet it was my fault.” Was the pattern repeating itself? The mental illness that haunted the feminine side of Tess’s family could be re-asserting itself, couldn’t it? Poor Tess. There are many twists and unexpected turns along the tortuous way, but under the clever guidance of Maureen McCarthy, the reader is never forgotten as steadily that BMW travels south. As is always the case with best-selling McCarthy, this is a good, involving read, with a satisfying conclusion. P.S. If you want an even lighter read, have a look at THE SECRET YEARS by Barbara Hannay (published by Michael Joseph for a recommended $32.99). If the long arm of coincidence can be made to stretch from Cornwall to New Britain to outback North Queensland without breaking, then those secrets over the years will hold you in their thrall. Georgina and Harry’s love story is particularly well depicted and sustained, as coincidences abound to keep them bound together.
STAY WITH ME by MAUREEN McCARTHY
PUBLISHED by ALLEN & UNWIN for a recommended $22.99
REVIEW ; NINA VALENTINE