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Review of Under the Golden Sun

In 1941, Rose Hamilton, a young Englishwoman, takes a job accompanying Walter, an orphaned child, from his home in England to Australia, his mother’s homeland.  They travel through war-threatened waters to reach their destination, a cattle station.  There, Rose discovers that things are not what she was led to expect.  The station, run by Max Lucknow, Walter’s uncle, is a place full of unknowns and new adventures.  The Lucknow family is the complicated key to Walter’s long-term wellbeing, and perhaps Rose’s happiness also.

The WWII era is common enough in historical fiction, but the Pacific theatre setting makes the story stand out.  The author’s style is an unusual meandering stream of consciousness, which just needs time to adjust to.  The story takes a while to build, laying background for Rose, and picking up once the trip to Australia begins.  What follows is a lush, captivating saga with fascinating characters whose lives are far from ideal but are only a minute and a step away from perfect.   Rose’s relationships with Walter and her family tug at one’s heartstrings while her relationships with everyone else provide intrigue, frustration, hope and joy.  Under the Golden Sun will appeal to readers of historical romance.

Through Library Journal, the publisher provided a copy of this book. My review is my honest opinion. Under the Golden Sun was originally published in 2020, but is being re-released this month.

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About Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft

Rose Hamilton is in desperate need of a life change when she reads the want ad in the newspaper for a companion needed to escort a young, orphaned child to Australia. There are so many reasons she should ignore the advertisement―the war, those treacherous winter seas, her family, her fiance… but she can’t help herself. Within weeks she is boarding an enormous convoy, already too attached to five-year-old Walter.

Unfortunately, the cattle station home of Walter’s family isn’t anything like either of them were told to expect. Rose can’t leave this little boy who she’s grown to love until he is happy and settled, and she knows the key to this is Walter’s wounded fighter pilot uncle. But how will she ever part with Walter? And what if he isn’t the only reason she wants to stay?

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