Tonight’s review is incredibly hard for me to write. Just like the book was to read. Unless you have read this book, it’s not what you are thinking. In fact, I am sitting here playing with the photo editing for the picture, trying to think of how to say this.

Ros survives a abusive mother to find safety in Grady. After moving to Australia, she has a wonderful marriage with Grady. Even after their miscarriage, even after the birth of their son Cadel leads to emergency hysterectomy, they are soul mates who belong with each other, like two jigsaw pieces, made for each other. Until a tragic accident takes Cadel’s life and leaves Grady hospitalized for months.

Eventually Ros finds herself feeling quite alone in an empty house with her memories. Slowly the wonderful relationship they had disintegrates leaving them with a shell of what use to be. Ros discovers they are nearly bankrupt, has an emotional affair, shuts herself off emotionally from Grady, leading to Grady having an affair.

One day, Gray proposes to embark on his dream journey… Camping in the Australian Outback. Ros isn’t a huge fan of camping but agrees in hopes of saving her marriage from ending. 3 months in the outback, what could possibly go wrong?

I suppose it is time to rip off the bandaid (just like this book does) and get into the review.

I could not read this book for more than a chapter at a time until I got about 85% of the way through the story. It was too emotionally draining. I thought being a mother would make me tougher. I mean I went through 9 horrible months of pregnancy, if I could survive that, then I must be super tough. WRONG. Becoming a mother has created a vulnerability that I never foresaw. I never realized how much a child suffering harm would affect me. The death of Cadel, affected me in a huge way. I honestly only kept reading this book because the wonderful Tess Woods and Renee Conoulty had rated it 5 stars.

This book was so well written. It was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster, switching between the events surrounding the accident and the present. I felt Ros’ pain throughout the entire book. There was not one moment when she didn’t seem real. I could relate to both Grady and Ros and see why they made the choices they did.

Outback Promises teaches a lesson in cherishing what you have now, in this moment. It teaches you not to take your loved ones for granted. It shows that everyone has different ways of processing things and that communication really is key. The issues the couple face, are caused by both of them and I find that refreshing and realistic. Too many books these days bash men with all the blame falling on the male antagonist.

Bolitho does such a good job at demonstrating the reality of it all. Greif, love, relationships. I love that the trip isn’t all smooth sailing and that they meet so many obstacles and continue to overcome them.

I really wanted to rate this book 3 or 4 stars purely because of how emotionally draining it is. But it is not fair to blame a wonderful piece of writing for my vulnerabilities. It is definitely a 5 star read. There is absolutely nothing to warrant anything less than 5 stars.

If you pickup this book, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Cai xx

Title: Outback Promise

Author: Maggie Bolitho

Genre: Adult Fiction, Australiana

Rating: 5/5

Platform: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review