Author Maggie Bolitho shares her experience about the great Australian outback we always hear so much about. I for one would love to visit—providing there are no spiders.
The main themes of Outback Promise are betrayal and forgiveness, both of which are tied directly to the landscape where the second half of the book takes place, the Australian outback. In 2005, I spent three months camping in the Australian desert and was intrigued by the way the landscape changed from inhospitable and barren to bountiful and profuse after good rain.
In 2015 I went back and spent another three months exploring more of Australia’s remote areas. The second time many of the places I travelled through had recently experienced drenching rain. The abundant wildflowers and ubiquitous fauna were stunning.
The outback is a land of extremes, shifting from dry to wet in sudden explosive storms. ‘The creeks run dry or ten feet high’ is how an old folk song describes it. Water is the difference between life and death. Often the rains don’t come for years.
When they do come, a sleeping giant awakes. The rivers flood their banks, the roads are lost underwater and people on rural properties can be cut off for weeks. Many of those rivers drain into Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) in South Australia and transform its parched salt pans to a massive body of water, 3,668 square miles, with an average depth of 5 feet.
When this happens, hundreds of thousands of birds, from as far away as Papua New Guinea, arrive to feed and roost there. No one can explain how they know the lake is full again. It just happens.
In Outback Promise, forgiveness is the difference between life and death of Ros and Grady’s marriage. There has been one death, one eviscerating dry season already in their lives, after the brutal loss of their son Cadel.
For Ros and Grady, they have to decide if they ae going to create their own wet season, their own time of healing and renewal. No one can explain how forgiveness finally happens but it’s there if they reach for it.
Title: Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho
Published: November 1st, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia – Impulse Imprint
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Recommended Age: 18+
Tragedy. Betrayal. Hope
After losing their only child, Roslyn and Grady Balfour’s lives are destroyed, shattering their perfect marriage. When Ros discovers Grady’s infidelity, it sets their love on a destructive downward spiral. Grady hopes that three months together camping will rekindle what was lost so long ago.
Attempting to repair their broken marriage, Ros and Grady set out on a journey of self-discovery and redemption deep into the Australian outback. Packing resentment and bitterness along with them on their quest, the couple struggles with what they’ve lost. Forced to battle the challenges of the other travelers along with the dangers of the harsh outback, their only chance for survival lies in facing the secrets of the past. Will Ros and Grady find a way to hold onto each other when everything else has fallen apart?
About Maggie Bolitho
A free range child, Maggie Bolitho grew up on an island in Canada’s Pacific Northwest. She spent her formative years constructing alternative universes, flying under the radar and wishing for 20/20 vision.
She set out to see the world shortly after her 17th birthday. Eventually she met and fell in love with a wild colonial boy. After five years of futile resistance, she moved to Melbourne, Australia and married him. In 2007, Maggie and her husband made Canada their permanent home. They now live in a leafy suburb on that island where Maggie grew up and neither of them wishes to be anywhere else, except for when memories of the sunburnt country beckon.
While living Down Under, she started writing fiction and explored the outback. In 2015 HarperCollins Australia published her novel Outback Promise. Her debut novel Lockdown (YA) was published in 2014. Some of her adult short stories appear in different anthologies in the US, Canada, and Australia. She has had poetry published in Quills Canadian Poetry magazine.