I was lucky to be at the beautiful Mornington Library just in time to catch an author event featuring Karen Viggers, author of the The Stranding, The Lightkeeper’s Wife, The Grass Castle, and her latest novel, The Orchardist’s Daughter.
Sixteen-year old Mikaela has grown up isolated and home-schooled on an apple orchard in southeastern Tasmania, until an unexpected event shatters her family. Eighteen months later, she and her older brother Kurt are running a small business in a timber town. Miki longs to make connections and spend more time in her beloved forest, but she is kept a virtual prisoner by Kurt, who leads a secret life of his own.
When Miki meets Leon, another outsider, things slowly begin to change. But the power to stand up for yourself must come from within. And Miki has to fight to uncover the truth of her past and discover her strength and spirit.
Set in the old-growth eucalypt forests and vast rugged mountains of southern Tasmania, The Orchardist’s Daughter is an uplifting story about friendship, resilience and finding the courage to break free.
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Karen talk about books, as well as her writing and publishing process. It was fantastic to hear an author be so honest about all the hard work that goes into writing a book and I think many aspiring authors would be encouraged to learn that it took five years and a huge rewrite before The Orchardist’s Daughter was finished!
The large audience was fantastic to see and Karen answered the many thoughtful questions fantastically. I don’t think I would ever be able to think so quickly on my feet!
Many thanks to Karen Viggers for such an interesting talk, the Mornington Library for organsing the event and providing such a great event room, and the local independent bookstore Farrell’s Bookshop for being on hand with copies of The Orchardist’s Daughter at the ready. I’m looking forward to reading my copy soon!
About the Author
Karen Viggers writes contemporary realist fiction set in Australian landscapes, and her work explores connection with the bush, grief and loss, healing in nature, death, family, marriage and friendship. Her books tackle contentious issues including choices at the end of life, whale rescue, kangaroo culling, scientific research on animals and logging of native forests.
Karen is a wildlife veterinarian who has worked and traveled in many remote parts of Australia, from Antarctica to the Kimberley. Her novels are known for their evocative portrayal of Australian people and landscapes.
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