Sunday 31 May 2020

Ash Mountain - Helen Fitzgerald || Blog Tour

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

 As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

Ash Mountain takes a look at small town life, throw in some elements of a thriller and a darkly humorous leading lady and you have the makings of a great read.

I will admit when i initially started this it wasn't working for me but somewhere between the first few pages i found myself hooked to the point of picking this up constantly when i should of been doing other things. Fran has always hated her home town, Ash Mountain is a tiny place where the actually update the population by hand painting the sign but her dad is dying and her both her career and relationship in the city are over, so she heads home to look over her father in his last days.

Ash Mountain is not the most likeable of place and i feel even though Fran belongs their she never really fitted, she was treated horribly as she grew up because of "the boarders" who attended the local school and with them came privilege that she didn't have. The place holds alot of bad memories for Fran and been back their starts to bring them back to the surface.

It isn't all bad though, an unlikely friendship could lead to Love and maybe she can right the wrongs of the community whilst she is there. All this though takes place under the scorching Australian summer. A summer so hot that fires start and cause destruction in their wake. In fact, the book begins with just that. We then follow the narrative in the days before the fire as well as in the years before the fire too allowing the reading to discover Fran.

Fran is  a spiky feisty character that as a reader you gradually warm too as you discover her hardships as she grew up. I liked her, she had a wicked sense of humour, she took things to heart more than she should and was a completely different person under the shell she had created around herself. We also meet the family she raised to also be strong, firm and take nothing from no one and i enjoyed that.

I liked the way the narrative flowed from the day of the fire back to a few days before and even the years before. It allowed the reader to discover what had happened in the community. We get a better understanding of the stereotypes the characters have faced in their lives. It helps make them well rounded characters. They all have such a depth to them and their feelings.

I feel like we also need to take a moment to celebrate the Ostriches Fran's dad got to keep boys away, because they were characters all on their own even though we hadn't spent that much time with them. Ash Mountain is a complex look at small town life, it tackles some of the issues we have seen impacting modern day society and takes a laugh at things too. Their was the right amount of thrills, humour and drama that kept the pace moving throughout the book.
I am certainly glad that i read past the first few pages because this was a good read that will stick with me.

If you want to pick up a copy you can do so here
I was gifted a copy for the blog tour.

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

1 comment :

Back to Top