Dainetree by Annie Seaton

Dainetree by Annie SeatonDaintree by Annie Seaton
Series: The Porter Sisters #2
Published by Pan Macmillan AU on November 29th 2016
Pages: 326
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The Daintree breeds survivors, those who can weather the storms, heat and floods that come hand-in-hand with its beauty. Doctor Emma Porter is one such survivor, dedicated to her patients and to preserving this precious land where she has made a home.
Emma's quiet life is disrupted when Doctor Jeremy Langford starts working at the hospital, bringing back painful memories: Jeremy was her first love and embodies all that she left behind in Sydney. Jeremy has demons of his own, however, and the tight-knit community of Dalrymple seems to promise the peace he has been looking for.
But while some come to the Daintree to find shelter, others are here to exploit the rainforest's riches. And they will stop at nothing to get their hands on its bounty.

I think the draw of this series is the very unique Australian bush-scape that Annie Seaton writes with such painstaking detail about, as well as the community life that’s hard but rewarding in so many ways. In fact, I’d say this book is more rural fiction with slight romantic elements than a straight out romance itself; the star of the book is the Australian environment in the north and the incredibly tough way of life that few people can relate to.

There’s a side dose of suspense and a case of wildlife trafficking as those who should be protecting the people and the national parks are found guilty of compromising them instead, but by and large, ‘Daintree’ feels very much like a loving tribute to those who live far from the cities and survive on grit, strong neighbourly bonds and the core services that support them.

The pace of the story unfortunately mirrors the setting in the bush and the pace of rural life : it’s slow at times and the second chance romance is merely brushed on when it comes to Em and Jeremy, whose connection seemed to be tainted by Em’s very judgemental attitude towards the latter after they ended badly 6 years ago. Characters sometimes veered towards the stereotypical and I actually thought the pairing needed more work – Em/Jem spent most of the book in a push-pull state that hurtled towards a rather rushed conclusion -, but mostly, this was an eye-opening read simply because of how different it was from most other books that have graced my desk.