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  • Paperback
  • 480
  • Sweet Wattle Creek
  • Kaye Dobbie
  • English
  • 25 July 2019
  • 9780857994349

10 thoughts on “Sweet Wattle Creek

  1. says:

    The length of time it took me to read this is no indication of the book’s worth It was simply that Christmas and family staying intervened allowing no reading time much as I wanted to get back to Sweet Wattle Creek The arrival in 1986 of an antiue wedding dress sends Sophie Matheson on a uest to find out about the dress and its owner The story then goes back to a letter written in 1904 by Martha Ambrose to her love Then it turns to Belle Bartholomew at St Kilda on New Year’s Eve 1930 and the events that change her life and send her to Sweet Wattle Creek a small town in Victoria From there chapters alternate between the two time frames and Sophie and Belle The wedding dress and events in Sweet Wattle Creek link the twoI enjoyed this book even though at times I got a tad annoyed at being taken from one time frame to the other when I wanted to stay with one character But I soon got over it and got absorbed in the other narrative running through the other time frame Belle and Sophie are both strong caring women who have suffered adversity and come through it but not without cost There is a romance in both these women’s lives but also secrets that cause a lot of problems Attitudes and events are portrayed well Sadly some of the problems encountered by characters in this book still exist in real life todayThis is a book that incorporates mystery and danger and had me turning the pages faster toward the end Had it been a normal time of year I’m sure I would have read it pretty much straight though because it really does pull you into the story and make you want to keep reading A thoroughly enjoyable read that coveys the Australian setting and both times well This is the second book I have read by this author and I loved both of them


  2. says:

    A pleasant piece of historical fiction with some light romantic themes and a touch of mystery this book is an easy entertaining read No really high dramas or passions but rather a straight forward well written account of a family saga set in a small country town in rural VictoriaThere are two time periods with two main characters 1931 features Belle Bartholomew presented in the third person 1986 has Sophie Matheson in first person voice Both women are feisty and independent and show great strength of character in dealing with personal misfortune with dignityKaye Dobbie handles the switches in time competently and there are strong links between the two eras In 1986 Sophie recently arrived in town is a journalist with the Sweet Wattle Creek Herald trying to piece together the story behind the elegant wedding dress which is deposited on the doorstep of the paper some weeks before the town’s centenary celebrationThe central figure of the entire book is Belle the 30 yo woman made penniless and homeless by the loss of her father’s fortune in the Great Depression Her only remaining asset is the derelict Grand Hotel which she inherited from her ‘aunt’ Martha at Sweet Water Creek Belle travels to the tiny town to see if she can make a home there and to sort out once and for all the secrets of her true parentage What she encounters at Sweet Wattle Creek tests her resolve and brings out her personal ualities Both protagonists Sophie and Belle are well developed and the author enlivens the narrative with some sharply drawn minor characters such as the formally dressed curator Ian McKinnon obnoxious Lyn Thomas and the glamorous Gwendolyn Those minor players are keys to the emotional tenor of the book as both Belle and Sophie struggle to make a niche for themselves in a backwater rural settlement All the hidden secrets all the harboured resentments of small minded residents seem to crawl out of the woodwork when Belle arrives in town in 1931 Dobbie paints a rather harsh but undoubtedly honest picture of what life could have been like in an isolated community at a tough time in the nation’s historyI loved some of the minor plot lines in the book First there is the creation of the beautiful wedding gown Dobbie invents a character Eileen Nicholson a Melbourne couturier of distinction whose exuisite garments become collectors’ items in later decades Lovely details about the various frocks worn in 1931 which contrasted amusingly with Sophie’s pragmatic jogging gear Belle’s romantic interest Michael Maxwell is associated with Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm and in 1986 carrying on the connexion Mrs Davies’ beloved border collie adopted by Sophie’s son Dillon is called Smithy It feels very real and uintessentially AustralianWith all historical fiction a crucial factor is the time period chosen by the author in which the events take place I was really pleased to read a book NOT set in Australia’s convict era nor in the WW1 period so commonly the background for a lot of Australian novels In her Afterword Dobbie acknowledges a number of sources for the information she weaves into the fiction about the often desperate lives of people affected by the Great Depression and the grimness of some country town communities 1986 represents an era of change in Australian society such as the appearance of personal computers the beginnings of recognition of domestic violence and the need for refuges and the changing role of womenHaving said that I do not want to create the impression this is a dark grim book uite the contrary it is full of enjoyable elements The compassion that Belle shows for Michael with his hideous war wounds was very touching and her solicitude for the much maligned travellers generated a lot of warmth The embarrassingly gauche moves made by Ian and Sophie as their mutual attraction grew made me laugh For me Sweet Wattle Creek was a delightful entertaining read which kept my eyes pinned to the pages as I tried to work out the various secrets and lies at the core of this dysfunctional group of families over three generations


  3. says:

    An antiue wedding dress unearthed after decades of being buried ignites the story of Sweet Wattle Creek Written by Kaye Dobbie an Australian author it is a novel that beautifully ties together the lives of three women through one affective dressIn the present day the small town of Sweet Wattle Creek is undergoing preparations for their centenary celebration Sophie is new to the town working as a journalist at the local newspaper She is the one who discovers the stunning antiue wedding dress donated for the centenary celebrations The dress soon gets under Sophie’s skin as she tries to find out its origins and ownership Her investigations eventually lead her to Belle a young woman who was once connected to the dress and the town of Sweet Wattle Creek in 1931 Belle is linked to Sweet Wattle Creek through the mysterious Martha Ambrose a woman who beueaths Belle a hotel establishment All three women are bound together in some form or another to the tiny town of Sweet Wattle Creek and the wedding dressI loved this gentle Australian story which is my second helping of Kaye Dobbie an author I was introduced to through a previous novel Colours of Gold In general I would describe Sweet Wattle Creek as having a light touch However it does deal with some important themes such as small town rural life war the great depression women’s rights love relationships domestic violence and national identity Sweet Wattle Creek offers a great blend of genres from Australian small town fiction crossed with historical fiction and it also contains some elements of suspensemystery The romance side is fairly understated in Sweet Wattle Creek it is a story about the agonising decisions the women in this novel make in relation to love Dobbie makes the reader see these are women who face much adversity in their differing situations despite the bridge of time This allows the reader to easily sympathise with the characters in Sweet Wattle Creek I admired the ualities of each of the characters based in both the present and the past in Sweet Wattle Creek What I took away most from this story was the historical thread which gave me significant insight into the struggles faced by Australia’s small towns It is a book that worked to highlight the displacement felt by men returning from the First World War and the rise of travellers entering small towns in Australia It definitely made Sweet Wattle Creek an enlightening readSweet Wattle Creek was a pleasing novel which held my attention from start to finish I really enjoyed the connection between the present to the past through the use of a wedding gown which was linked to the female protagonists Sweet Wattle Creek is an engaging novel from an author I am than happy to recommendhttpsmrsbbookreviewswordpresscom


  4. says:

    With a narrative alternating between the past and the present Sweet Wattle Creek by Kaye Dobbie also known as Sara Bennett and Lilly Sommers tells the story of Belle Bartholomew and Sophie Matheson two women haunted by the secrets of their pasts When her father commits suicide after losing his wealth during the post war depression Belle Bartholomew is stunned to learn of the secrets he had been keeping Eager to know she travels to Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance a rundown hotel beueathed to her by Martha Ambrose and though Belle's uestions put the locals offside she is determined to solve the mystery of her birthNearly sixty years later reporter Sophie Matheson is enchanted by a vintage wedding dress donated to the Sweet Wattle Creek centenary celebrations Intrigued by its mysterious provenance Sophie begins to piece together the story of Belle and Charlie and their connection to the old burnt out hotel on the town's fringe unaware that her own past is catching up to herBoth Belle and Sophie are appealing and sympathetic characters Though their situations are very different they share a similar spirit facing adversity with courage and determinationDobbie's portrayal of small town Australia during the 1930's is very well done The community of Sweet Wattle Creek is still struggling with grief for their loved ones lost and injured in the Great War and are worried about the impact of the post war depression particularly as 'travellers' pass through their town Dobbie skilfully communicates this tense atmosphere and Belle's status as an outsiderThe mid 1980's is a fairly bland era by comparison but Dobbie is careful to ensure the period is reflected in the storyline The local paper where Sophie works still uses a mechanical press to publish archives are stored in the basement and the single computer that saves data to floppy discs is still a noveltyMost importantly I thought the story was very well structured both the historical and contemporary timelines complement each other well and advance the plot as a whole The pacing is good and the suspense builds nicely There are some neat turns to the plot and I thought the conclusion was satisfyingSweet Wattle Creek is a well crafted and engaging tale combining mystery drama and romance and I'm happy to recommend it


  5. says:

    I'm a sucker for dual narrative historical fiction and Australian author Kaye Dobbie has created a wonderful tale of mystery for readers to unravel in Sweet Wattle CreekWith two strong female protagonists Belle in 1930s and Sophie in 1980s both women end up leaving their troubles behind and moving to Sweet Wattle Creek a small town in VictoriaBelle inherits a hotel in town and Sophie works at the local newspaper while both women are trying to understand the past Small town relationships and family secrets abound in this novel and the author offers a solid commentary of post war conditions in rural Australia which include grief and unemploymentThere's a real sense of the city and the country in both narratives and being from Melbourne I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes set in St Kilda I loved the small town touches throughout the novel although I could have done without the romance between Sophie and Ian if I'm honest Their investigative work together on the wedding dress was enough to keep me entertainedIf you enjoy novels by bestselling Australian author Kate Morton then Sweet Wattle Creek is the book for you


  6. says:

    My ViewKaye Dobbie has masterfully married two times fames to produce an exciting narrative that is both historical 1930’s and contemporary 1980’s fiction and there are aspects of life in both time periods that are relevant to the world we live in today I found the history and social commentary of Australia between the wars and of the Great Depression illuminating; PTSD the aftermath of war on families and communities poverty the role of women in society unemployment were and are significant worldwide issues and it was exciting to learn a little about this period by the device of using Sophie and Ian’s search for the provenance of the wedding dressChapters alternate between the two periods and each chapter is clearly marked with the location the year and whose voice we are listening to– Sophie’s 1980’s or Belle’s 1930’s – there is no chance of getting lost in this duality of time that sometimes happens in novels that employ this device – all is very clear and I thank the author for making it so – I never had to go back and re read to work out where I was or who I was listening to In both time periods we have protagonists that are strong determined resourceful and caring women Dobbie writes her lead characters with poise grace and humanity The issue of small town attitudes and prejudices of the 1930’s – in particular the perceived social economic and moral attitudes towards the “travellers” the displaced victims of the Depression is comparable to attitudes today to the to the displaced people of Syria – the same fears and misconceptions surrounding their plight leapt out at me as I read this book I think there is a lesson or two here we can all take from Belle and Michael’s attitudes of social responsibilityBelle lived in a time of great upheaval upheaval is a theme that is also prevalent in Sophie’s life too Sophie’s story evokes much empathy and her situation is just as relevant to many women today as it was back in the 1980’s no spoilers here Dobbie successfully reflects upon attitudes of the time as we discover about the life and history of both female protagonists A blend of historical and contemporary fiction with a dash of empathetic characters drama suspense and social commentary and Kaye Dobbie has created a recipe for success


  7. says:

    A decent light yarn set over dual time eras


  8. says:

    When an old wedding dress mistakenly lands on the steps of the newspaper where she works as a journalist Sophie Matheson is intrigued by both the beauty of it as well as the two names written on the inside of the box With the Centenary celebrations of Sweet Wattle Creek imminent she determines that if she can figure out its provenance and the tale held within its lace velvet and pearls this could prove to be a worthy story to accompany the dress at its displayApproaching Ian the historian and co ordinator of the event together they begin to delve into the past to uncover the secrets that the dress keeps within its folds But Sophie has her own secret one which is fed to the reader piecemeal heightening the mystery surrounding her presence in the small town Being thrust into the limelight however is one thing she never bargained on and as a conseuence her carefully held secret is soon uncovered bringing danger to the door that she has tried to keep shut so that her and her son remain safeIn our historical timeline we are introduced to Belle whose story is set during the Great Depression A somewhat wealthy and sheltered young woman she soon finds out that things may not be as they seem when her father suddenly dies and she is left to fit together the pieces of the puzzle around her heritage It’s a journey of self discovery and one that will take her from her gentrified upbringing to the dusty streets of Sweet Wattle Creek and the property she has mysteriously inherited Met with the secretive veneer of the town residents who are averse to welcoming strangers into their midst even in times of hardship Belle with her innocence warmth and gentle nature will need to dig deep to figure out what it is she really wantsDual timelines are one of my favourite styles of writing because basically you’re getting two stories in one but it’s not often that an author manages to pull both off to perfection Ultimately most dual timelines will have one storyline which is stronger than the other – not in this case Kaye Dobbie has done a brilliant job in weaving an aura of mystery around her two strong heroines – Belle in the historical timeline and Sophie in the contemporary – along with a fantastic sense of place which dragged me back in time to the Depression era and back to the 1980’s as I became eually invested in both these women’s stories In her own words Kaye describes Belle as a woman who “goes into emotional retreat but finds herself learning to live again” whilst Sophie “has to navigate a life she never expected to lead”Kaye writes with an authenticity that makes it obvious she has researched her subjects well and I cannot believe that I have not yet read anything by her before In taking this wedding dress and weaving two different tales around it she has layered it with history family grief fear second chances and love with plenty of mystery to keep the story moving forwardIn doing so Kaye has sewn together the threads that tie the common problems of past eras to our very own Domestic violence is just one of them and given the fact that it has recently been highlighted in Australia as an urgent issue which needs to be addressed I have no doubt that Sweet Wattle Creek will resonate with manyFrom its stunning cover artwork to its great pacing and despite the reason behind Sophie's presence in the town this is a light and gentle read that will appeal to your imagination while it touches both your heart and your sentimental mind


  9. says:

    Juggling between a 3 and a 4 star book for meI do like a well thought out two time period historical novel and I thought the historical part 1930’s was well researched and done particularly well The 1980’s was a little bit of a drag for me but in saying that I still enjoyed the characters If you are after a nice Sunday afternoon read that keeps you turning the pages to see how it all turns out you will enjoy Sweet Wattle Creek 3


  10. says:

    I received a free copy of thi book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review The chance discovery of an antiue wedding dress weaves together the fascinating stories of three women from different eras Sophie in hiding from a troubled past; Belle who must lose everything to learn what really matters; and Martha forced to give up those she loves in order to avoid exposureIt’s 1931 and Belle Bartholomew has arrived in rural Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance – a run down grand hotel formerly owned by Martha Ambrose Determined to solve the mystery of her birth and the reason why she was beueathed the hotel Belle runs into difficulties with the townsfolk and their desire to keep their secrets safeSixty years later Sophie Matheson is on a uest to find Belle and her family after discovering the wedding dress The Sweet Wattle Creek Centenary brings challenges when her past catches up and she must fight for all that matters to her Who were Belle and Martha and what links their lives together?A pleasant surprise this book Went into this book with no expectations didn't know the author the plot sounded intriguing and Harleuin usually release good books There was a lot of good stuff to take from this novel1 The time period A lot of Australian historical fiction is set either during eitherboth World Wars or the years after World War 2 So finding a story whose historical time frame was the 1930's was a great treat2 The characters What an amazing bunch of characters Kaye Dobbie has drawn here Hard to get just right the mix of characters is just about perfect From diamonds in the rough to rogues to the rags to riches character and the glamourous oneand they are just the minor characters Both Sophie and Belle have wonderful story arcs that are both interesting and original I found it very hard to drag myself away from their stories3 The twin plots I sometimes get scared when I know there are parallel plots in a book Some authors don't uite get it right Kaye Dobbie does The connection between the two plots the history of the wedding dress and the Belle's uest to discover her history blend seamlessly into one stunning storyThe one downside for me was the romance between Sophie and Ian I think if the author had kept their relationship to just finding out the history of the dress it would have worked far better A highly recommended Australian historical fiction novelPaulARH


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Kaye Dobbie · 7 Download

Sweet Wattle Creek

Elle Bartholomew has arrived in rural Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance – a run down grand hotel formerly owned by Martha Ambrose Determined to solve the mystery of her birth and the reason why she was beueathed the hotel Belle runs into difficulties with the townsfolk and their desire to keep thei I'm a sucker for dual narrative historical fiction and Australian author Kaye Dobbie has created a wonderful tale of mystery for readers to unravel in Sweet Wattle CreekWith two strong female protagonists Belle in 1930s and Sophie in 1980s both women end up leaving their troubles behind and moving to Sweet Wattle Creek a small town in VictoriaBelle inherits a hotel in town and Sophie works at the local newspaper while both women are trying to understand the past Small town relationships and family secrets abound in this novel and the author offers a solid commentary of post war conditions in rural Australia which include grief and unemploymentThere's a real sense of the city and the country in both narratives and being from Melbourne I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes set in St Kilda I loved the small town touches throughout the novel although I could have done without the romance between Sophie and Ian if I'm honest Their investigative work together on the wedding dress was enough to keep me entertainedIf you enjoy novels by bestselling Australian author Kate Morton then Sweet Wattle Creek is the book for you

Free read ê eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB · Kaye Dobbie

The chance discovery of an antiue wedding dress weaves together the fascinating stories of three women from different eras Sophie in hiding from a troubled past; Belle who must lose everything to learn what really matters; and Martha forced to give up those she loves in order to avoid exposureIt’s 1931 and B A pleasant piece of historical fiction with some light romantic themes and a touch of mystery this book is an easy entertaining read No really high dramas or passions but rather a straight forward well written account of a family saga set in a small country town in rural VictoriaThere are two time periods with two main characters 1931 features Belle Bartholomew presented in the third person 1986 has Sophie Matheson in first person voice Both women are feisty and independent and show great strength of character in dealing with personal misfortune with dignityKaye Dobbie handles the switches in time competently and there are strong links between the two eras In 1986 Sophie recently arrived in town is a journalist with the Sweet Wattle Creek Herald trying to piece together the story behind the elegant wedding dress which is deposited on the doorstep of the paper some weeks before the town’s centenary celebrationThe central figure of the entire book is Belle the 30 yo woman made penniless and homeless by the loss of her father’s fortune in the Great Depression Her only remaining asset is the derelict Grand Hotel which she inherited from her ‘aunt’ Martha at Sweet Water Creek Belle travels to the tiny town to see if she can make a home there and to sort out once and for all the secrets of her true parentage What she encounters at Sweet Wattle Creek tests her resolve and brings out her personal ualities Both protagonists Sophie and Belle are well developed and the author enlivens the narrative with some sharply drawn minor characters such as the formally dressed curator Ian McKinnon obnoxious Lyn Thomas and the glamorous Gwendolyn Those minor players are keys to the emotional tenor of the book as both Belle and Sophie struggle to make a niche for themselves in a backwater rural settlement All the hidden secrets all the harboured resentments of small minded residents seem to crawl out of the woodwork when Belle arrives in town in 1931 Dobbie paints a rather harsh but undoubtedly honest picture of what life could have been like in an isolated community at a tough time in the nation’s historyI loved some of the minor plot lines in the book First there is the creation of the beautiful wedding gown Dobbie invents a character Eileen Nicholson a Melbourne couturier of distinction whose exuisite garments become collectors’ items in later decades Lovely details about the various frocks worn in 1931 which contrasted amusingly with Sophie’s pragmatic jogging gear Belle’s romantic interest Michael Maxwell is associated with Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm and in 1986 carrying on the connexion Mrs Davies’ beloved border collie adopted by Sophie’s son Dillon is called Smithy It feels very real and uintessentially AustralianWith all historical fiction a crucial factor is the time period chosen by the author in which the events take place I was really pleased to read a book NOT set in Australia’s convict era nor in the WW1 period so commonly the background for a lot of Australian novels In her Afterword Dobbie acknowledges a number of sources for the information she weaves into the fiction about the often desperate lives of people affected by the Great Depression and the grimness of some country town communities 1986 represents an era of change in Australian society such as the appearance of personal computers the beginnings of recognition of domestic violence and the need for refuges and the changing role of womenHaving said that I do not want to create the impression this is a dark grim book uite the contrary it is full of enjoyable elements The compassion that Belle shows for Michael with his hideous war wounds was very touching and her solicitude for the much maligned travellers generated a lot of warmth The embarrassingly gauche moves made by Ian and Sophie as their mutual attraction grew made me laugh For me Sweet Wattle Creek was a delightful entertaining read which kept my eyes pinned to the pages as I tried to work out the various secrets and lies at the core of this dysfunctional group of families over three generations

Free download Sweet Wattle Creek

R secrets safeSixty years later Sophie Matheson is on a uest to find Belle and her family after discovering the wedding dress The Sweet Wattle Creek Centenary brings challenges when her past catches up and she must fight for all that matters to her Who were Belle and Martha and what links their lives together? A decent light yarn set over dual time eras


About the Author: Kaye Dobbie

Kaye Dobbie lives in an old house in the old gold rush town Bendigo in the state of Victoria Australia She has been writing professionally ever since she won the Big River short story contest at the Sweet Wattle PDF or age of eighteen Her career has undergone many changes including writing Australian historical fiction under the name Lilly Sommers to romance written as Sara BennettSara Mackenzie and published.