The Cottage at Rosella Cove by Sandie Docker is her second novel set in the small Australian coastal town of Rosella Cove.
Fleeing from a toxic relationship, Nicole arrives in Rosella Cove to take up residence in a dilapidated cottage. Unable to afford anything else, she has agreed to renovate it and tame the overgrown garden. For this she will be able to live there rent free for six months.
Horrified by the extent of the work ahead of her, she heads for the local hardware store where she finds a friend in Mandy. Deciding that Nicole badly needs help, Mandy introduces her husband, Trevor, son, Jack, and local handyman, Danny, who all offer help with the house and garden.
Invited to the local league grudge match, followed by a celebration at the pub, Nicole soon finds herself drawn into the warmth of the country town community.
The only non-welcoming resident is elderly recluse, Charlie, who lives in the boatshed that belongs to the cottage. Who is he and why is he still running from the past?
When Nicole discovers a box of love letters written during and after WW2 she becomes enthralled in the story they tell of love and loss.
What is Charlie’s fearful secret and will a connection between him and Ivy, the previous tenant of the cottage and writer of the letters, be revealed?
This is a wonderfully heart-warming story of everlasting love between two people. It also reminds the reader of the close friendships that are made in small communities and of those that have survived through generations.
This novel, however, also explores the distressing fallout from domestic violence and the destruction of a person, and those closest to them, from the abuse of alcohol.
A page-turner – do read it, and, if you have read and loved Sandie’s debut novel, The Kookaburra Creek Cafe, you will find this its equal.
The Cottage at Rosella Cove is available in paperback and e-book
About Sandie Docker
Sandie Docker grew up in Coffs Harbour, and first fell in love with reading when her father introduced her to fantasy books as a teenager. Her love of fiction began when she first read Jane Austen for the HSC, but it wasn’t until she was taking a translation course at university that her Mandarin lecturer suggested she might have a knack for writing – a seed of an idea that sat quietly in the back of her mind while she lived overseas and travelled the world. Sandie first decided to put pen to paper (yes, she writes everything the old-fashioned way before hitting a keyboard) when living in London. Now back in Sydney with her husband and daughter, she writes every day.