Streets on a Map by Dale Harcombe is an interesting story of a young woman, Abby who moves with her husband, Joel to the country town where Joel has grown up. Abby is a city girl who has to adjust to a new life style in an unfamiliar setting. The book raises a number of issues associated with forming relationships, moving on from dysfunctional families, forgiveness and building trust. Some good Judeo-Christian ethics are subtly woven into the story. I liked the way this was handled as it didn’t feel contrived.
However, there were a couple of things that didn’t work well for me. I never warmed to Joel, perhaps because the first time we are introduced to him, he is arguing with Abby. He comes across as insensitive, and since they had no history of Christian standards, there were times when I wondered why Abby didn’t pack her bags and return to Sydney. I also wondered what line of work Joel did.
Another issue I had was getting a mental picture of Astley. I have lived in small country towns and I couldn’t get a feel for how big it was. The level of gossip and rumours that circulated suggested a very small town yet it seemed to have a number of services like a hospital suggesting it wasn’t that small.
However these issues weren’t significant enough to distract from a good story and others may not even notice them.
Overall an enjoyable read.
Thanks to Dale Harcombe for providing a free book for review.