The Grass Castle by Karen Viggers is an enjoyable story set in an Australian context that I’m very familiar with. I liked reading about places that I know well. The book is quite descriptive in places which did slow the pace of the story and I did wonder whether this could have been handled better. However I found the story engaging so persisted through these passages.

Abby is a university student who meets Cameron, an ambitious journalist, through her research work on kangaroos. Daphne is an elderly widow trying not to be a drain on her family. I liked the unlikely romance between Abby and Cameron and the friendship between Abby and Daphne. These characters and their relationships were relatable and insightful. Both Abby and Daphne were burdened by issues from their past which they are able to come to a better place of understanding and acceptance through the book.

A kangaroo cull is a dramatic part of the story. This was a difficult but well-handled part of the story. Both sides of the controversy were shown and explored. Aboriginal land issues were also touched upon but not investigated to any large extent. It added to the backdrop without being a distraction.

Overall a thoughtful and interesting story.