Out of the Ashes
For Alexis Whitham, Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia seems like the perfect place to escape with Jody, her daughter, and begin a new life free from the escalating abuse of her ex-husband. In their new hideaway she can write, and Jody, an adaptable gifted child, can find friends and grow up in safety.
For Matthew Haley, the remote destination is a place to hide, as well. A ranger at Flinders Chase park at the farthest reaches of the island, he can live in solitude and avoid confronting the pain of his past.
Then his new American neighbor brings him an injured koala, and Matthew finds that no matter how much he wants to, he can't escape Alexis or her enchanting nine-year-old daughter.
But while Matthew may find a way to put his past to rest, Alexis's may yet come back to haunt her.
Where I would go if I had a magic carpet and could choose only one destination? It's really not difficult. I would go back to Kangaroo Island, to the actual rental cottage near the fictitious location of this novel. I would watch the wallabies and possums on my front porch and walk among the kangaroos and emus at Flinders Chase. I would commune with seals on the beach, and take photos in the nooks and crannies of Remarkable Rocks.
But since I have no magic carpet, I can simply enjoy reading this book again, with the very real memories attached to it.
My family and I visited Kangaroo Island twice, staying both times in the same remote cottage. The visits were ten years apart, and a decade can make a world of difference, but not there. Kangaroo Island was as enchanting the second time as the first. Maybe because I left a piece of my heart to guide me back?
This is the final book of the Tales of the Pacific. All were a joy to write and a joy to read years later.
I hope you find this to be true, as well. Bon Voyage.