Reviews for ‘Journey’s End’

REVIEWS FOR  JOURNEY’S END  Click on heading for full review

Superb! 
If you are a fan of crime fiction (as I am) then this read will convert you to the genre of Australian Rural Fiction! Or maybe just to Jennifer Scoullar’s work 
I loved this read – for so many reasons:
This is a well written narrative of rewilding/restoration – and the simile is not reserved just for the flora and fauna in the narrative, it also reflects the emotional restorations happening in so many of the characters’ lives in the book.
It made me reflect on another perspective on the war in Afghanistan that I hadn’t really given much thought to, (that of the innocent victims of the war) and I saw Afghanistan, the country as a more diverse landscape than that often cited in media grabs; more than a flat, dusty, almost people less, barren land of a remote villages.

It made me consider and reflect on more natural ways of conserving /preserving nature than baiting and trapping. I looked at dingoes and their role in the environment in a new light. Thanks for opening my eyes Jennifer.

Jennifer Scoullar’s writing has a rich complexity – it can be read as simply a story of renewal from a place of grief, a story of friendships, a romance, or you can absorb the depth of issues gently raised here – of racism, environmental management, wild life rescue, the effects of dwindling numbers in small towns on education etc. the illegal logging of protected stands of trees etc. etc.

However you read this you will enjoy it!

 Ann-Marie  (four star rating)

Journey’s End is an inspiring read that will take you on an emotional ride and back again.

After reading the first three pages I had to put the book down is was a mess. The emotion I felt was just so strong bringing back so many of my own memories of a similar time that it took me a whole day to be able to pick the book up again.
Jennifer has written such an amazing story about the land the plants the wonderful animals we have around us and why nature and it’s survival is so important.
It’s also a story about love, loss and love again.
It’s about opening up your heart and soul again after tragedies and how life can go on and that there is light and hope after all the dark.So many clever crafted words making for a beautiful story about Australia and people, acceptance and forgiveness.
There are a couple of tear inducing moments in the story and I’m not ashamed to say that I was a wreck after both moments. Her words are powerful and yet gentle and kind.
Thank you Jennifer for a well written story.

Talking Books Blog (four star rating)

The read was one that I could keep going back to. From one page to the next, Fortune’s Son contained a treasure trove of twists, endearing characters, perplexing as they were 😉 and some not so endearing wrapped in divinely portrayed scenery that at many chapters, dazzled this reader.
The prologue was completely heartbreaking and I was glued to the book throughout. While Kim’s character garnered my sympathies for the trials her character faced and the insurmountable grief she carried throughout the story, her character often perplexed me just the same. The life shattering events and obstacles for the story’s characters were emotionally turbulent from one chapter to the next. Serious issues raised throughout the story were confronting and impacting. Overall I liked the story, the characters – sometimes hot and cold in likeability, but combined, kept this reader fixed to the pages.
Review copy received from Penguin Books Australia via Netgalley for an honest rating
 
Michelle (four star rating)
I really enjoyed reading Journey’s End, and I would highly recommend it
The way Jennifer describes the land and its surroundings is just beautiful. The flora and the fauna are mentioned in great detail, and it was one aspect of the book I really liked. For me, this book had it all. It is a story of hope and new beginnings, of love and friendships.
It touches on important issues like racism, bush regeneration, and wildlife rescue.
Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books Australia for the opportunity to read and review Journey’s End

Tien  (four star rating)

Journey’s End is a novel full of grief, prejudice, relationships and life while exploring the beauty of natural ecological systems.

Jennifer Scoullar did not disappoint with her latest instalment. I’d expected lots of environmental titbits and I definitely got that and more! This time, even as she’s garnering support for the regeneration of Australian nature, she’s also explored elsewhere for a little. I’ve read 3 of her novels so far and each contained different animals to be appreciated and preserved. I think I’ve enjoyed Journey’s End most because of the chosen animal here is closer to my personal preference. I know I’m being very vague but I’m trying to stick to what the book blurb tells you.

Aside from the particular species featured in this book, I also really liked that another culture was brought into the mix. A culture that is currently not-so-popular. Even if Scoullar didn’t particular delve deep into this, she’s brought up the fact that we should never judge a person by their looks / nationality. There is a lot of misguidance / misconceptions in the world spread by hatred and the only way out, is to dig deep and learn the truth.

Kim Sullivan is easily likeable and despite understanding her grief etc, there were times where she was just so frustrating. Nevertheless, I haven’t ever been in her position so I’m also a bit conflicted about how much sympathy I should have for her and whether I should be feeling guilty about being frustrated of her not moving on. Thankfully, that’s not my job and all I had to do was cheer for the other characters when expressed their thoughts!

Journey’s End is a novel full of grief, prejudice, relationships and life while exploring the beauty of natural ecological systems. It is an easy book to get into but it’s really a light chick-lit sort of reading. My warning to you: Be prepared to be touched and get teary…

Thanks to Penguin Books Australia for copy eARC via NetGalley in exchange of honest review (less)

Amanda – Mrs B’s Book Reviews rated it really liked it

Shelves: 2016-books
*4.5 stars
Having read all of Jennifer Scoullar’s novels to date, I welcomed the opportunity to travel through the pages of her latest novel, Journey’s End. I firmly believe Jennifer Scoullar is a leading author in the field of Australian rural fiction. Scoullar’s novels are slight departure from those in the same genre, she is able to weave her unique passion for the environment into her rural fiction narratives. Journey’s End is another fantastic book by Jennifer Scoullar, incorporating the themes of love, emotional repair, friendship and family, all under a stunning Australian backdrop.
Journey’s End starts with a pretty emotional prologue – have the tissues at the ready! Kim Sullivan, mother of two, is looking forward to her husband Connor returning home after a tour of Afghanistan, where he has been serving in the Army. Kim’s hopes are shattered when she receives the terrible news that Connor was killed. Kim and her two children are completely consumed by grief, especially when a beloved family pet also leaves their lives. Two years later, Kim feels it is time for the family to have some time away, so she takes them to Journey’s End, a property her husband inherited some years ago. Situated near the isolated small town of Tingo in country NSW, Journey’s End is a rambling farm surrounded by breathtaking landscape. With plans to stay only a short time at Journey’s End to fix up the rundown property in preparation for sale, Kim and her children soon find they have grown deeply attached to Journey’s End. The Sullivans make the decision to stay put at Journey’s End, where Kim begins to move past her grief as she repairs the property. The family soon finds their lives touched by various Tingo locals, building strong friendships but also gaining enemies from local farmers who disagree with Kim’s attempts at rewilding her property. When the local handyman Taj enters the Sullivan’s lives, a chance at love and forgiveness seems possible, but Taj is a man with a shadowy past.
Journey’s End was a novel that surprised me with how deeply it was able to impact on me emotionally. The moving prologue, whereby the main character of Kim receives the devastating news her husband is not returning from his tour of Afghanistan, was utterly heartbreaking. So too were the chapters that followed, as the family struggles to come to terms with their grief. I felt so much for Kim and her son Jake in particular, as his grief takes over all aspects of his life. I applauded Kim when she decided to take the family away from their current living arrangements to Journey’s End. I adored the location of Tingo completely and I felt it was an excellent setting choice by Scoullar. Jennifer Scoullar’s descriptions of her locale, the mountains of country NSW, are rich in detail. I love how Scoullar adds in her passion and understanding of Australia’s flora and fauna to her narrative. Journey’s End is no exception, as she includes animals not covered in her previous books but also adds some favourites. I especially enjoyed the sections where brumbies and dingoes were featured.
Characters are a well formed in Journey’s End, Kim and her family are both very easy to relate and sympathise with. The country folk of Tingo are realistic and have some very good back stories. Ben and Taj are characters which stood out to me as intrinsically interesting .There is a touch of romance in Journey’s End that it is dusted with a light flavour only, but it seemed completely fitting for this book. Kim’s personal journey through the stages of her grief and her pursuits as a botanist in her new home of Journey’s End, definitely made this book such a joy to read from the start to the close of the book.
To read Journey’s End is to be rewarded with many rich layers. It is a story about love, loss, grief and finding the strength to move on. Journey’s End is unafraid to tackle some heavier issues such as prejudice, small town life problems, building relationships, wildlife care and alternative land regeneration techniques The most touching part of Journey’s End , besides the endearing characters and well plotted narrative, is the setting. Journey’s End also offers a very good picture of life in the mountain regions of country NSW and although I am unfamiliar with terrain, Scoullar opened my eyes to a truly majestic part of Australia.
*This review also appears on my bloghttps://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com…
Jenn McLeod rated it it was amazing
Always a delight to read Jen’s books. This one and Brumby’s Run (oh, and Turtle Reef). Oh, what the heck. Read them all. 🙂

Carol – Reading Writing and Riesling rated it it was amazing

Shelves: own

Superb!

My View:
If you are a fan of crime fiction (as I am) then this read will convert you to the genre of Australian Rural Fiction! Or maybe just to Jennifer Scoullar’s work 
I loved this read – for so many reasons:
This is a well written narrative of rewilding/restoration – and the simile is not reserved just for the flora and fauna in the narrative, it also reflects the emotional restorations happening in so many of the characters’ lives in the book.
It made me reflect on another perspective on the war in Afghanistan that I hadn’t really given much thought to, (that of the innocent victims of the war) and I saw Afghanistan, the country as a more diverse landscape than that often cited in media grabs; more than a flat, dusty, almost people less, barren land of a remote villages.

It made me consider and reflect on more natural ways of conserving /preserving nature than baiting and trapping. I looked at dingoes and their role in the environment in a new light. Thanks for opening my eyes Jennifer.

Jennifer Scoullar’s writing has a rich complexity – it can be read as simply a story of renewal from a place of grief, a story of friendships, a romance, or you can absorb the depth of issues gently raised here – of racism, environmental management, wild life rescue, the effects of dwindling numbers in small towns on education etc. the illegal logging of protected stands of trees etc. etc.

However you read this you will enjoy it!

Michelle rated it it was amazing
well i finished the way I started… almost in tears. But these ones were different tears.
What a wonderful read.

Jennifer Scoullar goes from strength to strength and I finished Journey’s End the way I started it, on the brink of tears, though very different types of tears.

Kim Sullivan and her husband Connor have big dreams of their life together and many of them centre on the rundown property Connor inherited, Journey’s End, and finally the time has come to start working on all of their plans. In a few short days Connor will be back from war-torn Afghanistan and they can start making their dreams for Journey’s End realities.

Until the knock on the door that changes everything, the knock on the door every wife and mother fears; the knock that says Connor isn’t coming home.

Two years later Kim decides it is time to put Journey’s End on the market, all of the dreams she had for the property were dreams she shared with Connor and without him it just seems way too hard.

Life has moved on but the family is struggling and the passing of their dog Scout is what broke me in the opening pages; I think because I can relate as I have an old dog of my own who is starting to slow down and I can’t bear to think of life without him. They decide to take a trip to Journey’s End to scatter Scouts ashes and look at what needs to be done to ready the place for sale. My biggest issue here was that I couldn’t understand scattering ashes in a place you’re about to sell, but that’s just me and I am already torn with how to make the decisions when the time comes.

The first trip to Journey’s End is heartbreaking for Kim, the family have moved out of the family home so they don’t have the constant reminders at every turn; once they get to Journey’s End that’s exactly what they find. It’s like having to let go all over again. But there is something comforting about the place and before long Kim decides to take 12 months off work and go to Journey’s End to get the place well and truly ready for sale and give the children a change of scenery.

As is always the case in Scoullar novels the surroundings, and the animals, play as large a role in the story as the people.

journey's end

Kim Sullivan and her children need to heal, they need to learn to live again and they need to learn to live with their grief, rather than just keep on with the one foot in front of the other existence.

Journey’s End also needs to heal, it’s been left neglected for too long and there is much work to be done to bring it back to a thriving property. The property has a conservation covenant on it, meaning that it can’t be logged, and it will affect the type of buyer that’s attracted. The neglect of the property has attracted an endless stream of wild animals, the ones that are actually more looked upon as pests in farming areas. Lots of wild rabbits, foxes, kangaroos, wallabies, goats and they even see a couple of brumbies on their first visit.

Much of the story centres on the wildlife work done by Kim’s neighbour Mel, and in turn the Sullivans as they take on the overflow and always have a menagerie of orphaned animals around, and the regeneration of Journey’s End. The replanting, the controversial pest eradication program and the slow fixing up of the house.

Alongside the story of the property is the reawakening of Kim, the blossoming of Abbey and the calming of Jake. The change of scenery is good for the family; they meet new people and have a totally different set of experiences in the small town of Tingo than they would in Sydney.

The story isn’t all about the Sullivans, there is also the mysterious Taj; a relative newcomer to Tingo who generally keeps to himself but is a great handyman around town.

The story is narrated in the third person but alternates, not evenly or regularly, between Taj and Kim.

Taj has a haunted past and his grief and loss is evident in his eyes, though no-one in town really knows his story. Jake takes an immediate dislike to him and Abbey is the complete opposite being drawn to him. Taj is not only a talented handyman but also has a way with animals. He works on the house and yards for Kim to help ready it for sale, and they begin to also work together on Kim’s plans for the property and rewilding the bushland.

Ben is the real estate agent looking after the sale of Journey’s End and he forms a friendship with Kim. He is charming and charismatic, perhaps a little too much, and Jake takes an immediate shine to him, though Abbey never warms to him.  The reactions of the kids illustrate the sharp contrast between the two men in the story.

The characters are beautifully drawm, they are realistic and believable; their pain is palpable and their reawakening is a joy to watch. Scoullar has done another stellar job of creating fantastic characters that complement one another and make you feel… even if that feeling is one of anger.

The small town of Tingo and its characters are an interesting mix and help complete the picture when it comes to the more controversial plans Kim puts into place on her property.

Journey’s End has a little bit of everything, it’s a little bit suspense, a little bit romance, a lot of regeneration and a great deal of environmental awareness. Love, learning to laugh again, friendship, family and living with loss are all major players in this engaging new Scoullar novel.

Every Jennifer Scoullar novel I have read helps bring awareness to an environmental issue and I have loved every one of them, and now I need to go and track down the one or two that I have missed along the way.

Two years after the news of Kim Sullivan’s husband, Connor’s tragic death, she and her two children, Jake and Abbey had yet to come to terms with his loss. Jake especially was taking it hard – acting up at school, surly and fighting with both his school friends and his mother and sister. Kim was at her wits end. Her decision to take the children to Journey’s End, the rundown farm Connor had inherited years earlier and which the family had loved was one born of desperation. She knew the farm had to be sold, but as they set the place ready for sale, she was hopeful of the family finding some peace.

Journey’s End was on the outskirts of the small town of Tingo and an hour from Wingham in country New South Wales. When the natural beauty of the mountains, the wildlife and bush captivated Kim and the children, Kim decided to take a year from her job as botanist in Sydney so they could immerse themselves in the healing of the countryside. When the children settled into the Tingo Primary School they immediately made friends – Kim’s heart was happy to see Jake back to his old self.

Into her life came Ben, the real estate agent she was discussing the sale of Journey’s End with; and Taj, the local handyman who had a deep affinity with animals and knew the bush inside out. Kim’s desire to continue with Connor’s work in rewilding Journey’s End was helped by Taj – but not everyone was happy with what Kim and Taj were doing. And while Kim fought with her lingering grief, she was also aware that Taj had dark secrets of his own. Jake and Abbey had settled into Journey’s End as if they’d never been anywhere else – but could Kim do the same? Then with a shocking swiftness danger circled them – there was anger and bitterness; the threats left Kim shaken. Were her dreams to come to nothing?

Journey’s End by Aussie author Jennifer Scoullar is, in my humble opinion, this author’s best yet! I absolutely loved it – the beauty of the farm; the waterfall and the river; the mountains and the magnificent views; the animals and vegetation – all brought to life by the author’s beautifully descriptive words. There was also a deep love between Kim and her children, as well as Kim’s friendship with Daisy – all the characters were brought to life in a realistic way. Filled with heartbreak and loss, hope, friendship and love, Journey’s End is one I highly recommend to all.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

Jessy rated it it was amazing

I won this book on Goodreads for free. Thank you Goodreads for giving me the opportunity to win this book . Author Jennifer Scoullar is one of my favourite Authors . Thank you to Jennifer for posting the book to me.

When Sydney based botanist Kim Sullivan and Connor her husband inherit Journey’s End, a run down farm on the great Eastern Escarpment, they have big plans to restore the place to its original state. But when Connor does not return from the war in Afghanistan, Kim decides to sell off the place. In the opening pages the passing away of the family dog scout was painful as I am a big dog lover.

The family travels to the mountains to put the property on the market with the help of Ben the real estate agent. Kim also wants to scatter the ashes of Scout on the land .Journey’s end worked it’s magic on the children, Jake and Abbey. abbey is full of life as she encounters wild baby animals and Jake finds a friend and role model in Ben and his behaviour is much calmer. Kim decides to move to Journey’s End for a year and they meet new people and have totally different experiences in the Town of Tingo than they would have had in Sydney. the neglect of the land has attracted various wild animals like wallabies, foxes, wild rabbits, lambs, goats, kangaroos and brumbies. My view about Dingo’s has changed and helped me see the role that they play in the environment.

The story is centred on the wildlife work done by Kim and her neighbour Mel. Kim decides to regenerate the rainforest. She loves Orchids and her excitement when she is given a rare Raven orchid is expressed well.

The story also includes Taj the handy man of the town and he has a way with animals .The likings and dis likings of the kids towards the two men, Taj and Ben bring out their contrasts..

It’s a story of friendship, renewal, racism, war, wild life rescue , rainforest, the power of love and environmental issues. I have read most of this Author’s books except one and have enjoyed and loved them all. The Author’s love of the land is well described and the fantastic views of Cedar Creek are breath taking. A very engaging story and I highly recommend this book .

Janine rated it it was amazing  Reading Rewards Best Reads Of The Year

This is the first book I have read by local author Jennifer Scoullar – and it certainly won’t be the last. After Kim’s husband is killed in Afghanistan her life is in tatters, with the impact of this affecting her son Jake and daughter Abbey. Jake is finding it increasingly hard without his dad and his behaviour at school and his grades Kim decides to take the whole family to Journey’s end with the idea being, to do some surface repairs readying it for sale, as without her husband, the dream they had to restore it has died with him. There, she meets her neighbour Mel who cares for injured wildlife as well as running her own sheep, Ben – the real estate agent she enlists to sell her property, and the mysterious Taj who himself is from Afghanistan who is hired to do the repairs on the house.

Once there Kim decides to stay for 6 months and enrols the children in the local small school where they thrive. She is a Botanist herself and after spending time with Mel and Taj she decides to rewild her land and with Taj’s help re-introduce dingoes to the area to keep the wildlife in check and give native and rare plants the chance to regenerate. Her plans are going so well, but all of a sudden sheep are found killed on Mel’s property and the locals are up in arms about Kim’s plans.

It’s a story of friendship, renewal, racism, war, wild life rescue , rainforest, love and environmental issues. Jennifer Scoullar writes with such knowledge about environmental matters. I was glued to this book and really didn’t want it to end. It will go down as one of my best reads this year. (less)

Jeannette rated it really liked it
Book blurb…
From the author of Currawong Creek and Turtle Reef comes a beautiful story of family, friendship and the healing power of love.
When Sydney botanist Kim Sullivan and her husband inherit Journey’s End, a rundown farm high on the Great Eastern Escarpment, they dream of one day restoring it to its natural state. Ten years later, however, Kim is tragically widowed. Selling up is the only practical option, so she and her children head to the mountains to organise the sale. The last thing Kim expects is for Journey’s End to cast its wild spell on them all.
The family decides to stay, and Kim forges on with plans to rewild the property, propagating plants and acquiring a menagerie of native animals. But wayward wildlife, hostile farmers and her own lingering grief make the task seem hopeless. That is, until she meets the mysterious Taj, a man who has a way with animals. Kim begins to feel that she might find love again. But Taj has his own tragic past – one that could drive a wedge between them that can not be overcome . . .
My thoughts…I read Turtle Reef last year and as a result promised myself I’d read Jennifer’s next book and I was truly rewarded. I love reading well plotted stories that create a passion in me for the characters and their causes. This was one of those books. Well done Jennifer Scoullar.Kim’s time at Journey’s End certainly presents her with some of life’s lessons, but it also
shows her the way to mend the hearts of her children, as well as her own.

I loved the character Taj and found his aura drawing me to him. As a character, Taj was so well written, so deep and complex, he was almost tangible. I felt I was there on the page with him, willing him to overcome the feelings that were holding him back.
As for Ben, you’ll have to read the story and experience the emotions he evokes.A journey through tragedy that will tear at your heart, have you barrack for love and make you want to live on this property high on the Great Escarpment.