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Close to Home

A delightful small town story of community and family with shades of Romeo and Juliet and The Dressmaker.

Two households, both alike in dignity…

Aunt Alice Dwyer loves her small Australian town. She’s rarely left its comforting embrace. She knows everyone in it; in fact, she’s related to most of them. All she wants is to keep her family safe and the town running exactly the way it always has. Her way. But when an exotic French artist comes to town, her hold begins to weaken…

Lucienne Chevalier, once the toast of Europe, has come to Nyringa after a tragic loss to hang up her sequins and create a place for her circus family to rest between tours. With her is Simon, her grandson, recovering from an injury so damaging he can no longer perform. Lucienne fears he’ll never embrace a new future. That is, until she notices the chemistry between him and the new schoolteacher… All they need is a push.

Both grande dames think they know what’s best, but with equal amounts of stubbornness on both sides, peace looks unlikely. Then a relationship between Alice’s rebellious great-niece and a teenage acrobat sets the two communities on a collision course. But when the bakery starts making patisseries over lamingtons, the battle lines are truly drawn…

A story of community and family. Of the love that brings them together … and the fears that would tear them apart.

Janet says…

I was on holiday in Spain after writing The Lawson Sisters, with no idea what to write next. We visited an small, slightly run-down old amusement park and suddenly the character of Lucienne appeared in my head, fully formed and talking to me.
The next day we saw a double decker carousel near the beach. By this stage, Aunt Alice had also popped into my head, wanting to talk to me. I started writing the book in our room that evening, while my husband, who is used to this sort of thing, patiently waited for me to decide we could go out for dinner.
I just love Lucienne and Aunt Alice. I hope you will too.

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Australian readers will find local links at Romance ANZ.