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Dear Banjo Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Grab this book, take it to the beach, you will fall in love with these characters and this story!!
Dear Banjo is a truly amazing story about two best friends, Willow (Banjo) Paterson and Tom Forrest. Banjo and Tom both grew up on neighboring farms in Kimberley Australia and created a friendship bond that Banjo never wants to lose. These two young people want the same things in life. To go to university, learn all about organic beef operations and then take over the operation on each of their respective farms. But one night, when they were 18 years old, Tom does something he vowed he would never do. He broke the “Pact.” (And that’s all the information you’re getting out of me. You’ll have to read to find out what Pact and how the story unfolds.)
I can’t even find the words to tell you how much I truly enjoyed this story. The writing was beautiful, the characters we all amazing, and the ups and downs in this story will leave you breathless. I became a big fan of Sasha Wasley while reading her Young Adult books but out of all her books, Dear Banjo is now my favorite. This is the kind of book I will not hesitate to pull out and re-read again and again.
Ten years on and Willow still fondly recalled Tom, but always with a side of grief and guilt for the friendship lost. Tom had sent many letters to her in her first year, but after the first two Willow hadn’t read any more of them – and they had stopped. Then when Beth, Willow’s sister, called to say their father was in hospital after a heart attack, she packed up everything and headed back to Paterson Downs. Barry Paterson wanted Willow to take over the running of the station so he could retire and retain his health…
Willow’s vision of a sustainable, organic cattle station had been a long time dream for both Paterson Downs and the Forrest station, but she was delighted to hear Tom was already there with his dream. But when she finally met up with him, the vast distance between them; the coldness of Tom’s greeting, was obvious to all. Willow was shocked – she had no idea what the ten year gap had done to Tom. Needing his help with her ideas for the station was proving too difficult – her thoughts were in turmoil; her confusion great. Was it time to read his letters? And what would she find if she did?
Dear Banjo by Aussie author Sasha Wasley is an emotional story of growth; of overcoming your fears and not shutting people out. The author has two fantastic characters in Banjo and Tom, and the many side characters play their parts well. There was only one character I didn’t like – and he wasn’t meant to be liked! Dear Banjo isn’t what I thought it would be – the cover is deceptive – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
Growing up on neighbouring cattle stations, Willow “Banjo” Paterson and Tom Forrest were best friends, planning for their future until something came between them that saw Willow run for the hills. Ten years have passed since that fateful day, but when her father falls ill, Willow returns home to look after the family property. Having always dreamt of running a sustainable, organic cattle farm, all Willow’s hard work and research over the course of her academic career are about to pay off, yet putting research into action is harder than she thought. Willow needs Tom’s help, but approaching her former best friend is near impossible. Willows guilt over the multiple heartfelt letters Tom sent, left unopened and unread keep her from reaching out. Willow knows Tom poured his heart and soul into his words and she refused to even read them, fear keeping her from acknowledging what happened between them. Back in the Kimberley, Willow will find herself finally reading the letters so beautifully written and needing to decide once and for all where her heart lies. Yet with all the hurt and pain between them, can Tom forgive Willow or is their friendship destroyed forever?
In the interest of full disclosure, Sasha Wasley isn’t a new author to me. I’ve read a number of her YA novels written under the name S.D. Wasley in the past, however Dear Banjo was a completely different experience from the talented Aussie author. With the story featuring such a beautiful depth and development that only comes from a well written adult novel, Dear Banjo was an absolute joy to read and very hard to put down at times.
Rural fiction isn’t normally a genre I would seek out, but I was thoroughly entranced by the tale Wasley has created and quickly found myself lost amongst the wide open plains, hidden valleys and cattle stations of the Kimberley region in Western Australia that was so wonderfully depicted. It felt lush and vivid and very authentic. It was like being right alongside the characters as they mustered cattle and organised the day to day running of their farms.
Dear Banjo featured an independent and capable main character in the form of Willow as well as a laid back, genuine love interest in the form of Tom Forrest. They truly were solid characters with flaws, insecurities and individual personality traits. Their time apart hadn’t diminished the powerful friendship they shared and Sasha Wasley perfectly transitioned them into something more as Willow was forced to face her fears and true feelings.
Sasha Wasley packs a lot of endearing moments into Dear Banjo as well as a lot of light-hearted humour. Tom’s letters to Willow are absolutely adorable and so beautifully written. Admittedly it makes you think “what if” often as you read the tale. What if Willow had read them? What if she’d stayed? What if she’d reached out to Tom? Yet, as a novel that explores regrets, fears and even the power that comes with taking chances, Dear Banjo couldn’t have unfolded better.
Littered with a vast cast of tangible characters, including Willow’s two very different, but equally intriguing sisters Beth and Free who I hope will get their own stories, Dear Banjo is a perfectly told romance by Sasha Wasley that is enriched with the Australian spirit and entrancing until the very end.