26 February 2019


  • source: my local library
  • this edition published by Penguin Random House Australia 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-14378919-2
  • 374 pages
  • Author website
Synopsis ( Author website)

Welcome to the home of second chances. Welcome to the Kookaburra Creek Café.

The Past

For Hattie, the café has been a refuge for the last fifty years – her second chance at a happy ending after her dreams of being a star were shattered. But will the ghosts of her past succeed in destroying everything she’s worked so hard to build?

The Present

For Alice, the café is her livelihood. After Hattie took her in as a teenager, Alice has slowly forged a quiet life as the café’s manager (and chief cupcake baker). But with so many tragedies behind her, is it too late for Alice’s story to have a happy ending?

The Future

For Becca, a teenager in trouble, the café could be the new start she yearns for. That is, if she can be persuaded to stop running from her secrets. Can Becca find a way to believe in the kindness  of strangers, and accept that this small town could be the place where she finally belongs?
one small town. three lost women. and a lifetime of secrets.

One small town. Three lost women. And a lifetime of secrets.

My Take

This is one of those reads that restores your faith in human nature.
Set in a small country town in New South Wales, this contemporary fiction is the tale of three women who have all faced similar problems over a period of years. There is plenty of mystery but this is not crime fiction. Its Australianness is evident in so many ways - a bushfire where lives are lost, a young man in a swimming accident in a dam, a small country town where everyone knows everything about everyone else.

The plot has multi time frames and is carefully and skillfully constructed.

I enjoyed this novel so much I have decided to read the second.  (Unusual behaviour for this crime fiction addict)

My rating: 4.4

About the author

Sandie Docker grew up in Coffs Harbour, and first fell in love with reading when her father introduced her to fantasy books as a teenager. Her love of Women’s Fiction began when she first read Jane Austen for the HSC, but it wasn’t until she was taking a translation course at university that her Mandarin lecturer suggested she might have a knack for writing – a seed of an idea that sat quietly in the back of her mind while she lived overseas and travelled the world. Sandie first decided to put pen to paper (yes, she writes everything the old fashioned way before hitting a keyboard) when living in London. Now back in Sydney with her husband and daughter, she writes every day. Her debut novel, The Kookaburra Creek Café, was released in April 2018, and her second novel, The Cottage At Rosella Cove is due for release Jan 8th, 2019. 

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