What is Darry Fraser’s The Drover’s Brother Comes for Christmas about?
It’s 1890. Lizzie Naylor’s life is working in her grumpy father’s store in Munyup, trying to bring up her six-year-old daughter, Alice, who’s hellbent on finding herself a father. Christmas is nearing, and tempers are fraught, especially when mysterious Mr Nicholas is back with his pesky sidekick, Alf. Or Elf, as Alice calls him. And Elf is just about to make another big mistake.
Mack Miller has returned to the district to make peace with his brother, Shep. He’s weary of the life he’s led, the loss he’s experienced. He’s longed for home for a while, but the family farm had been a contentious issue between the brothers, and Shep and he have not spoken for years.
When Alice is quite taken with Mack, she tells him he’s a suitable contender for the role of being her father. But then someone from her mother, Lizzie’s past appears, and terrible trouble erupts. Alice is snatched away. Lizzie will do anything to have her back, Mack will do anything to find her, and Elf must redeem himself.
Can Christmas, new to the town and its folk, work its special magic?
My thoughts on The Drover’s Brother Comes for Christmas by Darry Fraser
This was a quick, fun, and magical read. It felt a little bit familiar, and then I realised that it is the sequel to Fraser’s The Drover Comes Home for Christmas which was published in Our Country Christmas in 2018, and which I am now keen to reread (you can find links to the ebook here if you want to check it out).
I really liked Lizzie, and Mr Nicholas was a really fun character (I love a jolly, friendly, is he the real for real Santa? character in a cosy romance). I liked the mix of glimpses of what life would really have been like in a little town like Munyup with some proper Christmas magic. I thought the plot moved along well for the length of the story, and I would certainly be keen to read more about the characters we meet in the town.
While this is technically a sequel I don’t think you need the previous story to understand what is going on here, although you might want to! I also don’t think the order in which you read them is important.
I think The Drover’s Brother Comes for Christmas is definitely worth a look if you’re after some historical fiction flavoured Christmas magic, and it gives a good taste for Fraser’s writing if you’re looking for an author with a good backlist of Australian historical fiction to get into.
Let me know if you pick this up, or if you have another favourite Christmas story set in regional Australia that I should check out! Big thanks to Escape Publishing for providing an ecopy of this one (via NetGalley) for me to review.
The Drover’s Brother Comes for Christmas by Darry Fraser
Out now from Escape Publishing (Harper Collins)
Source: I received a free digital copy for review from Escape Publishing via NetGalley (thank you!)
Category: Christmassy historical fiction romance
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