The Tying of Threads by Joy Dettman, is the sixth book in the Woody Creek series and reported to be the last in this series. As with the previous books, Joy Dettman has begun this sixth book with an outline of the characters past and present, a synopsis of the events that to date have shaped their lives and there is also the inclusion of a family tree to allow the reader a snapshot reference.
Given the time between the fifth book Ripples on a Pond and this latest book the summary at the beginning of this book doesn’t seem to provide enough information to reacquaint the reader with the characters and the consequences that have brought them together… or kept them apart. Don’t be disappointed by that brief overview, for as you travel through those first few chapters and well into the book you will find that Joy Dettman with great skill and timing has interwoven the past into the current book to prompt the reader’s memory so that the characters can take their place in the story and bring their history with them. With the plot of the series spanning almost 100 years and 5 previous books such recaps are necessary and Joy Dettman includes these reminders with a subtlety that does not patronise the reader.
Together with these well timed prompts of plot and characters, Joy Dettman has woven into the story significant Australian and World events that serve as a reminder of the period these characters are living through. It is now the last 3 decades of the 20th Century, the demographic of Woody Creek is changing, the folks are growing older and trying to cope with change, new technology and new arrivals. All that comes with a sense of loss for their old town. Jenny, the central character of the series from the first book Pearl in a Cage to the last now finds herself sharing that stage with her children especially the feisty Georgie whose inclusion in so much of the story makes for a new focus and that is very refreshing.
The writing is dynamic, urgent at times. This book more than the others is high octane reading however has it run out of fuel in the closing stages of the book? Readers of the whole series would agree the coincidences that occurred during the series sometimes warrant the question ‘What would be the chance of that?’ Implausible some might say. You must be reminded that this is fiction, telling a story of small town Australia, family, wars and love, betrayal, disappointment and hurt, but most of all courage in the face of adversity. Maybe all these things would not affect one family or one town. Maybe seemingly questionable situations and alliances would not occur, but in Woody Creek they do.
With the passage of time and the characters growing older, mellowing, facing the demons of the past, dealing with deception, death and change, but most of all the seeking and granting of forgiveness and the laying of ghosts Joy Dettman has done as the title suggests… set about The Tying of the Threads and bidding farewell to Woody Creek and the many characters who have passed through it.
However in true Joy Dettman style has she left one thread dangling to unravel in the future? Only time will tell.
RRP $29.99. Released 1 March 2014. For more information visit www.panmacmillan.com.au
Disclaimer: To facilitate this review Christine was supplied with a copy of The Tying of Threads by Joy Dettman to read (and review). The ideas and views expressed in this review are Christine’s own – good and bad.