Published By The Writer's Coffee Shop
What I really loved about this book is the authors writing style. Kate Welshman has a unique style of wording and describing events. It is a highly quotable novel. As a reviewer, I was tempted to list many of the ways individual characters, events and feelings were detailed; vivid, believable and oh so in tune with the personality of the narrator.
*** I will find a few and tweet them for you using @cafeartspace
This is a young adult novel with a difference. None of the characters are really likable in the beginning, but even the most horrid of personas comes out favourably in the end. They’ve not changed, you as a reader just know them better; you come to understand their past and therefore their motivations. They grow on you.
As a publisher, I’ve read submissions where an author is trying to portray a smart arse, jovial, “shooting from the hip” protagonist and many of them fail. In Anais Butt and the Hairy-Handed Gent, Kate Welshman has succeeded in creating just such a personality. Perhaps it is the title that also gives this credence. You’re certainly not going to expect any high handed, snobbish antics from someone called Anais Butt are you? It’s pronounced An-nay (BTW), apparently it’s French - though that particular explanation reeks of Hyacinth Bucket (from the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances) pronouncing the her surname as Bouquet.
Please read my Disclaimer
When seventeen-year-old Anais Butt is expelled from her fifth boarding school in three years, she expects her parents to slap her on the wrist and send her to another expensive school. However, her fed-up parents have other ideas. They decide to exile her to the isolated mountain town of Glenorie to labour for her child-hating maternal grandmother, Nanny Pam and her hostile cousin, Josephine, who operate a riding school on her three thousand-acre ranch on the Turon River. However, before leaving for Glenorie, Anais spends a few days with her paternal grandmother, Nanny Bette, who has a handsome, mysterious guest staying with her in her flat. Shannon Ferguson has told Nanny Bette that he’s an out-of-work actor, but Anais, who finds herself strongly attracted to him, suspects that he’s lying. Shannon seems to be on the run from the police.
When Shannon follows Anais to Glenorie, she’s scared of him and drawn to him in equal measure. He reveals that he’s being pursued by the police over a crime he did not commit. Anais wants to believe the man she’s in love with, but when a German backpacker goes missing and another is horribly injured near Glenorie, Anais can’t help but suspect Shannon.
Finding herself more and more allied with her serious, goody-two-shoes cousin Josephine, Anais sets out to investigate the disappearances herself. Through a series of thrilling but dangerous events, the girls discover that the prime suspect is not Shannon, but the town’s well-respected pastor, Reverend Hobhouse and his band of ‘foster sons’.
After an incident in the bush where Shannon is almost killed, he’s forced to face the prospect of leaving Glenorie, and Anais, forever. And Anais must make her own decisions and discoveries about her past, present and future. She may just have to grow up . . .
About the Author
I was born in Horsham, a small town in western Victoria in 1980, but grew up largely in and around Sydney. I have lived in Sydney's rural north west since I was fifteen. I would like to move to a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley.
I have always loved reading and writing. My greatest passions in life are my family, reading, writing, horses, dogs, the country and beautiful food.
Posse, my first novel, was published in 2009 by Random House. My second novel, Anais Butt and the Hairy Handed Gent, also in the young adult genre, is due to be published by the Writer's Coffee Shop in 2013.
I have an unfortunate habit of developing debilitating crushes on heroes in books. My most pathetic crush ever was on Rupert Campbell-Black from Jilly Cooper's blockbuster 'Riders'. I even named my second son Rupert!
Connect with Kate