Bestselling Australian Author Mandy Magro returns the world of her debut novel, Rosalee Station, with a new tragic and harrowing story of love and second chances, set deep in the heart of the Australian outback.
Read an excerpt!
Can they find the path to forgiveness and healing, or will grief keep them apart forever?
After eight years of marriage, Sarah Walsh had thought she and Matt would be together forever. But when a fatal accident serves up the cruellest punishment any mother could face, their relationship falters. Sarah is helpless as Matt flies off the rails – she braves one last–ditch attempt to try and make him see they need to work together to get through the heartache. But will it be enough? And what about her – how does she go on alone?
Reeling from devastation and guilt, Matt gets the wakeup call he needs to save his marriage before it’s too late. But the way forward is littered with obstacles, and he can see it’s only by returning to the outback beauty and isolation of Rosalee Station that he has any chance to reclaim the man he once was. But will this separation end up costing him everything?
Excerpt from Return to Rosalee Station by Mandy Magro
Malanda, Far North Queensland Present day
Something needs to change … the ultimatum circled torturously in Matthew Walsh’s mind.
As much as he hated to admit it to himself, he had to agree. Self-medicating with booze was doing neither him, nor Sarah, any good. Her words played over and over again in his head, every one of them so very true.
Shifting uneasily, he hung his dusty, wide-brimmed hat on his knee and tried to stop from shaking. Sitting still was no easy feat these days. Not when it felt as if the weight of the world was pressing down upon his chest, and every one of his nerve endings hummed. Like a moth to a flame, he couldn’t help himself when the drink gave him some reprieve – but it was high time he found a way to control it. The heartbreaking letter Sarah had left him on the dining table felt as if it were burning a hole in his pocket. He choked back tears – he didn’t deserve to cry. His darling wife had reached her limit, and after the godawful year they’d had, he couldn’t blame her one little bit.
Staring in a daze at the pile of magazines on the coffee table, and noticing that one of them was almost two years old – so much for fresh tabloid gossip – he tried to steady his breathing. The last patient of the day, he was thankful for the empty waiting room. Late afternoon sunshine poured through the glass front door and bathed the Malanda Medical Centre in golden light. What Matt would give to be lying in the sun in one of his paddocks instead of sitting in a doctor’s surgery facing his fears. His leg bouncing anxiously, he watched the sixty-something secretary gather her things at the desk and then hurriedly shove them in her handbag before reapplying her already bright pink lipstick.
Rubbing her lips together, she bustled over to him. ‘The doctor knows you’re here, love. He’s on a phone call and won’t be much longer. I’d usually wait around with you but I need to run, have to pick the grandkids up from daycare for Marne.’ She dashed past him, frazzled but smiling. ‘Say hi to Sarah for me, won’t you?’ she called over her shoulder.
‘Will do, Shirl. And say g’day to Bob for me too.’ Matt tried to smile as he watched her wrestle the door open and then disappear outside.
The surgery door opened and Doctor Lawson stepped out. ‘Sorry to keep you waiting … come on in, Matt.’
His Akubra in hand, Matt stood up, wandered in and sat down awkwardly. He hung his hat back on his knee and drew in a slow, steadying breath. ‘Thanks for seeing me at such short notice, Doc. I know you’re staying back later than usual and I really appreciate it.’
The doctor followed Matt in and settled himself in his high- back leather chair, and crossed his legs. ‘Not a problem at all. I realise you’ve been having a hard time of late, which is to be expected after what you and Sarah have been through.’
A hard time? More like the worst time of his thirty-four years on this earth. Matt nodded, knowing full well the entire town would know of his situation at home, including the doctor, so it was no surprise to hear him say so. ‘Yeah, it’s been a damn tough year, that’s for sure.’
‘I have no doubt.’ His lips set in a grim line, the doctor clicked and unclicked a pen – the sound grating on Matt’s already frazzled nerves. ‘So tell me, what can I do for you today?’ His kind eyes moved over Matt as if already assessing him.
His heart in his throat and his stomach churning with nerves, Matt dug deep and found the nerve to open his heart just enough to get what advice he needed from the doctor. Each and every word was a struggle, an admission he needed help – and that made him feel even less of a man, and even more like the drunken fool he was. He was ashamed it had come to this, abashed he’d denied it for so long – but there was no more hiding from it, or from himself for that matter. Sarah was right. Enough was enough. If he wanted their marriage to have any kind of hope for a happily ever after, he needed to stand up and be the man he once was. The stench of stale alcohol was his shadow, as too was the past that haunted him every waking hour, even reaching into his nightmarish dreams that held him hostage every single night. He needed to find a way to climb out of the dark hole he’d fallen into.
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Mandy Magro – Bestselling Australian Author
Using experiences and adventures from outback and country Australia in my stories