“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”… and it’s not just the decorations.
A Distant Journey, the new novel from Di Morrissey, has been delivered to my door.
How does she do it? This is number 24 in 25 years and her writing never falters! As usual, this latest novel keeps you locked into the story from Page 1 to “The End”.
Of course, there are some books I enjoy more than others, but for consistency and “a darn good read” Di Morrissey has few peers.
But I want to know why Di, and other authors writing in the same genre, are ignored by the literati? What is it about a successful author that is such an anathema to “the learned ones”. I just can’t understand the snobbery about the books purchased and read by millions; what is it about popularity that makes it unworthy of critical note?
Yes, there have been excellent books that have not enjoyed the audience/sales you might expect, but this doesn’t make all small sales books “good”, nor all large sales books “bad”! Over the years readers will find themselves telling everyone they know about their latest find, only to learn that many people can’t see what it is they like about the book – and vice versa.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Morrissey said that sometimes, she would sit there say, “I want to be taken seriously. Why don’t they treat me with some respect?” She is saddened that despite her readers holding their breath between each book, her works “will be overlooked by the people who hand out literary accolades”.
“I’m never going to get an award,” she says. “But I don’t see why”.
Back to this new book. A young woman leaves her home to live with her aunties in California – one kind and gentle, the other a go getter. Cindy’s mind is full of long white dresses in spring and happily ever after when the love of her life sends her a “let’s be friends” letter.
On the rebound, she meets a laconic, handsome (it goes without saying) Australian and within days she is married to Murray and on her way to Australia.
What she finds on the outback property is not quite what she expected – there are secrets in this family and they overshadow the house, the property and her married life.
It is so obvious that Di Morrissey loves Australia; she writes authentically of the people on rural properties and the life they live. She does not colour the background but shows us the beauty to be found outside the coastal strip of this country. Neither does she make judgements about the people – they are just people, good, bad and indifferent. The beauty is that she pays the Americans in the story the same respect.
So, at the risk of revealing that I am not a member of the literati, I freely admit that Di Morrissey is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read all her books and look forward to the next one with keen anticipation.