Sienna Wilson loves her work as a leading Obstetrics doctor in a large Sydney hospital. She left Melbourne behind to make her home in the city of the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Soon Dr Wilson, The Baby Doctor can’t imagine living anywhere else, but her sister is married to a man living in the Queensland outback. Eve, Sienna’s sister married into the prominent McKay outback family and Sienna soon finds her life is entwined with theirs, more than she would like.
Blanche McKay, matriarch of the McKay family, called upon Sienna’s exceptional skills as an obstetrician to uncover the mystery of three pregnant women giving birth to children with the same rare defect, which causes a smaller than usual head on the babies in question. All of the women were patients in the little dusty outback town of Spinifex. All had their babies at around the same time.
Reluctantly, Sienna travels to Spinifex to try to find the cause but she is not a fan of any town smaller than a capital city, but Blanche McKay will make a sizeable donation to the hospital where the doctor works.
And then there’s the policeman at Spinifex.
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After meeting Sergeant Douglas McCabe on her previous outback “experience”, also orchestrated by Blanche, Sienna could not get the tall handsome, though moralistic policeman from her thoughts. They had met a few times and acted on the strong attraction between them. Sienna convinced herself it was only lust and the relationship would not progress further. Besides, she hated the outback and it seemed to be the sergeant’s calling.
Spinifex is small but the problems are large and much to her dismay, Dr Wilson is soon pulled in to the lives of its residents. Alma, the hotelier, immediately sees the connection between Sienna and Sergeant McCabe and decides to help them along. The hotelier has a love for the tiny town and its inhabitants. Sienna is not used to a woman like the small, intuitive Alma and she’s not sure how to handle her.
Sienna meets and forms a friendship with Maddy, Alma’s barmaid but senses something is amiss with the young woman. She decides to try to find out what causes the sadness in Maddy’s eyes while at the same time, employing her to help with the reason she has come to this hot, dusty town in the middle of nowhere.
Fiona McArthur uses her vast experience as a midwife to add to the reality of the story of three very different women. Sienna Wilson, a very accomplished and respected obstetrician who although enamoured with her outback policemen, sees no future for them. Maddy, the young woman with a dark secret – a secret she feels she cannot reveal but knows she must if she is to survive. Alma, the older publican who has secrets of her own.
The lives of these different but strong women unfold with the remoteness of the outback town causing and magnifying their problems. This book wraps mystery, hardship and love in one bundle with surprising outcomes. Very enjoyable.
The Baby Doctor, by Fiona McArthur, is available in paperback and digital formats from the publisher Penguin Books Australia. Click here for details