The treacherous southern coast of Victoria comes alive under Anna Romer's skillful hand - through both Orah and Lucy's eyes as they inhabit the same space so many decades apart. Bitterwood, the old family estate has fallen into disrepair and Lucy realises it is up to her to sort through her grandfather's effects, given her father wants no part of the job. Adding to Lucy's turmoil is a recurring memory from the old estate that has traumatised her over the years. As much as she wants to know the truth, she is fearful of what that reality means. Frustrated to not know what her grandfather wanted to tell her, Lucy sets about trying to untangle the many layers of secrets Bitterwood is hiding.
With her third novel Anna Romer has cemented her place as one of Australian fiction's best talents in the gothic/historic fiction genre. Beyond The Orchard is a heady mix of history, secrets, old houses and unrequited love and I, for one, was captivated by its charms.