Sunday, 26 February 2017

Review - A Country Practice: New Beginnings by Judith Colquhoun

When I heard about A Country Practice: New Beginnings by Judith Colquhoun I was instantly intrigued and so, despite never having watched the television series which it is based on, decided to give it a go. Put simply, I’m glad that I did take the time to read this book as overall I really did enjoy it and thought that it surpassed my expectations. 

A Country Practice: New Beginnings takes us to the town of Wandin Valley in New South Wales, Australia during the 1980s. Whilst there we are introduced to the local hospital - The Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital - and the people who both work and visit there, including Dr Terence Elliott, the new doctor on the scene Simon Bowen, and Brendan and Molly Jones to name just a few. As we learn of the character’s individual stories throughout the novel we witness much romance, humour and tragedy both inside the hospital and outside in the rural community it serves. 

Thanks to the way in which the story is told, with the book being told from multiple viewpoints, we really get to know and quickly become involved with the lives of many individuals. Whilst this is a good thing in that it gives you the opportunity to find out exactly what everyone’s thinking and feeling with a whole range of different emotions being presented to us, I occasionally felt that there was slightly too much going on and too many people to keep up with. That said there were several storylines that I was invested in and it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book too much. 

Whilst I feel that Judith has done a brilliant job at writing this novel, presenting us with so many beautiful moments in a perfect way, it is clear to see that the book is based on a television series and I could imagine how well it must have worked on the screen. That said you certainly don’t have to have watched the television series to appreciate the book, as Judith has made such an effort to really set the scene for the reader and I certainly never felt like I was lacking information. With several themes running throughout, I have to say that I particularly enjoyed the medical side of things and thought that it provided both an interesting and entertaining insight into the fictional world of Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital and beyond. 

A Country Practice: New Beginnings was the first in a series of books and I thought that it got things off to a brilliant start. I for one would most certainly be interested in returning to read the next book in the series and discover what happens next to those I have met so far in Wandin Valley. Whether you have or haven’t seen the television programmes, there is something in this book that will appeal to all readers so why not pick this book up today?