The Art of Dust
Review by Shona Ford
The Art of Dust by Territory author Mel A Rowe is, in her own words, ‘a love letter to the unique individuals who continue to shape the Northern Territory’. She isn’t wrong. From the well-meaning meddlers of small dusty towns, to the pet buffalo-come-notice board that meanders through the main street, everything about her novel rings with Territory charm. This rural romance has a heart that beats beyond the connection between the main characters. It celebrates the soul of a community and the steadfast nature of our dedication to family.
Single Mumpreneur, Kathryn ‘Kat’ Jones, arrives in Elsie Creek with her daughter in tow. The town holds too many memories Kat would rather forget, but her sick Uncle Frank and his wife Aunt Bea need her, and she owes them too much to give in to fear. Only, Frank is worse than she thought and her plans change. She’s going to make his final days ones everyone can remember fondly.
Enter The Beast, a classic Ford F100 ute that is her uncle’s pride and joy. If Kat can get it restored in time Frank would be overjoyed. Yet there’s one glitch—Kyle. The history she shares with the local mechanic could crush them both, particularly when it’s obvious the entire town is conspiring to throw them back together.
As always, at the heart of Rowe’s novels is family, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Reading this made me long for my country home town, Rowe’s red dirt substitute prompting me to call my own family. Re-affirm those connections.
So if you’re looking for a timeless romance filled with characters who just about walk off the page, you can’t go past The Art of Dust. I know I’m eagerly waiting for the second book in the Elsie Creek series, Diamond in the Dust.
Mel A. Rowe is a prolific writer and a guru of online publishing and marketing (melarowe.com).
Shona Ford is a teacher and writer. Her debut novel is being published in 2020.