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Apr 12

Review: The Hunter’s Wife by Katherine Scholes

I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Hunter’s Wife by Katherine ScholesThe Hunter's Wife by Katherine Scholes
Published by Penguin Group Australia on 2009
Genres: fiction, historical, romance & chicklit
Pages: 373
Source: ARC received from publisher
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Mara, a young Australian, falls deeply in love with John, a big-game hunter who lives on the spectacular grasslands of East Africa. He promises everything Mara is looking for, and she joins him there, full of hopes and dreams. But three short years later, their safari lodge is in trouble - and so, too, is their marriage. When a Hollywood movie crew descends to film on location, Mara knows this could be the lodge's salvation. The success of the shoot depends on her, and she thrives on her sudden responsibility and independence. But she also finds herself dangerously attracted to the film's leading man. A poignant love story set against the breathtaking backdrop of Tanzania, The Hunter's Wife explores a young woman's heartfelt struggle to reconcile duty and desire. Amid the gritty reality of the hunter's world and the make-believe realm of the film-maker, Mara finds that passion must be measured against courage, and that fate will reward the brave.

Set mainly in Tanzania in 1968, The Hunter’s Wife is enjoyable women’s fiction from established author Katherine Scholes.

A whirlwind romance with a dashing big game hunter finds young Australian Mara married and helping to run a hunting lodge in Tanzania. John and Mara dream of turning the lodge into a location where people will come to simply observe the local wildlife, but soon find that their relationship becomes strained as the years go by and the lodge raises little interest with visitors.

Soon after John leaves to act as a guide for an extended safari in a remote location in Africa, Mara is approached by a movie production team to use the lodge as a location, offering a solution to the lodge’s financial woes.

The story progresses with Mara fighting an attraction to the movie’s leading man, a leading lady whose life isn’t as glamorous as it appears and various quirky locals and movie crew filling secondary character roles.

Despite the fact that the characters are well written and the storyline enjoyable, I found myself most fascinated with the glimpse of 1960’s Tanzania life. Encounters between Mara and local villagers, businessmen, Tanzanian government officials, the film crew and various other characters offers some insight into the complex social network in place at that time.

John’s disillusionment with his role as a big game hunter and his difficulty building interest in a more humane attitude towards African wildlife provided an interesting contrast with modern opinions on wildlife conservation.

Mara’s emotional struggles and strength make her an interesting and complex character. I was somewhat disappointed with an ending that appeared a little too trite after such a multi-layered story, but overall found The Hunter’s Wife to be very enjoyable.

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