Cover image for Matilda's last waltz
Matilda's last waltz
McKinley, Tamara.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Physical Description:
440 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London : Piatkus, 1999.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Faced with the tragic deaths of both her husband and baby, Jenny is at her wit's end, with nowhere to turn. She soon learns that her husband has left for her, of all things, a sheep-station known as Churinga, in the Australian Outback. Although she thinks his final gift toher a strange one, Jenny thinks she might find solace in a trip out to Churinga. After all, what better way to feel close to her husband now than to visit a place he loved?But, like the grief she has tried to leave behind, the Outback she encounters is barren and the weather, hostile; however, Jenny is not one to turn around. Once there she hears of Churinga's last keeper,Matilda, whose identity becomes less and less clear to Jenny: the neighbors hold a grudging respect for Matilda's way with the land but are reluctant to speak of her to Jenny. And as Jenny spends more and more time on the farm, her predecessor's lingering presence looms ever larger. Then she discovers some old diaries and is bewitched by a tale more shocking than her wildest dreams could foretell.And the deeper she delves into Matilda's past, the more Jenny wonders whether inheriting Churinga has been a blessing or a curse.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

After the tragic death of her husband and young son, Jenny Sanders visits Churinga, a remote sheep station in the Australian outback that was a last gift from her husband. Having spent most of her adult life in the city, Jenny is increasingly drawn to Churinga's landscape, lifestyle, and strikingly handsome manager, Brett Wilson. She is also captivated by the diaries of the station's former owner, Matilda Thomas. This wise, strong young woman fended off repeated takeover attempts by the wealthy Squires clan, whose inflated offers to purchase Churinga now taunt Jenny. The more she reads these diaries, the more her life grows strangely and increasingly entwined with Matilda. Strongly reminiscent of The Thorn Birds, this is a highly entertaining story of mystery, love, incest, and survival set in the stark, unforgiving Australian outback. The characters are strong and real, and their secrets and passions carry the plot along with a satisfying tension. Well written and well paced, this solidly good read is sure to be a favorite of readers of romance and women's fiction. Highly recommended for all public libraries.DSusan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.