Wednesday 28 April 2021


Harmony by Richard Yaxley (Scholastic) PB RRP $18.99 ISBN 9781760973261

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

In Australia in 1914, Tom Stott, an eighteen-year-old farmer’s son, met the love of his life, Gracie O’Donnell. Heartbreak followed when Tom learnt she was promised to another. Feeling empty, he enlisted in the army and set off for war.

Years later, the story reconnects with Gracie married to Ray Clifford. Their son, Will, has a strained relationship with his father, but shares a beautiful connection with his angelic mother who encourages him to spread his wings.

The narrative follows Will as he moves to England, then starts a family of his own in Ireland. When his children grow older, one of his daughters follows her heart to America where she has a son.

As time passes, all four generations end up together in Australia and hidden stories of the past are disclosed.

Harmony is a young adult novel that follows a family across multiple generations and countries. It is beautifully written with a myriad of complex characters and intriguing storylines to engage the reader. It includes themes of family, love, relationships, connection, belonging and secrets. It is highly recommended for an audience 12 years and older.

It is interesting to note that while this work is largely one of fiction, it was written as a tribute to the author’s great uncle, Thomas Stott, who died at Gallipoli during World War I.

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