Today I’d like to welcome Holly Ford to Sam Still Reading, to talk about rural fiction. Holly’s latest novel, The Last McAdam is out now. It’s a cracker of a book set in New Zealand’s high country. But I’ll let Holly tell you more…
We’re All in this Together
By Holly Ford
I was asked recently why I thought rural fiction was so popular with readers, and amongst many other things I found myself describing it as a ‘safe’ world. Since then I’ve been wondering why I used that particular word. After all, farming is a dangerous job. In my books, and in real life, men and woman are risking life and limb on a daily basis, facing and racing the elements, trying to second-guess the markets and stay one step ahead of the bank. It’s a stressful business, and rural communities aren’t exempt from the problems stress brings. So what exactly is safe about it?
Well, there’s no stranger danger in a small town, that’s for sure…
It’s true that living in a rural area doesn’t always protect you from your neighbours, or make you safe from all the bad things that happen in the rest of the world. But it’s also true that living in the country can make you feel as though you’re protected, because in a small community there’s a strong expectation that when the chips are down we’re going to take care of each other. We’ll find what’s needed. We’ll get it done. It’s a world where it’s possible to keep your faith in human nature.
I guess it comes down to trust. That and the knowledge that whatever the world does throw at us, we’re all in it together. I think that’s part of what keeps people reading rural fiction, and it’s part of what keeps me writing it – to celebrate that sense of community. There are good people, decent people, people who look after their neighbours all around us wherever we live. But they can be easier to spot when there’s a bit of space around them.
The Last McAdam by Holly Ford is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.
Catch up with Holly here:
Thanks for stopping by Holly! Do also check out the other stops on The Last McAdam blog tour: