Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: Red Dirt Heart 2
SERIES: Red Dirt
AUTHOR: N.R. Walker
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 7 hours and 10 minutes
RELEASE DATE: 18th January 2017
Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.
Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.
Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.
When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.
This is a wonderful series and Red Dirt Heart 2 is a great sequel. I will say, that you should have read/ listened to the first one before jumping into number 2. But you won’t be disappointed, book 1 is a brilliant read.
N.R. Walker takes us back to an outback station where Charlie (station owner) and Travis (American who came to the station where he and Charlie fell in love in book 1) continue their story. The pair face things because of government bureaucracy and their own stubbornness. But together they make a great pair. Their relationship is unique and heat warming. This book shows us how they continue to grow together in their love for each other and the land they live on.
I will preface this by saying I am Australian – This book/ series is very Australian, delightfully so. It, to me, well represents the area of the country, the Northern Territory, that the story takes place in. You can tell throughout the book That N.R. Walker is also an Australian. And to me, she brings one of the most unique parts of our country to life in a way that is realistic and still fabulous. I can visualize the landscape and enjoy the red dirt.
Despite being very Australian, Walker doesn’t use too much slang and when it is used it is explained so that people from anywhere can enjoy the story.
I love the secondary characters. They bring the book and story to life. The other people who live and work on the station have real personalities and characteristics. They interact with Charlie and Travis in very organic ways. All the conversations in the kitchen over a cup of tea made me smile. I could really feel the relationships and the love in this household.
The narration: yet again, I am Australian, though I am currently living in America, so in my day to day I don’t hear many Aussie voices. It really took me several chapters to get into this narration. Joel Leslie is very talented with accents, but it still took a while for him or maybe me to settle into this book. The book is well paced and Leslie brings life to the characters. The switching between Australian and American accent is well done and flows well. So for me, once you get past the accent, this is a great narration. I would give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars for the performance. I really hope that book three becomes available on Audible sometime soon.
Overall this is a wonderful book. I had only a few very minor personal dislikes as I listened to it. I give it 5 stars. If you want to take a 7 hour trip to the Australian outback, this is certainly a great way to do it.