Title: The Girl in the Yellow Vest
Author: Loretta Hill
Opening lines: ‘…The head bridesmaid, a brunette in a long blue gown, rose from her chair and walked unsteadily to the dais with the studied clumsiness of someone who was completely wasted but trying very hard not to show it…’
THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW VEST is the third book in a loosely linked romance series each based on a female engineer, this time though we leave Western Australia and come to sunny Queensland. When I say loosely linked, the girls all went to university and studied engineering together but each story is a stand-alone. The women are also linked in the fact that they all work in the fly in fly out (FIFO) mining industry which I can totally relate to as one of my son-in-laws works for a company in Queensland and it is pretty tough work. Also I work with two ladies here at work whose spouses also work on a FIFO basis. FIFO is a method of employing people in remote areas rather than the expense of relocating a whole family and provided the support services required, companies set up temporary cabins and fly the workers in for couple of weeks nonstop 12 hour days for two weeks and then the workers are flown back home for a week’s break before once again returning. It is tough on relationships because phone conversations and emails just don’t replace a physical person at your side, however the money is good. The girl who wears the yellow vest is Emily and a long-time friend called Will gets her a job on a construction site where a ship loader is being built located on the mainland next to the picturesque Great Barrier Reef in Queensland; the FIFO workers are housed at a seaside resort run by the second heroine of the story, Charlotte. Will has loved Emily for years but his best friend Trent was the one she ended up in a relationship with. Trent has now dumped Emily and so as she is in a dead end engineering job in Perth Will arranges with his Boss, Mark, to offer Emily a job; will the smitten Will get a second chance with Emily? Mark is a widower and still dealing with his wife’s death, and his brother’s before that. He is a cranky, solitary man and abrupt to the point of rudeness. This is going to change with the help of a letter from his dead wife and a Bush Turkey called Augustus. Charlotte has her own problems, her mother has Alzheimer’s and her half-sister is insisting on finding her father but her most immediate problem is trying to convince the immovable mark that his men are out of control after hours and something has to be done.
THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW VEST is a brilliant read with fantastic and believable characters, and real depth to the various sub plots going on. Despite the seriousness of the various issues such as bereavement, Alzheimer’s, depression and a custody battle, author Loretta Hill was able to put in a load of humour to break up the tension. There are plot twists and misunderstandings and that Bush Turkey pops up as the perfect sounding board – with feeling of his own. Each of the main characters take turns in telling their part of the story, and the story flow segued well ensuring I was never confused as to who was telling the story and at what point of the story I was at. The settings are lovely and beautifully descriptive whether the readers are taken down to the loading dock, out diving on the Barrier reef, or being a rare female engineer lounging in the resort pool in a bikini with a load of male workers peering over the fence! Drama, action, romance and humour THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW VEST has it all and I thoroughly recommend it, you should also read the other two books ‘The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots’ and ‘The Girl in the Hard Hat’.
Rating: A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.
For more about the author – Click Here
Something extra: Here is a little piece found on the Random House site that explains what the life of a FIFO (Fly in, Fly out) worker is really like: Click here
With thanks to Random House Australia Pty Ltd and the author via Netgalley.
The Girl in the Yellow Vest by Loretta Hill is book # 4 for AWW2014