Good and bad of trop­ics

The next best thing to vis­it­ing the Dain­tree is read­ing about it

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND - BY Robyn Court­ney

WHEN my fin­gers ran across the raised let­ters DAIN­TREE on the cover of this book, I was drawn in be­fore turn­ing to the first page. An­nie Seaton’s novel Dain­tree had me locked in to a story that, although fic­tional, raises many cur­rent so­cial is­sues – top­ics such as in­dige­nous af­fairs, the hu­man im­pact on na­tive wildlife, the ef­fects of drug use and lack of med­i­cal as­sis­tance in ru­ral ar­eas.

Set in North Queens­land’s World Her­itage rain­for­est, the tale is a light, easy read.

Seaton’s fast-pace sto­ry­telling kept me in­ter­ested as she painted a vivid pic­ture of the en­vi­ron­ment and the type of char­ac­ters that live in the re­mote com­mu­ni­ties of the area.

The au­thor pro­vides read­ers with a tour of the Dain­tree by means of clear de­scrip­tions, cov­er­ing the threats, eco­log­i­cal im­por­tance, Abo­rig­i­nal sig­nif­i­cance, flora and fauna, and cli­mate of this unique lo­ca­tion.

Through the story you come to ap­pre­ci­ate the mag­i­cal land­scape and gain an in­sight of what it would be like to live there.

It is re­al­is­tic as Seaton por­trays the good and the bad of liv­ing and work­ing in the trop­ics.

The sto­ry­line of this ro­mance/mys­tery is a lit­tle pre­dictable but it had me in­volved, to the point where I am con­sid­er­ing a hol­i­day to the Dain­tree to ex­pe­ri­ence what the writer so clearly ex­presses – the beauty and bio­di­ver­sity of the re­gion – and hope­fully a lit­tle of the ro­mance that seems to flour­ish up there (well at least it did in this story).

Seaton may not tackle the trou­bles that arise in the book in any great depth but she touches on a num­ber of mod­ern-day prob­lems that are of real con­cern in many com­mu­ni­ties.

Cen­tred on the main char­ac­ter Doc­tor Emma Porter, a valu­able and well-re­spected mem­ber of the tight-knit lo­cal com­mu­nity, ded­i­cated to help­ing the res­i­dents of Dal­rym­ple and also pre­serv­ing the rain­for­est, the plot takes you on a trip with just enough se­crets, in­trigue and ten­sion to keep you en­grossed.

When Emma’s friend Ge­orge, a lo­cal bush­man, stum­bles upon some­thing sus­pi­cious, things be­gin to hot up and be­come very nasty as the peace and tran­quil­lity of the Dain­tree is bro­ken by a greedy few who want to ex­ploit the area’s nat­u­ral re­sources for per­sonal gain.

The drama un­folds as the doc­tor and her mates be­come caught up with the sin­is­ter forces at work.

I can rec­om­mend this book as an easy page-turner that al­lows you to es­cape into the trop­i­cal paradise of the Dain­tree.

Dain­tree by An­nie Seaton, pub­lished by Macmil­lan, RRP $29.99, is out now.

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