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The Sunnyvale Girls

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.

Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming wa
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 24th 2014 by Penguin Australia
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful story that follows three generations of women growing up in Sunnyvale a farming property in Western Australia. Maggie Stewart the matriarch of the household misses running the farm, but she is in her glee pottering around in her beloved veggie garden which she tends to daily. And then there was daughter Antonia (Toni) and her granddaughter Felicity (Flick) who also kept her on her toes. Toni and Flick helped out around the farm and of course there was Jimmy who worked as a f ...more
Jülie ☼♄ 

The Sunnyvale Girls by Fiona Palmer.
Thanks to The Reading Room and Penguin Australia for this ARC.

I read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I must admit to being guilty at first, of judging this book by its cover, hindsight...I am convinced does not do credit to the story within.
I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but lets face it, we are drawn to the covers first, and first impressions gave me to think, erroneously, that this was going to be just another country
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From an ARC kindly provided by TheReadingRoom and Penguin
The Sunnyvale Girls is the sixth novel by Australian author, Fiona Palmer. Felicity (Flick), Antonia (Toni) and Margaret (Maggie) Stewart live on Sunnyvale, a property in rural Western Australia. Maggie, now four years widowed, enjoys her garden and loves to cook for her family. Her daughter Toni, inclined to be prickly at times, runs their sheep and wheat farm with the able assistance of James Painter (Jimmy). Young Flick, Toni’s daughter
As Flick (Felicity) Stewart watched the sunrise in the company of her dog Fella and horse Contractor, a sight she never got sick of, her Nan, Maggie Stewart was pottering in her garden. Maggie’s garden was her haven, though her kitchen where she cooked for her daughter Toni (Antonia), Flick and farmhand but definite member of the family Jimmy came a close second – Maggie’s cooking was legendary; while the others worked the farm, Maggie kept them fed and healthy. It was a perfect arrangement and ...more
I first met author Fiona Palmer back in March 2014 when I read her short story THE EMPTY NEST, it was fabulous. So I was chuffed to receive an advanced copy of her latest release THE SUNNYVALE GIRLS, a delightful and absorbing story about relationships, cover-ups and self-discovery. Back in WWII, when the family matriarch, Maggie, was in her teens, her father took on two Italian prisoners of war to help out on Sunnyvale farm – a sheep and wheat property located in Western Australia. Despite Magg ...more
Lee at ReadWriteWish
The Sunnyvale Girls is an Australian 'rural romance' featuring three generations of women. The grandmother, Maggie, drops a bombshell on the family when she unwittingly reveals a secret. (It isn't much of a secret though. As in, it was pretty obvious.) Her daughter, Toni, a 53 year old single mum and farm manager with some self esteem issues, is devastated but Toni's daughter, Flick (short for Felicity), is young and forgiving and enthusiastic, and soon Toni and Flick are travelling to investiga ...more
Dale Harcombe
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars. This is a story of three generations of women. Maggie, matriarch of the family, still holds memories of the time Italian prisoners of war came to work on her father’s farm and left her with a legacy she never expected. Toni, her daughter and a single mum longed to travel and yet has, due to circumstances, remained at Sunnyvale Farm. Felicity or Flick as she is more commonly known loves the farm and all associated with it. She resents her mother’s suggestions that she shoul ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Sunnyvale Girls, Fiona Palmer's sixth novel, is an engaging story about family, self discovery, and romance.

'Sunnyvale', a sheep and wheat farm in regional Western Australia, is home to three generations of women, matriarch Maggie, her daughter Antonia (Toni) and granddaughter, twenty year old Felicity (Flick).

A dual narrative featuring a contemporary and historical timeline has become a popular element in recent rural romance novels. In The Sunnyvale Girls, Felicity discovers a hidden cac
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Set in Western Australia and Italy, the heart warming story of three women tied together by family, love and their land - Sunnyvale. Authentic details made this story, the Australian outback comes to life and the Italian flavour gave it an added sparkle.
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.
Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as pa
Talking Books
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A heart-wrenching tale of three generations of women, each with their own story and all of them part of life on Sunnyvale Farm.

Maggie - The matriarch of Sunnyvale has a secret. A secret that could tear the very foundation of her family and one that could change not only her life but that of three generations of Stewart women.
Toni (Antonia) - A mother looking out for her daughter and her mother while farming her land, her other pride and joy that is Sunnyvale. Toni receives some life changing new
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rural, chick, e-book, fiction
I usually love Fiona Palmer but this was a very ho hum storyline

Two people (Toni and Jimmy) have worked together for four years. All of a sudden Toni notices he's strong and good looking and awesome and becomes all weird around him. Why now I have to ask?

Flick (aarrrrgh) is strong and beautiful and all together good. But you don't really see much of a reason why. Besides she's called Flick (aarrrrgh)!!

A love at first sight holiday romance and a number of unanswered questions at the end just add
Monique Mulligan
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Heartfelt, gentle and romantic, The Sunnyvale Girls makes it crystal clear why Fiona Palmer is so popular among rural romance lovers. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and just right for some well-earned “me” time.

Full review:
Paula Clark
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Another great book by Fiona Palmer. I loved Maggie and Rocco's love story, so touching and sad at the same time. I also loved the historical aspects of this book with regards to the Italian prisoners during the war. ...more
Pattie Stafford
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Completely addictive, once I started this I couldn't put it down!!!! I absolutely loved this story, I can't rate it high enough. A must read!! ...more
Vicki Robe
Aug 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sunnyvale Farm has been owned by the same family for years. It is currently run by females from three generations starting with grandmother Maggie, daughter Toni, and granddaughter Flick. They also have live-in help from Jimmy their farm hand.

On the property is a mud brick cottage which was built by two Italian prisoners-of-war, Guilio and Rocco, fifty years earlier. They had been sent to help on the farm whilst being held in Australia. When Flick starts renovating the cottage, she discovers som
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm not really sure why I persisted with this book. I found it slow and predictable. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it just didn't. There was a quote from Rachael Johns on the cover about it being tear-jerking, but I there was nothing tear-jerking about it at all. I was really quite disappointed. About a 1/3 of the way through I was thinking about giving up on it, but I hung in there hoping it would improve - it didn't. It took me 16 days to read - and that's a long time for me..... ...more
Bree T
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Flick is part of a three generation farming team, living and working on the land with her mother Toni and her grandmother Maggie. For Flick, the farm is everything – she’s never really wanted to leave and do anything else. However Toni wants her to take the money her grandfather left her and travel, have the opportunity to see the world, something Toni never was able to do. But Flick would rather stay on the farm and do up the old homestead. While she’s doing the floors she discovers a secret co ...more
Great story, I love reading books set in WA as I know the places, I've also been to Italy and enjoyed reading the characters experiences. A great story about keeping secrets and the effect they can have on those involved. About family and love and exploring who we are. ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fiona Palmer delivered yet another great read. I love the way she develops her characters and her insight into human nature is faultless! Bellissimo!!
Rosa Villani
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book of Fiona’s ! It was my 1st Fiona Palmer book & I loved it ! Wished there was a sequel too it ! Read lots more of her books since then !
Kat Ashworth
Compelling story weaving together three generations of women and their journey of love and search for their fathers.
Sam Still Reading
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of rural fiction
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher/TRR
I would have written this review as soon as I finished reading, but it was near midnight when I finished this lovely story of three women on the land! I don’t think my thoughts would have been coherent at this stage, so hopefully my ‘morning after’ thoughts will encourage you to read this novel by Fiona Palmer, which takes a forgotten part of Western Australia history and weaves it into a spellbinding narrative.

The story is already close to my heart because of its setting – a farm, Sunnyvale, ne
Riley Banks
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review of The Sunnyvale Girls by Fiona Palmer

Last year, I read and loved Fiona Palmer’s The Sunburnt Country, so when Penguin asked me to read Palmer’s latest book, The Sunnyvale Girls, I jumped at the chance.

For those of you not familiar with Palmer’s work, she is the Queen of Australian Outback Romance, a genre of fiction she’s almost made her own. Her stories have such a strong connection to the land that it’s easy to lose yourself in the narrative and imagine yourself working the
Stacey Houllis
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rural-romance
I totally loved this book by Fiona Palmer The Sunnyvale Girls. It is set out in rural Western Australia. It takes us into the lives of three generations of the Stewart Family. Maggie Stewart the matriarch, her daughter Toni, and gran-daughter Flick. The Story takes place on the family farm called Sunnyvale. Maggie's husband passed away fours earlier and now lives on the farm with her daughter Toni who now runs the farm with help of Jimmy a farm worker who has become part of the family and daught ...more
The Sunnyvale Girls
by Fiona Palmer

I was provided with an ARC of this book by Penguin Australia via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5

My first read from author Fiona Palmer back in March 2014 when I read her short story THE EMPTY NEST, it was fabulous. So I was pleased to receive an advanced copy of her latest release THE SUNNYVALE GIRLS.

The Sunnyvale Girls is an enjoyable and absorbing story about relationships, cover-ups and self-discovery for three generations of women, Fe
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it

I have read some great reviews of her novels but had not had a chance to pick one up until now. I have a love hate relationship with Australian Rural Romance, don't get me wrong, I have the Farmer Wants a Wife fantasy like most girls in Sydney, expansive landscape, wheat rippling in the wind like water, and a spunky sweaty man in a hat and RM Williams jeans.. Woah I was totally there! So as much as you can tell I love that stuff, I find it sometimes a bit
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Sunnyvale Girls is a delightful story about three generations of women growing up on 'Sunnyvale', a farming property in Western Australia. Maggie the matriarch of the family, has been widowed for a few years and in her advancing years she misses the running and helping on the farm, so her time is spent tending her beloved veggie garden and looking after her daughter Toni and her daughter Flick. Toni is a single Mum and has spent her life on the farm, she has a helping hand from Jimmy but lat ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fiona Palmer immortalises her hometown of Pingaring and some of its wartime history in The Sunnyvale Girls, a touching story spanning three generations of strong Stewart women living on Sunnyvale.

I went into The Sunnyvale Girls without even reading the cover blurb because it was digital so I was pleasantly surprised to discover in the acknowledgements that there was historical inspiration behind the story, Pingaring was host to Italian POWs in the 1940s.

The Sunnyvale Girls are Maggie, widowed ma
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
My View:
Dual time settings, a recent history that beckons and beguiles, strong passionate women working on their own land - what more could you ask for? I loved the settings – as I started reading I was sitting in my own garden, coincidentally one of the protagonists was working in hers! She had the screeching of galahs as she admired her tomato plants, I raced around scaring Twenty-eights (demon parrots) from our olive trees, roses, tomatoes and anything else that looked young and fresh and gre
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Bestselling rural author of books set in outback Western Australia. Small communities, farming, great aussie characters and mother nature. Also writes YA.

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