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Heartland

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Heartland is a collection of four novellas connected by the theme of life in the Australian outback. This collection includes:


Somewhere Far from Iris


Clinically depressed Shane Morris is trying to learn how to cope with his condition and find balance within the turmoil of his mind. He embarks on a mission to reconstruct himself by going back to his roots in the Australian o
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Paperback, 222 pages
Published December 10th 2015 by Louisa Publishing Australia
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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Marion Black
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartland by Australian writer John Holland is my favourite read of 2015. The four novellas that are included in this book are connected by the theme of life in the Australian outback, but are not connected by storyline or characters.

Somewhere Far from Iris and Bitter Bread are what I would call outback noir. The light at the Bottom of the Garden is a mystery with paranormal undertones. Left of the Rising Sun is a story about a young boy’s survival in the harsh outback.

All four novellas are beau
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Ruth Claxton
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting variety in John Holland's novella collection

Having always had an interest in reading about Australia--especially, the Outback, I chose Holland's Heartland. While all novellas here weren't necessarily descriptive of Australia, I found them quite worthy reads; hence, five stars worth!
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Jeff Dawson
Somewhere far from Iris
This was the best of the four in the collection. Good character development, well thought out plot and nicely seamed. The ending came across as a little rushed, but still, a good read.


The Light at the Bottom of the Garden
This one had great potential then fizzled out. Some of the later chapters were too long and came across as filler. The ending was rushed.


Bitter Bread
There appears to be a theme I’m not a fan of. The author thrives on using damaged characters in each story
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Dan Watt
As of today I just finished John Holland's Heartland, a book with four unique stories about Australia's outback.
I would recommend this book to anyone. Each story will draw you into the place and happenings he writes about. And if you pay close attention to Left of the Rising Sun, the details might just save your life.
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Grace Jolliffe
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read each novella in one go and they were the perfect length because once you start reading you don't want to stop until each story is finished.

John Holland's writing strength lies in the drawing up of difficult and challenging characters.
These characters are far from perfect, some are flawed, disfigured even, but that not only makes you root for them but it also makes their stories even more engaging.

All four stories were enjoyable but I particularly loved Left of the Rising Sun - a story t
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Nicci Carrera
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy Jack London
The author's voice in this collection rings through each story, though there is a variety of tones. That voice is, to my ear, honest, clear, humanistic, with a touch of humor. Two of the novellas are among my favorite books, Somewhere Far From Iris and Bitter Bread. Both books are exciting, a tad 'noir,' and gritty. The Light at the Bottom of the Garden is a fun mystery with humor. Left of the Rising Sun is a survival/adventure story. All the stories are connected, as the author says, but the th ...more
jan wadsley
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Aug 03, 2020
Annette Hamilton
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Oct 29, 2017
John Holland
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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John Holland grew up in outback Australia. Living on cattle stations his father Jack Holland managed in Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley.

He has been a stockman, miner, road worker, speech writer/media officer for a Queensland state member of parliament and a newspaper columnist.

John now lives in Townsville, tropical North Queensland and writes full time.

Check out his website: h
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