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Dear Banjo

(Daughters of the Outback #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  78 reviews
They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighboring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget, and now ten years have passed. When her father
Paperback, 381 pages
Published May 29th 2017 by PenguinRandom House AU
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Start your review of Dear Banjo (Daughters of the Outback, #1)
Willow (Banjo) Paterson and Tom Forrest were best friends and had been for as long as they could remember. Growing up in the Kimberley’s with their parents’ properties side by side, Tom and Banjo had had many hours of adventure and laughter as they explored the stations, getting up to what kids, then teens all over do. But the day both received their acceptances into uni in Perth, everything changed – Banjo fled to Perth to become deeply involved in her university degree while Tom deferred and r ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Dear Banjo was always going to be a winner for me, as it includes all the things I love about a quality rural fiction book. From the strong West Australian based setting, to the emphasis on letters as a form of storytelling and the deeply romantic relationship between two childhood best friends from neighbouring cattle stations – Dear Banjo has so much going for it. It comes as no surprise that I was genuinely thrilled when an opportunity to review this nove
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Childhood friends Willow (Banjo) Paterson and Tom Forrest, grew up on neighboring properties in the Kimberley. Most days Willow and Tom would kick about on the farm together, making their own fun and adventures. In between their fun they would talk about their dreams for the future and it seemed they both wanted the same things. But all their hopes and dreams suddenly change and Willow and Tom end up going their separate ways.

The years go past quickly and over the years Willow has often thought
Theresa Smith
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2017
I have to state, right up front, that I enjoyed this novel immensely. To me, the story was rather reminiscent of McLeod’s Daughters, but in the very best of ways, and I felt myself slipping into quite a comforted state of being each evening as I read my next hundred pages or so.
I love the representation of Australia that is depicted within this novel. Sprawling stations, communities within themselves, and deep connections to the land and each other. Through Willow’s and Tom’s shared passion for
Dale Harcombe
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
At age 15 Willow Patterson (otherwise known as Banjo) and Tom Forrest, who live in neighbouring cattle stations, make a pact not to let anything ever interfere with their friendship. But then when they get their University acceptances, Tom does something that Willow cannot overlook or forgive. As a result, Willow has not spoken to Tom for ten years. When her father has a heart attack and is restricted in what he can do, Willow heads home to Paterson Downs to take over running the family property ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Astonishingly good!

My View:
A few months ago now, author Sasha Wasley contacted me regarding the release of her new book Dear Banjo and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing. We struck up a “on line” friendship – based on our mutual love of our journeys to the north of Western Australia (the cover of her book had evoked many memories of camping/caravanning/working in that region) – based on that red pindan infused cover, I decided to give this book a chance. And what a fabulous
Nadia King
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Swoon-worthy, un-put-downable gorgeous rural romance from Sasha Wasley.

Banjo Paterson and Tom Forrest were inseparable growing up on neighbouring cattle stations in the remote wilderness of northwest Western Australia. When Banjo loses her mother at fourteen-years she finds herself shutting everyone out; even her best friend Tom. Years later, Banjo returns home to the Kimberley full of optimism about introducing new sustainable farming practices to the family's cattle station. Can Banjo reconnec
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review may contain SPOILERS!
I absolutely love this book, it's got everything a good romance novel has to offer. Love, Excitement, Action and a special twist that no other book so far has had, at least no book I've encountered, which is the rural Australian bush. I didn't even realize how much I needed someone like Tom and Willow, and their amazing friendship/relationship, before I read about them. He is the absolute wothiest love interest I have ever met, cause he's loyal, sweet, genuine, n
Sam Still Reading
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those looking for a solid Aussie fiction novel
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the author and publisher
Oh, Dear Banjo. I’m not sure where to start with my review of this novel for fear it will turn into a gushing love letter to it. The letters in this book from hero Tom to heroine Willow (aka “Banjo”, her nickname for having the surname Paterson) are passionate and full of emotion. Just a young man pouring his heart out in raw words to the girl who he thought was a friend with the potential to be so much more. It was the letters that truly cemented this book’s place in my heart. I’m a sucker for ...more
So, an Australian rural romance ... not what you'd usually see come up in my feed, however, here it is. Needed something 'light' for the cricket on the ereader as rain predicted and knew there would be long breaks between play - long breaks filled with loud music. This book read on the train and finished by the tea break. Interesting information on organic, sustainable farming practices and what is required for stations to receive accreditation.

Tom is too good for Willow. Dude ... seriously ...
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was in the mood for a nice light romance and picked this up at the library expecting it to be fun & cheesy and probably a bit silly. But I was pleasantly surprised to find it thoughtful, realistic, and intelligently written. The characters were varied and three-dimensional, the plot was PLAUSIBLE (I never once thought 'pffft that would never happen'; this is surprisingly rare), and the details about medical stuff and cattle farming were either incredibly well researched, or the author has some ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed Banjo and Toms story. All that tension and miscommunication between them! Nice little side stories about the bad station manager added to the story, would have loved a better more juicer outcome for him. A little slow in the build up but came together well at the end.
Janis F
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing story by Ms. Wasley!!!

Dear Banjo is a truly amazing story about two best friends, Willow (Banjo) Paterson and Tom Forrest. Banjo and Tom both grew up on neighboring farms in Kimberley Australia and created a friendship bond that Banjo never wants to lose. These two young people want the same things in life. To go to university, learn all about organic beef operations and then take over the operation on each of their respective farms. But one night, when they were 18 years old, T
Paula  Phillips
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Willow Paterson aka Banjo and Tom Forrest were the best of friends, and they were inseparable growing up, and when they were fifteen, they made a blood pact never to fall in love with one another. Years pass and they are now 18 years old, and Tom has kissed Willow as he loves her and wants to be more than friends. To her, this was a full-on betrayal and the next day she disappears off to College. Tom needs to explain to her writes her letters for a whole year and then after that, he stopped, and ...more
Cate McKinnon Alexander
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Setting in the stunning outback of Northern Western Australia, 'Dear Banjo' has all the elements that all good romance stories need.

A clever, independent woman. A loyal, handsome man. And the situation where they are perfect for each other, but where love is just out of reach.

However what makes this book more than 'just a romance' is the other elements: the relationships between sisters and friends, the changing dynamics between parents and children, the dramas of running a business, and, most i
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous rural romance set in Western Australia. I adored this book, from the shiny gold-embossed cover to the letters scattered within. I barracked for this couple to get together the whole way through. I love the best friends to lovers trope and enjoyed Sasha's take on this.
Talking Books
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A bumpy ride for the characters, but best friends Willow and Tom were an unmissable read. Complicated, heartfelt and challenging, their antics made for some entertaining reading from start to finish.
Review copy received from Penguin Random House
Lauren K
Hard to put down!
Review to come soon...
What a great read, so much more than the romance I was expecting. I loved the dynamics between all the characters, I loved the characters except for Hegney the assistant manager, who had no likeable qualities after his initial introduction. I liked how Willow grew through the story, I enjoyed the intrigue and relationships throughout the story. I highly recommend this great book.

My second read of this and it was just as fabulous a read as the first time. I knew bad things were going to happen th
Rachel (The Rest Is Still Unwritten)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bree T
I had heard some really excellent things about this book but I’d missed out on reading it when it was published. Not that long ago, someone posted in an online book club that I’m in, that this and the 2nd book were greatly reduced on eBook retailers, presumably because the third is soon to be published. I snapped them both up. I haven’t read a lot of rural novels lately – it’s possible that the trend is easing off, because it’s been very strong for quite a number of years now and there’s probabl ...more
Melissa Sargent
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
When her father falls ill, Willow Patterson, is called home from University to take over the running of the family property, Patterson Downs. Running the place has always been her dream, and she has big plans to turn the cattle farm to organic and sustainable practice.

As she is packing she stumbles upon her stash of unopened letters from Tom Forrest, her childhood best friend and manager of the neighbouring property, Quintilla. Willow has been putting off dealing with their falling out for a dec
Venetia Green
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was tempted to give this lovely Western Australian rural romance a five-star rating. I was so impressed with the emotional development of the relationship - beautifully done, nicely built-up, quite un-cliched, and all without any sex-scenes at all. The explicit stuff just wasn't necessary - character emotion carried the story all by itself. Of course, the suspense around the incidents of the station manager and later the helicopter certainly added to the reading pleasure. In fact, Dear Banjo w ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I dare say there isn't a country friendship/relationship that hasn't experienced at least a little of what Dear Banjo's main characters do. The pull to either clear town and head to the biggest city at the first opportunity or to stay (albeit sometimes reluctantly) and look after the family property is a genuine and complicated dilemma faced by many country folk and this is tackled with exceptional understanding and care by Sasha Wasley.

What is lost in terms of friendships/relationships versus
oh come on!! ten years?? are you kidding me? ten years go wasted just because the heroine is coward??
just read 2 letter for a whole year because than too hurt and shock when tom is cold to you benjo?
and the main problem is because the hero is kissed you, and you felt angry and betrayed? the hero falling in love you, he is your bestfriend and you treat him like a trash just because you are coward.
love is bless no a curse so respect it. Damn! ten years? and you read it just because the situation i
Lily Malone
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading this with the biggest warmest fuzziest feeling in my heart, and a soppy smile on my face and some tears still sneaking about my eyes.
I'm late to the party - and the rest of Australia already knows how good this book is - but I'm so glad to have read it finally.
I adored Tom and his letters. I think he and Willow have just become my favourite fictional couple. Dear, patient Tom! Here's to steadfast, loyal, hard-working hunky heroes, and how I wish more men in the real
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can I start with I am not a reader, however this book was included in my birthday hamper which I received from my children. My one word to describe this book SENSATIONAL. Gosh how I loved this book, I just couldn't put it down. Someone said recently that it reminded them of McLeods Daughters and when I think about it, I have to agree with them. I truly loved the story line and could easily read the over again. Whilst I'm in my sixties, I think Tom sounds like a real genuine, loving guy and I wis ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not ordinarily a Romance reader. I like a story with a romance element but I tend to skip the Romance section of the book store or library. There is always an exception to the not very strict "rule," though, and this book found its way to me. I like to joke that it is a "hippy farmer romance" and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down. Its a perfect book for curling up on the couch with a glass of red. I think its Sasha Wasley's best so far.
Willow and Tom. He's always been keen on her, but she pretty much ran away from him to university ten years previously, and things have been very cool between them since then. Her father's health brings her back to their family property - and Tom's, right next door. It takes something extreme to jolt Willow into recognising what's been right under her nose all these years. A sweet rural romance.
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