by Magdalena Ball
Freya and James Archer live the high life in a luxury home in Sydney’s poshest suburb, with money, matching Jags, two beautiful teenage kids … and they couldn’t be more despondent. James wakes weeping each morning, dreading the pressures of a long and grueling work-day ahead, and Freya is struggling with her foundering real estate career. The global recession is biting in Australia, and the Archers are afraid. In a desperate bid for happiness and security, they shed the fragile trappings of success and cruise over into the slow lane to take an unmapped turn-off on a country road and live off the land in a remote old farmhouse on the peaceful southern island of Tasmania. But is this an end to their old misery or the beginning of an even greater one?
“A fictitious story yet a story full of truth and soul searching wisdom.” ~Sarhn McArthur
A few reviews
“There is an authenticity and honesty about the revelation of their characters and the torment of the children that is the inevitable collateral of a lifestyle that is decaying. And yet Ball doesn’t demonise the lifestyle, but skilfully reveals the people Freya and Edward had meant to become before they became lost. The dreams they let slip away, the hopes that died. Secondary characters are deliberately peripheral. Their lives have become too shallow for real life, real connections. Ball peels back the layers of the relationship as she brings Freya and Edward back from the brink of their own carefully scripted disaster, giving hope in change to sustainable solutions for their lives, both environmental and emotional. It is a hope we cannot help but savour.” Damon Goulas
“Ball presents a sensitive picture of a family struggling to stay together and find fulfillment. The characters are well-drawn and believable, the kind of people you know. They could be your family. This beautifully crafted story explores the question of whether changing your life can bring the happiness you seek. You can change where you are, but you can’t change who you are, or can you? Can you get back to being the person you once were? I highly recommend this book. It presents a modern dilemma in very readable terms that will allow you to look at how one family solves their problem. It could change your life.” Nancy Famolari
“Most people don’t simply wake up one morning and realize that they’ve veered away from their ideals and set themselves squarely in the middle of the path leading back to them. In reality, such an awakening is gradual, fueled by series of seemingly disconnected incidents; and the road back, if one can even get there, is more like a game of Giant Steps than a straight trajectory. BLACK COW examines the possibility of lifestyle change through the actions of the Archer family. Fast-paced, gorgeously-written, and stunningly perceptive, BLACK COW is not only a great read; it is a timely and important one.” JSD
“BLACK COW is an intelligent, deeply reflective story of a family who reaches its deepest lows, then transcends the expected norm to reconnect with the earth and each other in a joyful, satisfying adventure.” Aaron P Lazar