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The Coolabah Tree-bookcover

By: Norman Beck

The Coolabah Tree

Pages: 262 Ratings: 4.0
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Jock and Rachael rush to Mount Isa to identify their father tragically killed in a motor accident.

Mount Isa, in the heart of the Australian Outback, is the prime backdrop for the extraordinary and harrowing events that unfold.

People’s lives come together and fall apart while they confront the consequences of their hopes and dreams and struggle to find meaning.

There are stones tossed into the pond as the ripples and waves wash out, while the coolabah tree stands as the silent enduring guardian.

An intriguing and intricate narrative into relationships, leaving the reader to anxiously anticipate the characters’ fate through the thought-provoking events.

Norman Beck was born and lives in Melbourne, Australia. He has travelled extensively, living and working in the UK and throughout Asia. He is married with three adult children. He has a master’s degree from Monash University and is now retired and able to devote his time to writing full time. His other passions are golfing, cycling, travelling and long-distance walking in Europe.

The Coolabah Tree is his first novel, taking more than ten years to plan and write. He is currently working on a second novel as well as a book on walking the caminos in Spain and France.

Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • Heather Golden

    Jock travels to Mount Isa, “the Oasis of the Outback", in North West Queensland, to bury his father, killed in a road accident. And so begins a journey of reflection on his own life and relationships as he remembers his past and observes the present in the lives of the many different people he meets in this "far off" mining town. Jock’s questioning of the impact others have had on him and his own impact on others, eventually leads to his understanding of the need for basic acceptance and love in his search for meaning.
    Literally and figuratively, the shade of the Coolabah reveals the healing such acceptance can bring and with it, Jock's hope and determination to throw “good pebbles into the pond “ to ripple through his own life and the lives of those closest to him.

    A well written and thought provoking story which will strike a chord with many of a certain age, who when prompted by a crisis, reflect on their own lives and their place in the lives of others.

  • Cherie

    The Coolabah Tree is an interesting read set in the outback mining town of Mt Isa Australia, where life can be tough & only the strong survive.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, reading about the positive and negative parts of their lives. The author, Norman Beck, has a good insight into many varied personalities and what shapes them as individuals.
    The main character Jock is continually trying to learn more about himself, asking himself questions like - what does love mean to him and those closest to him? can he love? many of his questions thread back to his relationship with his father who had an accident in Mt Isa and passed away. From a reader’s perspective Jock is a very kind & caring man who obviously loves his family and cares for his friends.
    When tragedy touches the different characters’, most make the choice to not let it define them but to find ways to enrich their lives and those around them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen in real life and neither does it happen in this novel, some are not able to rise above their circumstances.
    It was a book I didn’t want to end and one I’d recommend.

  • John A.

    The Coolabah Tree is a very interesting read if, like me, you’re somewhat intrigued by the wide-ranging emotional thoughts and deeper psychological observations of our mere-mortal, fellow human beings. This is especially evident whenever we are confronted with great personal tragedy, the death of a loved-one or the inevitable passing of an old friend.
    Norm Beck’s central character “Jock” explores those deeper inner thoughts and emotions, expressed through his numerous characters and their various fates. I think the pervading theme of the book explores and fleshes out the psychology of human trauma associated with grief and the resultant affect on some rather un-extraordinary, normal people.
    Beck sometimes introduces a diverse cross-section of new characters into the story line in quite a sudden way and they appear, at first, to be unrelated to the thread of the story. But the readers reward of that diversity may be in Beck’s opportunity to further discover and expose the intricate emotions of those seemingly-unassociated characters.
    Towards the final chapters, which drill down into “Jock’s” emotional and touching reflections in regard to some of his immediate family characters, the tender and deeper questioning of reciprocal family love is touched on and is left for the reader to consider.
    I recommend this book to all readers who hold any inherent curiosity into “what makes us tick”.

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