To The Ends Of The Earth

Written by June Gadsby
Review by Sara Wilson

It’s 1900 and Blodwen Evans has lived a long life in Patagonia, far away from her Welsh birthplace, but recently she has felt the need for family around her. More especially she hopes that a young nephew will catch the eye of her protégée Gwyneth Johns. With this in mind she writes an invitation home and then sits back to await events.

Wily and amoral Matt Riley is hardly what she is expecting. But he brings with him a sweet young wife and two friends, brothers Rob and Davy. Gwyneth agrees to teach them to be cowboys but although Rob and Davy are keen to learn, Matt is trouble from the start. Disaster threatens unless Rob can stop Matt from destroying their lives.

The Patagonian Andes give an original twist to what might otherwise be a run-of-the-mill saga. In fact the setting is the real star of the novel and June Gadsby must be congratulated on her panoramic descriptions and fascinating recreation of the pioneering communities. The inhabits of the towns around the Valdes Peninsular are almost more Welsh and more Victorian than the friends and families they left behind, providing an even greater contrast to the exotic gauchos and Spaniards they mix with.