What people are saying:

Sep 4, 2021 Clare O’Beara, Author and Journalist, rated it five stars.

” This is a novel but the powerful individual voice means that the tale comes across as a memoir. I was completely convinced, and I was comparing the tale to other outback stories, Reginald Ottley and Mary Pachett.”

Feb 28, 2020
Christine Fletcher rated it five stars on Goodreads.

“I just finished reading Black Bones, Red Earth and I am still wiping the tears from my eyes. I LOVED this book. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time and I didn’t want it to end.”

May 8, 2022 Roberta Cheadle, author of A Ghost and his Gold, rated it five stars.

“Black Bones, Red Earth is a well written book that delves deeply into the unjust and hypocritical colonial practices of both Britain and Australia. The author has tackled the difficult topics of racism, sexism, and mistreatment of orphans, with sensitivity and woven a gripping story and romance around it. Some sections of this book reminded me of A Passage to India by E.M. Forster and To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, both of which tackled similar racial issues.”

Reviews – Black Bones, Red Earth

The following are a selection of honest reviews and reactions to the new Lee Richie novel, Black Bones Red Earth.

Reader’s Favorite Reviews

Review by K.C. Finn Harrowing, heartfelt and deeply emotional, author Lee Richie tells an incredible tale of survival. Five stars.

Review by Jamie MicheleGorgeous in its descriptions, which come to life in vivid detail as Katherine’s life unfolds slowly with each turn of the page. Five stars.

Review by Rabia TanveerThis is an amazingly good novel, one that will remain in my mind for a very long time. Five stars.


Black Bones, Red Earth, by Lee Richie, is a story inspired by true events, and while the author has taken fictional license, the story reads as if every word of it actually happened. This is a very deep and haunting tale, one that takes the reader sixty years back in the life of a young orphan named Katherine, who finds herself being traded off from her birth home in England, to a couple who live in the remote Outback of Australia. Set in post WWII rural Australia, the author does an excellent job of depicting the lifestyle in this barren and merciless landscape. The story begins with Katherine arriving in Australia and her introduction to her new and bizarre life, and goes on through her early teens until her road takes a dramatic and unforeseen turn. What happens next is a twisted and completely believable scenario that will have you flipping to the next chapter. This is a beautifully written story, with an ocean of metaphors and allegories that paint a three-dimensional canvas for the reader. One can actually sense what life was like in the Outback, its visceral charm and brutish side, the smell of the air, the feel of its sweltering heat and more. In as much as the story is well-written and keeps a grip on the reader, so does the impressionistic style of writing. As a final note, this novel, like so many others written about the injustices against the American blacks and the indigenous peoples of America, this story spotlights the similar outrageous abuses committed by the “whites” against the Aboriginal people of Australia. Overall, a very good read and worthy of a five star rating. Réal Laplaine for International Writers Inspiring Change

undefined The Fold Southern Highlands


THE FOLD BOOK CLUB // Black Bones Red Earth By Lee Richie

There’s something about epic stories that cross countries, cultures and decades that get us a bit emotional. And when that story is primarily set in the unforgiving world of the Australian outback in the 1950’s, when life was simple but hard and the land beautiful but harsh, that’s guaranteed to get the heart rate going and the heart strings pulled even more. 

Black Bones Red Earth is a brand new novel by Southern Highlands author, Lee Richie. Based in Hill Top, Lee’s description of life on an outback station in the mid 20th century jumps from the pages. You can almost feel the dust in your throat, the heat on your back and the fear of what the land (or the people) will throw up next. Read more…

Member Reviews

Featured NetGalley Reviews

 Anita W, Reviewer

I wasn’t sure of what to expect once I chose this book to read but it surprised me with the amount of emotion and pain the book describes with certain characters. Overall I think it was a nice read that kept me in suspense as to what was going to happen when I got to the next chapter. I would recommend this to anyone to read. It won’t disappoint you just keep reading it until it’s finished.
Four Stars

 Bob M, Reviewer

Lee Richie’s Black Bones, Red Earth not only made me feel as though I’d lived on a sheep station in the Outback but evoked the delicate balance between whites and blacks. Against this backdrop a powerful story of a young girl, orphaned by the blitz, battled her way to womanhood. Powerful and compelling with a satisfying twist at the end. All in all a great read!
Five Stars

 Edi (aka Dee Dee or Dedee1) M, Reviewer

Interesting storyline as I had no idea that the British government shifted orphans from WWII to Australia or how the Aboriginal people were shunned. Vivid descriptions of life in the outback in the 1950’s. The characters are believable and will come to life on the pages. I got a little bogged down in the court proceedings but they offer some humor at human ignorance in a dark time. It takes up a lot of the book and it takes a while to get back to the present time to move the story on. The cover gives an adequate description of the story so I will not dwell on other content. Overall a good read. . I received this book as a complimentary copy for an unbiased review.The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author,publisher,and NetGalley for the ARC.
Four Stars

 Linda B, Reviewer

Very impressive and loaded with poignant moments😪 4.5🌟stars🌿 What a wonderful story! I learned so much about Outback life and the pictures author Lee Richie’s words create of the characters and nature are so evocative: I could visualize clearly Kate, Lou, Ellin, Toby, Lachlan and the red earth, vast expanses and colorful wildlife Richie describes. Kate’s life story, complete with a harsh, unloved childhood and doomed romance was fascinating, as was the way her tale provided a launch point for illustrating the state of race relations and treatment of the Aboriginal during the period. I would say the emotional component is what really made this a great story for me. Here’s a girl who finally finds her spot of stolen happiness and the consequences are dire, particularly for the people she cares for most. The ending softens the blow but provides lots of retrospection about what could have been: poignant stuff.😪 I did think the book’s conclusion took too long to arrive and bogged down when filling in the years after Kate left Australia, but the very end brought all of the emotion front and center, and tears to my eyes. This is not a story I will easily forget.👍👍 Thanks to publisher BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
Four Point Five Stars

 Reviewer 605165

Against this backdrop a powerful story of a young girl, orphaned by the blitz, battled her way to womanhood. Powerful and compelling with a satisfying twist at the end. All in all a great read!
Four Stars

Goodreads reviews:

This book left me feeling quite emotional and has stayed with me for days.

Talia Dominici for Goodreads Reviews