Book Review: Di Morrissey’s Arcadia is a modern mystery in a timeless Tasmanian forest

Australia’s favourite storyteller, Di Morrissey, returns with her Twenty-sixth book, Arcadia, a modern mystery born in a timeless Tasmanian forest.

Set in the 1930’s, Arcadia tells the story of a young new wife, Stella, as she arrives at her husbands isolated property in Tasmania, where she finds love and beauty nestled amongst the nearby untouched forest. The story continues two generations later when Stella’s granddaughter and best friend stumble upon Stella’s secret life opening old wounds. With many questions unearthed, the two girls embark on an adventure to solve the mysteries of past and the present.

Arcadia is a story, spread across many generations, laced with hidden love, new love, loss and friendship. There is a bit of intrigue and caution that ebbs and flows. It’d be the perfect gift for your parents and grandparents, and it’s a special book full of kind words and support for family and friends. It’s a book that asks you to assess your morals, and perhaps inspire you to nurture Mother Nature, and the people around you a little more.

Set within the stunning Tasmanian landscape, the detail of the trees, animals and forest will take your mind on an environmental adventure, and will have you rushing to book a trip to our most southern part of Australia. Replete with owls and mycelium (a lesson on botanics that will remain with you), I was left with the lovely feeling that even now our planet has some amazing places full of old forests, left largely untouched.

I was keen to read my first Di Morrissey book as millions of readers love her work, my mum included. Initially, I found Arcadia somewhat slow, but it rose to the challenge and I soon found myself turning the pages with anticipation. It’s a sweet, nice novel, without too much drama and proved to be an enjoyable and entertaining read.



Arcadia is available now through Pan Macmillan Australia