Just an Ordinary Family

Fiona Lowe


Praise For Fiona Lowe

Also by Fiona Lowe



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27


About the Author

Book Club Questions

Also by Fiona Lowe

Praise For Fiona Lowe

“Set to be the next Big Little Lies. Part-Liane Moriarty, part-Jodi Picoult, Just an Ordinary Family is a compelling drama about a seemingly ‘ordinary’ family that implodes after a domino effect of lies, betrayals, disappointments and regrets.”—Mamamia on Just An Ordinary Family

“Fiona Lowe weaves an extraordinary story of loss, love and forgiveness.”—Glam Adelaide on Just An Ordinary Family

“This is a captivating story that encompasses all of the aspects of family life with its triumphs and its tribulations.”—Mic Loves Books on Just An Ordinary Family

“The undisputed queen of Australian small town fiction … Fiona’s trademark mix of engaging, well described characters and interesting social issues will draw you in.”—Canberra Weekly on Just An Ordinary Family

“This is a true family drama and tale of sacrifice, betrayal and ultimately forgiveness.”— Kiddo Magazine on Just An Ordinary Family

“Fiona Lowe's ability to create atmosphere and tension and real relationship dynamics is a gift.”

—Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law on Home Fires

“Lowe breathes real life into her characters…Home Fires is a profoundly hopeful tale, one of re-generation, of the strength gained from women supporting women, and of a community pulling together, one that acts as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit…a deeply Australian story that brilliantly captures our own life and times.”

—Better Reading on Home Fires

“Fiona Lowe has once again brought the Australian way of life to us. The characters are complex, with secrets and heartbreak. They are the true vision of a country town, fighting for their town and happiness.”—Glam Adelaide on Home Fires

“Fiona Lowe is the queen of Australian country town fiction … another well researched and compassionate tale.”—Canberra Weekly on Home Fires

“Lowe is a master at painting believable characters with heart and soul that contribute to creating such an addictive read.”—The Weekly Times on Birthright

“Birthright is a complex story that seamlessly intertwines many story lines. It is full of interesting characters that reveal more and more as the story progresses. It is raw, incredibly engaging and reads beautifully.” —The Big Book Club on Birthright

“Fiona Lowe’s writing is infused with many splendid literary influences. Her books entertain and immerse readers but there are also echoes of classic writers such as Evelyn Waugh, the Brontë sisters, and Isabel Allende…Lowe's writing is distinctly Australian with its power to evoke grit and tenderness, joy and bleakness, tragedy and comedy, all at once.”

—Better Reading on Birthright

“Filled with credible characters and familiar situations, it makes for an emotional read.”

—Canberra Weekly on Birthright

“Entertaining and riveting reading.”

—Good Reading on Birthright

“The question of wealth is always a contentious issue and Fiona Lowe explores this subject area with great insight, wrapping the resulting family story up in one engrossing and highly readable novel.”

—Amanda, Mrs B’s Book Reviews on Birthright

“A sweeping Australian novel of lost love and tangled family secrets.”

—Australian Country on Daughter of Mine

“A readable and thoughtful book. It has winner written all over it.”

—The Weekly Times on Daughter of Mine

“Daughter of Mine is a beautiful story of bonds, family expectations and the insidious and far reaching effects of secrets and lies. It may be the first book I have read by Fiona Lowe but I’m sure it won’t be the last.”

—Beauty & Lace on Daughter of Mine

“…a real page-turner.”

—Cairns Eye on Daughter of Mine

Also by Fiona Lowe

Daughter of Mine


Home Fires

Thank you for purchasing

Just an Ordinary Family

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First Published by Harlequin Australia in 2020

This revised edition published in 2020 by Fiona Lowe

Copyright © 2020 by Fiona Lowe.

All rights reserved.


The moral right of the author has been asserted.

This publication (or any part of it) may not reproduced or transmitted, copied, stored, distributed or otherwise made available by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organizations), in any form, in any form (electronic, digital, optical, mechanical) or by any means, (photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise) without prior written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


Cover Design by Lana Pecherczyk from Bookcoverology

Cover concepts by Barton Lowe

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Published by Fiona Lowe


For my sister, Sue

Thanks for the cheerleading, your wise counsel and the straight talk. Love you lots!

A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.


Betray a friend, and you’ll often find you have ruined yourself.



The dazzling dance of sunshine on water so entranced Karen Hunter, she misjudged the width of the double baby stroller. One moment the outside wheels were firmly connected to the concrete path and the next they were suspended in midair. The stroller teetered violently. Red hot fear streaked through her. Throwing all her strength behind it, she wrenched on the handle, hauling the heavy stroller back to safety. The ensuing momentum vibrated through the tightly coiled suspension springs and it bounced wildly.

With her heart pounding as fast as if she’d just run a race, Karen frantically peered into the stroller to check her precious cargo. Both babies remained tucked up under their hand-embroidered blankets, sound asleep and utterly unperturbed by their rocky ride. She slumped in relief.

“No one ever tells you how hard these things are to drive, do they?” a voice said behind her.

Karen turned to see a woman of similar age

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