A sweeping Aussie saga ...
I read very few sagas, but this one dragged me into the lives of a plethora of characters and wouldn't let me go.
Tricia beautifully depicted the hardships of early white settlement (and some of its effects on the Aboriginal landowners) in South Australia, as well as the tough characters that inhabited it and their attitudes.
Thomas Baker is likeable, even though he's a little green in the beginning and learns some very difficult lessons. He has travelled from England and lost both his parents, but he's determined and hard working. He makes his own opportunities, which take him into the most remote areas to oversee sheep stations, battling incredible hardships mostly alone.
The story also followed Septimus, a proficient con artist. I spent a lot of time hoping he'd get his comeuppence, because was a truly horrible character, especially to the poor young woman who followed him around the country.
Maralinga by Judy Nunn
Steady pace, engaging characters.
This novel had a special resonance with him, because my father-in-law was at Maralinga and died from the particular type of Leukaemia contracted as a result of these nuclear tests. I don't think any Australia could read this and not weep for the utter lack of humility and human decency displayed by the powers of the time.
It was a fascinating story with lots of colourful characters and beautiful landscapes. I especially loved the strong-willed heroine. Judy revealed information in a way that kept me eager to read on, and there was a nice resolution to the romance.