Naomi and Sally Durance are daughters of a dairy farmer from the Macleay Valley. Bound together in complicity by what they consider a crime, when the Great War begins in 1914 they hope to submerge their guilt by leaving for Europe to nurse the tides of young wounded. They head for the Dardanelles on the hospital ship Archimedes. Their education in medicine, valour, and human degradation continues on the Greek island of Lemnos, then on the Western Front. Here, new outrages - gas, shell-shock - present themselves.
"Interesting WWI novel with an Australian bent"
When their father is critically injured, foreign correspondent Mandy and her siblings return home. Mandy's head is filled with terror and war, and her homecoming only heightens her disconnection from ordinary life. Cathy, her younger sister, has stayed in contact with her parents, unlike their brother Stephen who, has distanced himself from the family for years. In the hospital the children sit, struggling to connect with their emotions, their past and each other.
In 1881, ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier of fortune and profiteer, ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great sugar mills of the Southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress, a cane-consuming monster and home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its masters, the Durham Family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest and most inflammatory of times, the 1960s.
From Chloe Hooper, author of the phenomenal The Tall Man, comes a brilliant novel about sex and money. The Engagement is a taut psychological thriller in which the deft blurring of reality and dark fantasy rivals that of Luis Bunuel's classic Belle de Jour. Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: to stay with Alexander Colquhoun, the well-mannered heir of a pastoral dynasty, at his property in western Victoria. Liese, an English architect in flight from the financial crisis, now works at her uncle's real-estate business in Melbourne.