It's November 1939, another war in Europe. And Bernie Cooper is wondering what's ahead for her. She knows Gordon Brock is going to ask her to marry him – any second now. An honest country boy about to graduate from university as a geologist, he's a good catch by anyone's standards, too. And she's going to say no. The harsh realities of this Second World War have other plans for Bernie, though, and once her adored father is commissioned to serve again, she accepts Gordon's proposal - mostly to please her dad. In any event, with Gordon off to New Guinea for the job of a lifetime, she'll be glad of a temporary reprieve from walking down the aisle, won't she?
As Gordon braces for the inevitable Japanese invasion of Rabaul, Bernie finds herself in the midst of the battle being fought on home soil – against the worst drought in living memory, against the menace of an unseen enemy, and against the unspeakable torment of not knowing if those dear to her are alive or dead. From the beaches of Sydney to the dusty heart of the continent, This Red Earth is as much a love letter to the country, with all its beauty and its terror, as it is an intimate portrait of love itself. Above all, this is a story of the greatest power we each possess – hope.