On a balmy midsummer's evening in 1923, a young woman - foreign, dishevelled, and heavily pregnant - is found unconscious just off the railway tracks in the tiny logging community of Woody Creek. The town midwife, Gertrude Foote, is roused from her bed when the woman is brought to her door. Try as she might, Gertrude is unable to save her, but the baby lives.
When no relatives come forth to claim the infant, Gertrude's daughter, Amber - who has recently lost a son in childbirth - and her husband, Norman, take the child in. In the ensuing weeks, Norman becomes convinced that God has sent the baby to their door, and in an act of reckless compassion and lonely desperation, he names the baby Jennifer and registers her in place of his son.
Loved by some but scorned by more, including her stepmother and sister, Jenny survives her childhood and grows into an exquisite and talented young woman. But who were her parents? And why does she so strongly resemble an old photograph of Gertrude's philandering husband?
Spanning two momentous decades and capturing rural Australia's complex and mysterious heart, Pearl in a Cage is the new novel by one of our most talented storytellers.
On a balmy midsummer's evening in 1923, a young woman - foreign, dishevelled and heavily pregnant - is found unconscious just off the railway tracks in the tiny logging community of Woody Creek. The town midwife, Gertrude Foote, is roused from her bed when the woman is brought to her door. Try as she might, Gertrude is unable to save her, but the baby lives.
Regular price: $34.96
When Jenny Morrison fled Woody Creek for a new life in Melbourne she left behind a dysfunctional family, a town of small-minded gossips, and, most tragically, a newborn baby. Mustering all her strength, she resolved to put her past behind her, reclaim her identity, and pursue her dream of becoming a famous singer.... Yet just months later she is back - wiser and with an expensive new wardrobe - but with a second child growing in her belly.
Regular price: $17.47
Jenny Morrison is bravely trying to move on with her life. Her husband missing amidst the turmoil of WWII she takes refuge with Ray King, a slightly sinister, stuttering boy who disappeared from Woody Creek as a teenager but has now reappeared. In return for regular 'wifely duties', Ray offers Jenny and her three children sanctuary at his house in Melbourne. For a time, she is happy.
Regular price: $34.96
The wind is whispering in Woody Creek. Change is in the air. It's 1958 and Woody Creek is being dragged kicking and screaming into the swinging '60s. Jenny's daughters, Cara and Georgie, are now young women. They have inherited their mother's hands, but that is where their similarity ends. Raised separately, they have never met. A mistake from Cara's teenage years looms over her future, but she believes emphatically in the white-wedding and happily-ever-after myth. Georgie has seen enough of marriage and motherhood. She plans to live her life as her grandmother did, independent of a man.
Regular price: $27.27
Woody Creek is gearing up for its centenary celebrations - but for many of its townspeople, it's just another reminder of the old days, when life was more simple, before so-called progress, technology and a growing population roared through the town, altering everything in its wake. Not for Georgie, though. Long encumbered by responsibility for her half-sister, Margot, she's looking towards the future and more changes.
Regular price: $24.47
Independent and spirited, Georgie is her mother’s daughter through and through. But after a house fire takes the life of her sister, Margot, and burns her home to the ground, Georgie is lost. She flees town with nothing but a cardboard box and the determination to be somebody, anybody, else.
Regular price: $27.97