We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

In turn-of-the-century Australia, Tim Shea, supports his young family by running a general store in a remote riverside town, where he finds the same the same hypocrisy and snobbery which made him emigrate from Ireland, and suffers a series of misfortunes which take him to the brink of disaster. Capturing the spirit of the times, this is the mesmerising tale of a flawed hero whose stubborn integrity is nearly his undoing.


The work of a great storyteller
The Times
A joy to read . . . His skilful prose which seems effortlessly to capture the rhythms and cadences of at least six different emigrant races . . . his essential humanity which enables him to examine misery and horror without ever losing his gift for hope and his old-fashioned insistence on a rattling good plot, crammed full of drama, will ensure the reader is thoroughly entertained
Evening Standard
A masterpiece
Literary Review
Keneally makes us feel, very movingly, the intelligence and imaginative openness that lie deeper than Tim's prejudices and inarticulacies . . . a novel [of] great vitality and charm
The Sunday Times
A remarkably vivid and moving portrayal of a hostile world where good struggles to shine through
Time Out
A great read
Mail on Sunday