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‘A work of towering authority: large in scope; rich in detail; overflowing with ripe humanity . . . more than an engrossing novel: it is a stirring one.’ Sunday Telegraph

An enthralling novel from Thomas Keneally, set in Australia and the Sudan, and spanning the 19th and 20th centuries.

When Dimp Bettany, a Sydney film producer, comes into possession of her ancestor John Bettany’s journals, she believes she has finally found the subject of her next masterpiece. Even her more detached sister Prim, an aid worker in the Sudan, becomes intrigued as the story unfolds of how John Bettany carved out a living in the wilds of New South Wales in the 1840s, and of the internment in the notorious Female Factory of Sarah Bernard, the convict woman he was destined to meet. As John’s and Sarah’s paths converge, each sister finds her life cast in a new and galvanising light.


Thomas Keneally confronts the vast economic, cultural and historical distances between Australia and Africa, with a story that bridges them together convincingly. His rare ability to project engrossing human drama on to the most daunting of world events won him international fame after the publication of Schindler's Ark in 1982. His new novel brings the same humanity and intelligence to bear on aspects of the 20th century . . . Keneally has been described as 'the best Australian writer alive'. His complex new novel about what it means to be Australian should be read for decades to come
Ruth Scurr, The Times
A work of towering authority: large in scope, rich in detail; overflowing with ripe humanity ... more than an engrossing novel: it is a stirring one.
David Robson, Sunday Telegraph
A marvellously readable and powerfully moving skein of stories ... Thomas Keneally's achievement in Bettany's Book, as ever, is the uniquely novelistic one of bringing the most marginalised, unremembered of individuals to unforgettable life
Michael Kerrigan, Times Literary Supplement