'Fast-moving and immensely readable ...a page turner from start to finish' Maeve BinchyAlexander Kinross is remembered in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker's apprentice. But when he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his relatives realize he is now a man to be reckoned with. Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers that he frightens and repels her. And, isolated in Alexander's great house, Elizabeth finds that marriage does not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life - nor his present one, in which his mistress, the sensuous, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan, still plays a part -
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(178mm x 110mm x 32mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
When sixteen year old Elizabeth is casually told by her father that she is to be married to a cousin who lives in New South Wales she puts up no resistance. As a woman living in nineteenth century Scotland she knows her place. However when she meets Alexander Kinross, Elizabeth takes an immediate dislike to him. She learns that he despises her father, James Drummond and the Reverend Doctor Murray regarding them as sanctimonious bigots whilst revelling in his own success. Alexander has a 'nose' for gold and has built a town around a mother lode that has seen him becoming wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Before sending for Elizabeth, the forthright Ruby Costevan has been Kinross's constant lover and companion. The owner of a brothel house with a half-caste son, Lee, she is one of the partners in Alexander's business as well as owning a respectable hotel. To Alexander's chagrin, the two women become firm friends, Ruby helping Elizabeth through two childbirths which give her one precocious daughter whilst the other is mentally retarded. But things are changing in the world at large as Alexander finds out when he travels to Europe and America - his desire for change no matter the cost to his workers bringing him into conflict with his family, employees but worst, Lee, who has become his son in all but name. Colleen McCullough has written a novel that leaps exuberantly from the page. Her characterisation is faultless whilst the extensive research is impeccably threaded through her dialogue. A wonderful read. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysiologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her writing career began with the publication of Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking international bestseller. The author of over ten other novels, including the acclaimed 'Masters of Rome' series, Dr McCullough also wrote lyrics for musical theatre. Until her death in 2015 she lived on Norfolk Island in the Pacific with her husband.