"McCullough taps the mother lode with a romance as big as Australia itself, whose every dialect reader Davina Porter seems to have mastered. Setting out to conquer the world, young Scot Alexander Kinross amasses a mining empire. Still, he can't win the heart of his beautiful Scots Presbyterian bride, Elizabeth, as he has his mistress's. Woven into this family tangle are Australian politics, emerging labor struggles, and the troubling hostility to the Chinese. Porter magically interlaces the strong Scottish brogue spoken by Alexander and Elizabeth, the delicate tones of the Chinese servants, and the broad Aussie twang of the rest. Porter's power and energy complement the hard-driving main character and his robust but sad adventure. P.E.F. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"