'A sprawling and surprising story of love, grief, loss and change that crosses generations and continents' - Kate Forsyth
Matthew Fenchurch, patriarch and landowner of the northern NSW property Jarulan, lives in a grand decaying folly, invaded by ghosts and the local fauna. His wife is dead, one son has fallen on a battlefield in France, and another lives in exile as a remittance man on a marae in New Zealand. His only company are the farmhands, an old family servant and a part-time laundry maid with dreams above her station.
When Matthew builds a memorial above the river for his brave lost son – and all the boys of the district who have died fighting for King and Country – his daughters and grandchildren return for the unveiling. They bring with them someone who will change life at Jarulan forever, who will fight the ghosts of the past and the claimants of the present, and ensure a dynasty, though not as anyone expected.
Epic, sensuous, brimming with wildlife, love, beauty, babies, ill deeds, revenge, and unions – illicit and condoned – Author's note: 'Jarulan' is an Alawa (Roper River, Northern Territory) word for fires started by raptors. These large birds have been observed for hundreds of years dropping burning sticks in grassland and then waiting for the fire to take hold to drive out prey, which they then swoop upon. This description is inspired by a passage in the 1962 book,
<'Jarulan by the River is lushly detailed. The settings are varied from New Zealand to Australia and this makes for an interesting and multilayered kind of narrative. The characters are believable and well created. So too are the family dramas that will have most readers nodding in agreement. A good read for saga lovers' Christopher Bantick, Weekly Times