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Synopsis

WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN/VOGEL LITERARY AWARD FOR 2001

'She had been left behind on an island with sealers, men who had their own rules. She felt as though she was on the edge of the world, or perhaps she had fallen off into some halfway place. It wasn't living and it wasn't quite hell.'

Shipwrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1835, Dorothea Newell is marooned on Middle Island with other survivors. Stranded, they seek shelter in a sealers' camp. The desolate environment of the island camp is a place where men from all corners of the globe struggle to trade seal skins, and the appearance of women-rare commodities in that place and time-opens a further form of trade. As a desperate means of survival, Dorothea is forced into an alliance with the camp's fierce leader, John Anderson.

Skins is the compelling story of Dorothea's emotional and physical journey back to civilisation. Featuring an immense, wild landscape of ocean and islands untainted by human existence, Sarah Hay writes a remarkable tale of people who have fallen through the gaps of recorded history.

'Truly very compelling. It really has extraordinary power ... Dorothea's story is quite unforgettable.' - Gillian Mears

'An extremely accomplished, absorbing narrative that wears its historical knowledge lightly ... the style is skilful, unobtrusive, the characterisation excellent, the themes intriguing. Very impressive.' - Debra Adelaide

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