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Di's twelfth novel begins in the 1960s in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand where the Mitchell family have run a prosperous sheep farm for generations. Sally Mitchell has just turned 20, rides to the hounds and leads an indulged life. That is until she shocks her family by becoming involved with an inappropriate older man. Her parents take drastic steps and try to pack her off to England, but Sally doesn't make it.
After a wild spree in Sydney she's cashed in her ticket and hell bent on adventure, takes a job as a governess on a remote cattle station–Barra Creek–in the Gulf country of Cape York. Untamed and crocodile-infested, it's a country of deserts, jungles and wide rivers. Then the great stations were run by whites, supported by their resident black camps, worked by men who were loners and women who had to cope or leave.
Now Sally is confronted with her past, as Lorna, the aging station wife, diagnosed with dementia, searches for her to share the great secret of what happened one night that changed their lives. For it is the one-time governess who holds the key to the future of the boys, now men, she once taught at Barra Creek.
- Pan Macmillan Australia, November 2007
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