Shearers' Motel

Shearers' Motel

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

'Roger McDonald uses language with the precision of a diamond cutter.' US Publishers Weekly Another shed coming up on the horizon...a low, wide roof of galvanised iron the only landmark in a million square miles of flatness and glare... The sun blazed overhead like a nuclear pile. His hat smelt like a dirty sock. His body was sticky, itchy, tired. The tyres od his odl yellow truck, sunk into the sand, gave out a hot, desolate, perished rubber odour, heatwaves ballooning from the bodywork. The impression he had, glancing back towards the vehicel, was of disintegrating material only just holding together. A split in his hat admitted a hot bar of sunlight onto his scalp. His eyeballs felt like pinpoint charred coals and he wanted to slide down into what shade there was... Yesterday morning he had left a tin-roofed farmhouse far to the south of here - Sharon, his wife, and his three daughters hardly stirring in their sleep as they said goodbye. Then while he was out at the truck...
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A Sea-Chase

A Sea-Chase

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

Growing up in inland Australia, Judy, a young teacher, has rarely seen the sea. But when she flees a rioting classroom one dismal Friday, a dud and a failure, she gets drunk and wakes up on a boat. Overnight her life changes; she is in love with being on the water and in love with Wes Bannister who lives on the boat. Sailing was not something Judy had ever thought about wanting, but now she craved it. Wind was the best teacher she'd had, by far.From then on, Judy believes that the one trusted continuation of herself is with Wes, and always will be, but then events at sea challenge their closeness. Must they become competitors against each other in the push to be equals? It seems they must. A Sea-Chase is a novel that vividly tracks ambition, self-realisation, and lasting love tied up in a sea story. The idea that nobody who sets off to do something alone, without family, friends, rivals, and a pressing duty to the world, ever does so alone,...
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The Tree In Changing Light

The Tree In Changing Light

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

...Because a tree bloomed seasonally we felt its body like our own. A tree stood still and yet suffered change. A tree growing old grew down into itself. Trees could not heal wounds, only cover them up. Trees were magnificent survivors. Trees got used. Trees behaved erratically under stress. Trees strove to fulfill an ideal shape but were twisted out of it by pressures of existence.... In THE TREE IN CHANGING LIGHT, Roger McDonald meditates on our unique landscape and its rich tapestry of native and introduced trees, which 'give language to our existence'. His most intimate and personal book to date, it also celebrates country men like his grandfather Chester Bucknall, a forester and pine-planter, of whom he writes, 'I believe him to have been a dreamer about trees'; Wilf Crane, Roger McDonald's mentor with trees who flew planes across country on solo planting raids and whose death while flying inspired this book; and Tom Wyatt, a bush gardener whose dedicated hands made trees...
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Mr Darwin's Shooter

Mr Darwin's Shooter

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

Last century Charles Darwin set out on a voyage in the Beagle that would change forever the way human history was viewed. It was on this voyage that Darwin collected the information that gave birth to his controversial Theory of Evolution. MR DARWIN'S SHOOTER is the story of Syms Covington, Darwin's manservant on the Beagle and afterwards. This is a novel of scientific discovery, of religious faith, of masters and servants, and of the endless wonder of the natural world. But its greatest triumph is Covington himself, the boy who looked up at the beckoning figure of a yellow-haired Christian in the stained glass window in his boyhood church of Bedford, and sought to follow. He leaves Bedford as a lad of 13 and goes to sea with the evangelical sailor John Phipps and becomes one of Phipps' 'lads'. But Phipps' catechising can't repress Covington's passage into manhood, nor prevent him chasing the exotic native maidens of Tierra del Fuego. When next he returns to sea it is...
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The Ballad of Desmond Kale

The Ballad of Desmond Kale

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

In the early 1800s, out of the prison society of governors, redcoats, English gaolers, Irish convicts, and the few free settlers of Botany Bay, no one had ventured much farther inland than a few dozen miles from Sydney. Or so it was believed until the escape of Desmond Kale and the vengeance of his rival, the wildly eccentric parson magistrate Matthew Stanton. THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is a broad-sweeping novel of the first days of British settlement in Australia. At the centre is Stanton's pursuit of Kale - an Irish political prisoner and a rebelliously brilliant breeder of sheep. The alchemy of wool fascinates, threatens, and transforms when it is discovered that fine wool thrives in New South Wales as nowhere else in in the world, producing veritable gold on sheep's backs. THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE is both a love story of unusual interest and an epic novel of greed, ambition, conceit, and redemption. The novel is rich in its characterisations and the rawness of its...
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The Following

The Following

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

A Miles Franklin Award-winning author engaging directly with Australia's political past and future.A young boy meets a stranger with a powerful secret, a gift of uncanny understanding and a talent for knots. From this encounter, Marcus Friendly's ideas of himself take shape as he rises to become Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister. The night he dies, a shadow, is there to collect him when he falls. Another young boy, Ross Devlin, witnesses the event.Ross eventually finds himself on an outback station working for Kyle Morrison, son of Australia's most famous poet, 'The Bounder'. Kyle suddenly needs help to undo a knot of his own, and a young union organiser, Max Petersen, steps in to right an old injustice. Now, after years in parliament, Max Petersen, the inheritor of the Marcus Friendly tradition in more ways than one, awaits a call from the PM for the ministry he craves. Around him, a crisis among friends and family is unfolding, and everyone is forced to confront the legacy...
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1915

1915

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

The tragedy and violence of Gallipoli provide the climax to this very personal, moving and surprisingly romantic story. With remarkable skill and in achingly beautiful prose, Roger McDonald takes the reader on an archetypal Australian journey which parallels the nation's progress from its country childhood, through the adolescent exuberance of its young cities, to initiation on one of the world's ancient battlefields. It is a vital journey, haunted by menace and disillusionment, one embedded in our national mythology. This astonishing first novel, published to great critical acclaim in 1979 and since then selling over 100,000 copies, tells the story of two boys from the bush, the thoughtful and awkward Walter and his knowing friend Billy Mackenzie, and their girls Frances and Diana. Together they discover a future which seems full of promise, drawing them into the exciting turmoil of passion and war. But theirs is a fateful alliance, in a world all too quickly passing, with an...
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When Colts Ran

When Colts Ran

Roger McDonald

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

In this sweeping epic of friendship, toil, hope and failed promise, multi-award-winning author Roger McDonald follows the story of Kingsley Colts as he chases the ghost of himself through the decades, and in and out of the lives and affections of the citizens of 'The Isabel', a slice of Australia scattered with prospectors, artists, no-hopers and visionaries. Against this spacious backdrop of sheep stations, timeless landscapes and the Five Alls pub, men play out their fates, conduct their rivalries and hope for the best. Major Dunc Buckler, 'misplaced genius and authentic ratbag', scours the country for machinery in a World War that will never find him. Wayne Hovell, slave to 'moral duty', carries the physical and emotional scars of Colts's early rebellion, but also finds himself the keeper of his redemption. Normie Powell, son of a rugby-playing minister, finds his own mysticism as a naturalist, while warm-hearted stock dealer Alan Hooke longs for understanding in a house...
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