It was one of Australia's greatest romances. The story of Clancy of the Overflow, who gave up so much for the woman he loved and admired.
And now their story will be written as Jed McAlpine has persuaded Nancy to tell the story of her grandparents, Clancy and Rose.
But other tales lurk behind the folklore that surrounds Clancy and those are the stories of the women hidden in Australia's long history. The Honourable Flora McPherson, who travelled from England to marry Clancy and was then stranded on a drought-doomed property and lost all that was dearest to her. The brilliant but tragically flawed Maria, forced to hide behind both a man's name and a veil, and the extraordinary Mrs McKenzie, stolen from her Indigenous mother to work in the Government House kitchens, now a 'drover's boy'. And finally Rose, the last of her people, who escapes chains to eventually capture Clancy's heart.
The final book in the magnificent Matilda Saga, this is a book about the many kinds of love. Clancy's love of the bush, immortalised in Paterson's poem. Nancy's deep understanding of her country, and her need to pass it on. But perhaps the most moving love story of all was the one that never happened, between Matilda O'Halloran and Clancy of the Overflow.
But now there is another Matilda, and another Clancy. They will waltz beside the river, as a young Matilda did in 1894, as Jed writes her book and gives a voice to the forgotten: those strong and remarkable women who forged a nation.
PRAISE FOR THE MATILDA SAGA
'An engrossing mystery story, an ode to strong women, and a moving exploration of the private wounds we carry ... The Last Dingo Summer is a must for your summer reading list'
'The perfect read for anyone who loves immersing themselves in Australian fiction. Gripping, emotional and moving, Facing the Flame is a great book to curl up with'
'Highly recommended ... this was a complete binge, read in one night because it was just too good and too gripping to put down ... a cracking story filled with rich characters both old and new and imbued with all that we hold dear about Australian love of country and mateship'