top of page

If Blood Should Stain The Wattle

It's 1972 in Gibber's Creek, and across the nation the catch cry is, 'It's time'.

As political ideals drift from disaster to the dismissal, it's also time for Jed Kelly to choose between past love Nicholas, the local Labor member, and Sam from the Halfway to Eternity commune. It's time too for Matilda Thompson to face her ghosts amid a life that took her from being a young girl from the slums of Grinder's Alley to the formidable matriarch of Gibber's Creek.

During this period of extraordinary social change and idealism, modern Australia would be born. And although the nation would dream of a better world, it would continue to struggle with opposing ideas of exactly what that better world might be.

Me among the maize – but not in a commune – back in the days of love, challenge and idealism when If Blood Should Stain the Wattle is set.


The Matilda series began as a trilogy, then became a quartet. It was meant to be a history of our nation told from the perspective of one country town and the viewpoints of those who had no political voice in 1892, when the series begins: women, indigenous people, Chinese, Afghans.


But, by book four, I realised that history didn’t stop just because I was born, and that the series will continue as long as I live.

bottom of page