The Matilda Saga
The story of our country, and a love song to our land, told by the strong women who forged a nation
Blue Laurence has escaped the prison of her aunt's mansion to join the Magnifico Family Circus, a travelling troupe that brings glamour and laughter to country towns gripped by the Depression. Blue hides her crippled legs and scars behind the sparkle of a mermaid's costume; but she's not the only member of the circus hiding a dark secret.
Nancy Clancy left school at fourteen to spend a year droving, just like her grandfather Clancy of the Overflow. Now sixteen, Nancys family has sent her to Malaya to bring home her sister-in-law Moira and baby nephew Gavin. Yet despite the threat of Japanese invasion, Moira resists, wanting to stay near her husband Ben.
Hippies wear beads, demonstrators march against the Vietnam War, and the world waits to see the first human steps on the moon's surface. But at Gibbers Creek, Jed Kelly sees ghosts, from the past and future, at the Drinkwater billabong where long ago the swaggie leaped to his defiant death.
Under the burnt timber of the church, the police have found the body of Merv Ignatious, the man who so viciously attacked Jed Kelly when she was fifteen, and tried to kill her and her unborn child in last year's bushfire.
And also in the church, lie skeletons from many years ago.
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.