A thoroughly absorbing read until I got to the end and realised it was part of Tamara McKinley's Oceana Trilogy. Serves me right for thinking I’d found another story that I didn’t want to end.
This historical saga begins with a prologue … long before the ghost-men “discovered” the Great Southern land full of riches and resources, the indigenous peoples lived in harmony with the land…
Tamara McKinley successfully mixes fact and fiction as she embarks upon an epic romantic saga entwining the lives of wealthy Cornish landowner Jonathan Cadwallader and poor fisher girl Susan Penhalligan.
When Cadwallader sets off on Captain Cook’s ship, Endeavour, eager for adventure, events back home force his sweetheart, Susan, to forget about him for the sake of her family. However, their paths are destined to cross again with serious repercussions.
Their story commences in 1768, in the Cornish village of Mousehole and leaves us in Sydney in 1793. Following Susan’s fortunes as one of the first pioneering families to settle in New South Wales, it is a story of love, loss, hardship and some shocking events. Her brother Billy, is one of the first convicts sent to the colony and we follow his fortunes as he transforms himself from a Cornish smuggler into a prospective sheep farmer. Woven into the story and transformational events are the Tahitian and Aboriginal families whose lives are changed forever by those first explorers, settlers and convicts that journeyed to their lands.
This is an ambitious story which no doubt will continue to unfold in the sequel: “A Kingdom for the Brave”.
Lands Beyond the Sea includes a map of the Great Southern Land and handy historical timeline of events in the first few pages.