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A tale of two very different sisters whose 1890s voyage from London into remote outback Australia becomes a journey of self-discovery, set against a landscape of wild beauty and savage dispossession. 

London in 1891: Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. 

After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters' lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life's work or to devote herself to painting. 

When James Cameron dies unexpectedly, Harriet is overwhelmed by grief. Seeking distraction, she follows Sarah to Australia, and afterwards into the outback, where she is alienated by the casual violence and great injustices of outback life. Her rejuvenation begins with her friendship with an Aboriginal stockman and her growing love for the landscape. 

But this fragile happiness is soon threatened by murders at a nearby cattle station and by a menacing station hand who is seeking revenge.

About The Author

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Alison is the author of seven novels and has contributed short stories to international collections. 

Her debut novel, Stillwater Creek, was Highly Commended in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award, A Perfect Marriage was Highly Commended in the 2019 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards, and The Philosopher's Daughters was Highly Commended in the 2022 ACT Notables Awards.

Alison is an academic at the Australian National University and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. For media reviews of her novels visit her fiction website at

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