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Thicker than Water

by Cal Flyn

British journalist Cal Flyn was holidaying in her childhood home in the Highlands of Scotland, when she stumbled upon a dark family secret. To her horror, she discovered that her great-great-great uncle Angus McMillan, who had been mythologized as a great explorer and pioneer of early Australia, was in fact also the leader of a number of gruesome massacres of indigenous people. In 1843, he led a loosely formed ‘Highland brigade’ which were responsible for a series of assaults so ferocious that the sites would ever after be synonymous with bloodshed: Butchers Creek, Boney Point, Skull Creek, Slaughterhouse Gully.

Driven to piece together his story and to confront her own history, Cal decided to retrace McMillan’s journey, looking for answers: How could a man lauded for his generosity and integrity commit such terrible acts? What have been the long-term consequences of his actions for the Gunai people? And has today’s generation inherited a responsibility to atone for its ancestors’ sins?

THICKER THAN WATER, like THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES, is part family memoir, part travelogue, part history – and an intimate, revealing and fascinating journey into our Australian heritage. A beautifully written, wholly compelling and clear-eyed examination of the burden of intergenerational grief and inherited guilt that we all carry with us.



About Cal Flyn

Cal Flyn is a freelance journalist from the Highlands of Scotland. She has been a reporter for the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph, and a contributing editor atThe Week magazine. She has been published in the New Statesman, The Observer, The Independent, Telegraph Magazine and FT Weekend, and won the 2013 Brandt/Independent on Sunday travel writing prize. THICKER THAN WATER is her first book.



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