What we love about it: Before the road story there was the sea story. It’s 1825 when Wiremu Heke of Aramoana joins a sealing boat on a voyage from Tasmania to Western Australia. He is a man of conscience. Wiremu is on a quest to avenge the destruction of his village but soon finds himself part of the violent and lawless world that has claimed the lives of those he’s known. It’s a world where the sealers must stick together or perish and their survival depends on the skills and knowledge of the local Indigenous women who are their prisoners. These are women who will defy their captors in daily acts of resistance. Women whose spirits will endure despite everything.
As someone who has made her living from the sea, Sarah brings her authentic experiences to this story. She writes about Australia as a seafarer looking back towards the land from the water. Miles Franklin Award Winner Kim Scott said ‘you can feel the sea, the salt, the wind and jostling waves on every page of this impressive novel.’
Sarah Drummond has completed a PhD in history from Murdoch University. She has had essays and short fiction published in Purple Prose, Shadow Plays: an anthology of speculative fiction, Short Stories Australia, indigo journal, The Best Australian Essays 2010, LINQ Journal, Kurungabaa Journal and Overland. She lives on the south coast of Western Australia where she has worked as fisherwoman. In 2014 Sarah was longlisted for a Dobbie Literary Award and shortlisted for a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for her first book, Salt Story: of Sea-dogs and Fisherwomen.