Harrowing and Brilliant: Read a Chapter of The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell

Harrowing and Brilliant: Read a Chapter of The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell

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The Drover’s Wife is a harrowing, utterly authentic, brilliantly plotted thriller that explores race, gender, violence and inheritance.

Molly Johnson lives hidden in the country, along an old track, away from others. With her four surviving children, and one on the way, life is tough. Her husband Joe is a drover, away for months at a time, leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves in the rough Australian bush. Molly’s children are everything to her though, and she will protect them at all costs.

Molly finds that she prefers the months when Joe is away. Her oldest son, Danny is really the man of the house, the one charged with keeping his mum and siblings safe. There is plenty out there waiting to harm them: floodwaters, hunger, intruders – both man and reptile. Danny has seen far too much for his young 12 years; things that no child should see.

One night a black ‘story keeper’, Yadaka is found on their doorstep. He’s on the run from authorities in the nearby town and exchanges kindness for shelter. The more time he spends with Molly, the more Molly finds out about her past and about the secrets that could change everything.

Told from varying perspectives, The Drover’s Wife tells a powerful story. We learn about Molly’s tough life and how she handles it, and conversely, we learn of Louisa Clintoff’s life with her loving husband and son, on a great adventure from England to live in Australia. The way these stories intertwine creates a full and compelling story of love, loss, brutality and justice.

Full of fury and power, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is a brave reimagining of the Henry Lawson short story that has become an Australian classic. But it is so much more than just a retelling. It is a story of the harshness of the world we live in, especially the world Molly lived in in 1893. It’s a story of a woman’s strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. As you read further and further, and learn more about what has happened in Molly’s past, the more you understand the choices she has made.

In a world where justice is twisted and the right doesn’t always win, this is a brilliant thriller of our pioneering past, and a harsh and realistic look at gender and race both in our past, but also in today’s world. This book will keep you turning the pages and will stay with you long after finishing.

Buy a copy of The Drover’s Wife here

 

Reviews

Authentic and Brilliant: Read a Review of The Drover's Wife by Leah Purcell

Review | Our Review

17 December 2019

Authentic and Brilliant: Read a Review of The Drover's Wife by Leah Purcell

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        Publisher details

        The Drover's Wife
        Author
        Leah Purcell
        Publisher
        Penguin
        Genre
        Australian Fiction
        Released
        03 December, 2019
        ISBN
        9780143791478

        Synopsis

        Deep in the heart of Australia’s high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly’s children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection – but it can be harder when Joe’s around.At just twelve years of age Molly’s eldest son Danny is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe – from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover’s wife.One night under the moon’s watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind – a black ‘story keeper’, Yadaka. He’s on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path.Full of fury and power, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is a brave reimagining of the Henry Lawson short story that has become an Australian classic. Brilliantly plotted, it is a compelling thriller of our pioneering past that confronts head-on issues of today: race, gender, violence and inheritance.
        Leah Purcell
        About the author

        Leah Purcell

        Leah Purcell is a multi-award-winning and self-made author, playwright, actor, director, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and showrunner. At the heart of her work are female and First Nation themes, characters and issues. The Drover’s Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, which premiered at Belvoir St Theatre in late 2016 and swept the board during the 2017 awards season, winning the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Playwriting and Book of the Year; the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama and the Victorian Prize for Literature; the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Stage Work, Major Work and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre; the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work; and the Sydney–UNESCO City of Film Award. The feature film adaptation of The Drover’s Wife, written, directed and starring Leah Purcell, is slated for a 2020 release. Leah Purcell is a proud Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka Murri woman from Queensland.

        Books by Leah Purcell

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