In the spring of 1949, Stella O'Riain flees her home - a sheep property on the barren edge of the Strzelecki Desert. She leaves behind the graves of her husband Joe and her baby daughter.
With no money and limited options, Stella accepts her brother-in-law Harry's offer to live at the O'Riain cane farm in the Richmond Valley. There she hopes to get answers to the questions that plague her about her marriage. However Harry refuses to discuss Joe or the family's secrets, even forbidding her to speak to the owner of the neighbouring property.
Nearly a century earlier in County Tipperary, Irish cousins Brandon and Sean O'Riain also fled their homes - as wanted criminals. By 1867, they are working as cedar-cutters in New South Wales's lush-green Richmond Valley.
But while Brandon embraces the opportunities this new country offers, Sean refuses to let go of the past. And one cousin is about to make a dangerous choice that will have devastating consequences down the generations . . .
A fourth-generation grazier, Nicole returned to her family's property in the early 1990s. She is currently the business manager there.
Nicole has a Master of Letters in creative writing and her novels, poetry, travel and genealogy articles have been published in Australia, Germany, America and Singapore.
She is the author of nine other novels- The Bark Cutters, A Changing Land, Absolution Creek, Sunset Ridge, The Great Plains, Wild Lands, River Run, An Uncommon Woman and Stone Country.
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