Prim, an aid-worker in the Sudan, is contacted by her sister back in Australia. She has found some revealing documents concerning their ancestors. As Prim's travels progress, she realises that her life is paralleling the enthusiasms, loves and perilous paths taken by her Jewish great-grandmother.
Inspired by a diary the author discovered while researching THE GREAT SHAME, this epic novel spans several generations of an Australian family from the convict years to the present day. Dimple is a well-known film producer who won fame with a film called Enzo Kangaroo, but she is currently having difficulties getting another film project off the ground. When she discovers the memoirs and letters of her ancestors, John Bettany and Sarah Bernard, she not only sees major omens for her own life but is convinced she's finally found her next film subject. Primrose, her sister, works for an aid organisation in the Sudan and is in love with a Sudanese epidemiologist, Sherif. In an economically ravaged country, Prim's relationship with Sherif is a dangerous connection, made even riskier by investigations they are pursuing into corruption in refugee camps.
Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction, includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. His fiction, includes The Daughters of Mars, The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.
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