Following Nancy – the granddaughter of the infamous Clancy of the Overflow – as she fights to keep her family together, To Love a Sunburnt Country is the story of Australia at war.
Spanning from the jungles of Malaya to the heart of rural Australia, French's impeccable storytelling is grounded in historical accounts both fascinating and deeply personal to the author herself. Her own father's military service is woven into the tale and so too is the forgotten history of the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea.
-This book is about people who do their best, even if that best falls far below what we expect of humanity,' says French, who is the NSW finalist for Senior Australian of the Year. -We bear witness to the anguish and horror so that it will not be repeated.
-It is the hardest book I have ever had to write. I hope it is also far beyond any work I have done before.'
To Love a Sunburnt Country is confronting and heartbreaking. It is a book that readers will not and should not ever forget.
The Australian of the Year awards will be announced in Canberra on January 25th, 2015.
About the book:
The year is 1942 and the world is at war. Nancy Clancy has spent a year droving, just like her grandfather Clancy of the Overflow was famed for. Now Nancy's family has sent her to Malaya to bring home her sister-in-law Moira and baby Gavin. Moira is British and married to Nancy's brother Ben, who is now a soldier. Malaya is under threat from the Japanese, but despite the warnings Moira has resisted leaving as she wants to stay near her husband.
When Malaya is invaded, Nancy, Moira and Gavin are fortunate to get out before Singapore falls. When their ship is bombed they end up stranded on an island where they, and some other colonial women, are captured. There begins the nightmare and horror of internment in a Japanese camp. Back home at Gibber's Creek families are doing their bit for the war.
They worry constantly about their men who are fighting - and now those who are missing after Singapore falls. Written by one of Australia's most respected and admired authors, To Love a Sunburnt Country is powerful, compelling and confronting and a book that pulls no punches. Filled with emotional truth and heartfelt agony, this book is truly unforgettable.
Jackie French has written over 140 fiction and non-fiction books. Her writing career spans 25 years and includes 248 wombats, 3,721 bush rats, 36 languages and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas. Jackie has been a full time writer for over twenty years, and is passionate about history, the environment and the conservation of wildlife and our planet.
To Love a Sunburnt Country
Author: Jackie French