When the Yarrowee River bursts its banks, Rian Farrell, a dashing Irish sea captain and part-time gunrunner, disappears in the torrential flood. Believing herself a widow, the headstrong and passionate Kitty Farrell's heart is left in tatters after the sudden death of her beloved husband. In her grief, she finally succumbs to the attractions of his long-time shipmate, Daniel, who has loved her from afar for many years.
The consequences are disastrous, and will challenge Kitty Farrell both physically and mentally. The resulting novel is a heady mix of powerful relationships and memorable, passionate characters, whose compelling story plays out against a skilfully depicted and utterly realistic backdrop of Old Ballarat.
A few years ago, I was considering a story about Kitty and Rian set in the goldfields of Otago. For plot reasons, they already had to be familiar with goldmining and the people of the goldfields, so I needed to write a sort of prelude, which was Band of Gold. And, really, what better place for them to have gained that goldmining experience than Ballarat, Australia? I’d heard that Sovereign Hill, Ballarat’s outdoor museum, is fairly amazing, so I went there and it is amazing, and gave me an incredible glimpse of Ballarat in the 1850s and ’60s. Except I never did write a book about Kitty and Rian on the goldfields of New Zealand. I wrote one about them in Hong Kong instead. Oh well.
'This novel is as captivating as the previous two, and gives a colourful insight of what life on the goldfields, and early Melbourne, might have been. Band of Gold is hard to put down – the characterisation and suspense are superb. This editor can barely wait for its sequel.'
Heritage Matters, Issue 24, 2010.
Audio (Bolinda), Large Print (F.A. Thorpe), German