Winner, 2009 Asher Literary Award Three generations, two world wars, one family
The young men who worked in the canefields of northern New South Wales in 1914 couldn't wait to set off for the adventure of war. The women coped as best they could, raised the children, lived in fear of an official telegram. They grieved for those killed, and learnt of worse things than death in combat. They bore more sons to replace those lost, and these were just the right age to go off to the Second World War. The Ghost at the Wedding chronicles events from both sides of war: the horror of the battlefields and the women left at home. Shirley Walker's depictions of those battles – Gallipoli, the Western Front, the Kokoda Track – are grittily accurate, their reverberations haunting. Written with the emotional power of a novel, here isa true story whose sorrow is redeemed by astonishing beauty and strength of spirit.
'Exquisitely written ... A portrait of true Aussie grit and survival not to be missed.' Australian Women's Weekly
'Powerful ... A succession of lightning strikes.' Roger McDonald, Australian Literary Review
'A poignant family war memoir, a tragic love story and a rare literary accomplishment ... A book I must read again.' Warren Brewer, Hobart Mercury
'Convinces utterly, immerses the reader in the experience … Evocative, heartfelt.' Lucy Sussex, Sunday Age