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A devastating flood on the Hawkesbury almost wipes out the young colony, bringing to the surface many secrets and desires in this masterpiece of historical fiction

Martin Sparrow is already struggling when the Hawkesbury’s great flood of March 1806 lays waste to him and his farm.

Luckless, lovelorn and deep in debt, the ex-convict is confronted with a choice. He can buckle down and set about his agricultural recovery, or he can heed the whispers of an earthly paradise on the far side of the mountains – a place where men are truly free – and strike out for a new life. But what chance of renewal is there for a man like Sparrow in either the brutal colony or the forbidding wilderness?

The decision he makes triggers a harrowing chain of events and draws in a cast of extraordinary characters, including Alister Mackie, the chief constable on the river; his deputy, Thaddeus Cuff; the vicious hunter, Griffin Pinney; the Romany girl, Bea Faa; and the young Aboriginal men, Caleb and Moowut’tin, caught between war and peace.

Set against the awe-inspiring immensity of the hinterland west of the Hawkesbury River, this epic of chance and endurance is an immersion into another time, a masterpiece of language and atmosphere. Rich, raw, strangely beautiful and utterly convincing, The Making of Martin Sparrow reveals Peter Cochrane – already one of our leading historians – as one of our most compelling novelists.

Reviews

Written in a wonderfully evocative, muscular prose and rich in Biblical cadences, Martin Sparrow just might be Australia's answer to the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

Chris Saliba, Books & Publishing

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780670074068

    April 30, 2018

    Viking

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742537856

    April 30, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    512 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Also by Peter Cochrane

Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914–18
Simpson and the Donkey Anniversary Edition
Governor Bligh & the Short Man: Penguin Special
Governor Bligh and the Short Man: Penguin Special
Colonial Ambition

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The Power Game
The People Smuggler: The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi
The Bat
Down Under
The Toymakers
Dunstan
A Fortunate Life
War and Peace