Two women, a century apart, are drawn into a mystery surrounding the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century, the classification of the platypus.
1808 Agnes Banks, NSW
Rose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. Not only does she love him with all her heart, but the discoveries they have made could turn the scientific world on its head. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rose must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.
1908 Sydney, NSW
Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debateable value, gifted to the Mitchell Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more to the book than meets the eye, and more than one interested party. Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer, seems to have his own agenda when it comes to the book but Tamsin decides to work with him to try and discover the book's true provenance. The deeper they delve, the more intricate the mystery becomes.
As the lives of two women a century apart converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences...
Tea Cooper is an established author of contemporary and historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, journalist and farmer.
These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.
To find out more, visit Tea on her website.
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Born into the rough, but still privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father's thumb, all before her twenty–first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family's flagging fortunes.
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As her father's only heir, Catherine Cottingham expects to inherit their sprawling property in the Hunter Valley. What she doesn't understand is why her father is trying to push her into a marriage to the pompous and repulsive Sydney businessman Henry W. Bartholomew.
When the will is read it becomes clear money, or the lack of it, lay behind her father's plans. Catherine is mortified – as a married woman all her possessions will pass to her husband, the overbearing Bartholomew. Her only alternative is to wait until her twenty–first birthday and inherit the property in her own right, but can she elude such a determined man until then?
A chance encounter with a travelling circus and its fiery lead performer, Sergey Petrov, offers the perfect solution and Catherine escapes to the goldfields. But there is more to the circus than spangles and sawdust and Catherine finds herself drawn into a far–reaching web of fraud and forgery...
A stunning new novel from the bestselling author of The Horse Thief and The Cedar Cutter