The Soldier's Curse

Monsarrat Trilogy

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From the “greatest living practitioner of historical fiction” (Christian Science Monitor) Thomas Keneally and his eldest daughter Meg Keneally comes the first novel in a fast-paced, gripping, and witty historical crime series.

In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally imprisoned for forging documents to pass himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement’s commandant.

His position has certain advantages, including access to the Government House kitchen and outstanding cups of tea from housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who is his most intelligent companion. But things change when the commandant heads off on assignment and his beautiful wife, Honora, suddenly falls ill. Only when she dies does it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned.

Monsarrat and Mrs. Mulrooney suspect the commandant’s right hand man, Captain Diamond, a cruel man who shared an intimate history with Honora. But when Diamond has Mrs. Mulrooney arrested for the murder, Monsarrat must find the real killer in order to exonerate this innocent woman and his good friend in this thrilling and whip-smart mystery.
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About the author

Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-three novels since, most recently Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, and the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. His novels include Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.

Meg Keneally started her working life as a junior public affairs officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, before moving to Dublin to work as a sub-editor and freelance features writer. On returning to Australia, she joined the Daily Telegraph as a general news reporter, founded a public relations company, and has worked in corporate affairs. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 12, 2017
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781501167188
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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See entire series

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International bestseller

Elderly and in poor health, Mary fulfils her wish to herself to live out her last days on Bruny Island with only her regrets and memories for company. A long time ago, her late husband was the lighthousekeeper on Bruny, and she'd raised a family on the wild windswept island, until terrible circumstances forced them back to civilisation. The long-buried secret that has haunted her for decades now threatens to break free and she is hoping to banish it once and for all before her time is up. But secrets have a life of their own, and as Mary relives the events that led up to the shattering revelation, she realises she needs to trust a later generation to put things right. As she steadily weakens, she imposes herself on the island's ranger, Leon, who is reluctant to become nursemaid to Mary and resentful that he appears to have little choice in the matter. He has problems of his own and the last thing he needs is another drain on his time.

Mary's adult children are respectively outraged, non-committal and sympathetic, but no amount of coaxing, pleading or threats will shake her resolve. Her youngest son Tom loves Bruny as much as his mother does, and can understand her primal connection to that wild island, a place of solitude, healing and redemption for them both.

Years before Tom had spent a winter working on a base in Antarctica and had returned from that empty loneliness to find his marriage over and his life destroyed. Not for nothing do Antarctic regulars call that gruelling experience The Division of Broken Marriages and Shattered Lives. Still wounded, Tom lives a simple life in Hobart, unable and unwilling to make real connections with people in case he gets hurt again. But then he meets Emma, newly returned from Antarctica and as open and welcoming as Tom is not. Will Tom be healed by Emma's interest, or come to terms with his first trip there?

As Mary's time winds down, both she and Tom must face their pasts in ways they cannot even begin to imagine. And Mary finds that the script she's written to the end of her life has taken on a few twists of its own. The Lightkeeper's Wife is a moving and redemptive story of love, loss and family, and what we have to do to live the best kind of life.
The bestselling author of Schindler’s List and The Daughters of Mars returns with a remarkable novel about the friendship between a quick-witted young woman and one of history’s most intriguing figures, Napoleon Bonaparte, during the final years of his life in exile on St. Helena—hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “insightful and nimble...consistently fresh and engaging...call[ing] to mind the giants of 19th century fiction.”

In October 1815, after losing the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte was banished to the island of Saint Helena. There, in one of the most remote places on earth, he lived out the final six years of his life. On this lonely island with no chance of escape, he found an unexpected ally: a spirited British girl named Betsy Balcombe who lived on the island with her family. While Napoleon waited for his own accommodations to be built, the Balcombe family played host to the infamous exile, a decision that would have devastating consequences for them all.

In Napoleon’s Last Island, “master of character development and period detail” (Kirkus Reviews) Thomas Keneally recreates Betsy’s powerful and complex friendship with the man dubbed The Great Ogre, her enmities and alliances with his remaining courtiers, and her dramatic coming-of-age. Bringing a shadowy period of history to life with a brilliant attention to detail, Keneally tells the untold story of one of Europe’s most enigmatic, charismatic, and important figures, and the ordinary British family who dared to forge a connection with him.
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