The Making of Martin Sparrow by Peter Cochrane

martinsparrow
1. Cover. Published by Penguin 2. First lines. 3. Convict leg irons. Source: Victoria Collections  4. Convict ball and chain: Source: Sydney Living Museums  5. “Man with a spear-thrower” by Herbert Basedow Source: Wikipedia Commons 6.  Background: Colo River Gorge, Wollomi National Park. Source: Flickr
A cast of larger than life characters, their dialogue wryly humorous, but sometimes filled with touching pathos.

The Plot: The hapless ex-convict, Martin Sparrow, indebted and bound to stay at the settlement on the Hawkesbury River, is lured into believing there’s a village beyond the mountains. After the flood ruins the crops on his farm, he plans to escape over the mountains to the paradise he thinks is there. As friends and other acqaintances aid and abet him, he finds himself drawn along on a series of events, the consequences of which are often tragic.


The Reviews: “a well-paced narrative and rich description of both landscape and character in this impressive novel” Full review: Sydney Morning Herald 

“a book well worth the reading. Its language, the accuracy of its depiction of life in the colony, the tension created by Martin’s escape and its consequences all contribute to an excellent historical novel.” Full review: Queensland Reviewers Collective

 

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