For perhaps the first time in novel form, Benevolence presents an important era in Australia’s history from an Aboriginal perspective. A major strength of the novel is its dramatisation of the atmosphere, milieu and identity ambiguity in the early days of the Sydney white colony.
At an early age Muraging is given over to the Parramatta Native School by her Darug father. From here she embarks on a journey of discovery and a search for a safe place to make her home. She runs away with a tribal warrior, Boothurri, who she loses in the frontier war. Muraging is constantly on the move and living in the margins between her traditional people and the colonists, who are intent upon Christianising, assimilating and incarcerating her countrymen.
Benevolence is a story told from the perspective of Darug woman, Muraging (Mary James), born around 1813. Mary’s was one of the earliest Darug generations to experience the impact of British colonisation. The novel spans the years 1816–1835 and is set around the Hawkesbury River area, the home of the Darug people, Parramatta and Sydney. A work of historical fiction, the author interweaves historical events and characters and she shatters stereotypes and puts a human face to this Aboriginal perspective.
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This story strikes deep into Australia's heart. An epic story of a young Aboriginal single mother's awakening of identity and compassion in a remote Northern Territory community in 1976. This land holds a terrible secret of immense proportions, the earth is red with the memory. The old people are living witnesses to the past with all its misery and need for survival.
Jane Reynolds is swept up in a year of wonders, as she negotiates her place between the black and white societies. She finds love with two charismatic men and meets traditional Aboriginal elders who change her life forever. Jane fights alongside the Lanniwah for land rights and finds respect and redemption for herself.
The great granddaughter of a Darug Hawkesbury river Aboriginal woman, Jane takes a journey to recognise her identity and is drawn into the world of race relations in the face of 1970s prejudice and discrimination. She is a teacher from Sydney, and begins a position on the remote cattle property, Harrison Station, south of Arnhem Land. Jane arrives with her five-year-old son Aaron, but she is unmarried and this is a problem amongst conservative rural folk. There are confrontations with the racist cattle station boss, Hubert Barkley and his wife Edie, but Jane is entangled in their lives.
Published by Cyclops Press 2015
From the World War 1 Middle Eastern Theatre of War, the Desert Campaign and the Light Horse military victory, to a quiet family life in a gold mining town. Albert, an Australian returned soldier, tells wild stories of bravery while Iris, his daughter, copes with his tumultuous return.
We follow a few years in the life of Iris, a teenage girl and her family in Boulder, Kalgoorlie in the Gold Fields of West Australia after 1918. A ghost of a horse has followed Albert home to haunt the family.
Albert spends his Sunday afternoons drinking beer from a crate in the backyard, with fantastic memories of ‘The Great Ride’ into Beersheba and Damascus.
Iris hears it all and tries to keep her loyalty to her father in the face of his love of a drink, torrid affairs and the departure of her mother, Ailish.
Iris asserts her feisty identity and becomes a courageous young woman in search of a better life.