Woman of the Inner Sea

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9780452271777: Woman of the Inner Sea

Why would wealthy Kate Gaffney-Kozinsky flee her husband, lover, family, and society? What can she find by losing herself in the bleak Australian outback? The fascinating answers shape a novel that gives new definition to a woman's strength and endurance. Kate's odyssey takes her from a privileged girlhood, through her meaningless marriage to a lawless tycoon, and an empty erotic affair with a true-blue gentleman. But when her life of pampered pleasure gives way to one of unspeakable tragedy, all certainties are shattered, and Kate is plunged into a blind gamble on an unknown future in the middle of nowhere. The job she finds, the lovers she takes, and her final confrontation with her husband's power and her own past self interweave comedy, irony, drama, suspense, and wondrously affirmative human revelation. With its vivid setting, its cross-section of colorful characters, and, at its center, its passionate heroine caught in a nightmare of grief and deception, Women of the Inner Sea is at once startlingly intimate and universally appealing. It adds a new dimension and fresh luster to one of the major literary reputations of our time. 

"One of the finest storytellers in the business . . . at the top of his form . . . an extraordinary, eloquently written tale."—The Boston Globe

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About the Author:

Thomas Keneally has won international acclaim for his novels Schindler's Ark, Confederates, Gossip from the Forest, Playmaker, Woman of the Inner Sea, and A River Town. He is most recently the author of the biography American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Kate Gaffney-Kozinski is a rich young exurban Sydney matron, born well and married well into a Polish-Australian construction dynasty. She lives with her children, a boy and girl, in a beachfront house of magnificence, where she's too rarely joined by husband Paul, busy with his various political/financial schemes and a new mistress. When Kate cannot abide it any longer, she seeks comfort from her father over dinner; and while she's away with him at a restaurant, her house burns, killing the children and the babysitter. Kate retreats in instinctive horror, driving herself like a spike to be buried into the outback, coming to rest finally in the unpromising desert (but often flood-ridden) town of Myambagh. ``In training for being beneath notice,'' she becomes a barmaid, the associate of three kind, rough men: Jack, the taverner; Jelly, a local man renowned for saving the town once before with dynamite that blew a hole to let the floodwaters escape; and Gus, a farmer whose mission has been to rescue a pet kangaroo and pet emu from a theme park he'd in a lapsed moment sold them to. While Kate's in Myambagh, there's another flood--a dramatic affair that destroys much, but out of which Kate emerges with her soul half-restored (partly thanks, in the most poetic and stirring side-melody here, to Chifley, the pet kangaroo). Kate eventually returns to Sydney, to discover a horrifying truth about the fire that killed her children; and, in a long tragic spasm of fatality, to do something about it. One of Keneally's best--on a par with Confederates (1980) and Schindler's List (1982)--a book so psychically expansive yet visually potent that you read thinking what a great film it would make, then at some point change your mind and think opera instead. The book is charged with indelible characterizations, and Keneally's prose is compact, stinging, and near-perfect, moving you back and forward into action majestically. An unforgettable novel by one of the finest moral imaginations in literature. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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