Missus takes us behind the lives of Hughie and Mumma, out of the gritty realism of inner city slum life and into the past of the stations, the bush and the country towns. We meet them as they were in the early 1920s, drifter Hugh Darcy, the unwilling hero who sweeps the dreamily innocent Margaret Kilker off her feet. Ruth Park richly creates the turmoil of those early days of their courtship in the dusty outback, filled with beautifully drawn characters that will make you laugh as much as cry. Ruth Park’s Australian classics take you from the barren landscapes of the outback to the colourful slums of Sydney with convincing depth, careful detail and great heart.
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Ruth Park was a New Zealand-born Australian author. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South (1948) and Playing Beatie Bow (1980), and the children's radio serial The Muddle-Headed Wombat (1951–1970), which also spawned a book series.From Publishers Weekly:
An albumful of vividly realized characters bounces into the Australian town of Trafalgar at the turn of the century, all of them Irish, all of them related by blood or by that more ambiguous bond, the spirit. Forebears of characters in the author's two earlier novels, The Harp in the South and Poor Man's Orange (which St. Martin's will also reissue this year), their toilsome lives are beatified by love and the bit of themselves they give up each day for those closest to them. Central are Hugh Darcy and his crippled younger brother Jeremiah, an albatross clinging to Hugh's willing back when, at 14, he beats up their abusive father and leaves home. Although Jer is a burden when Hugh wants to go off with a girl or moves from town to town to find work, he is an authentic charmer, funny, fanciful, gifted with song, and an excellent cook and tailor. Eventually the two return to Trafalgar for their father's funeral and reintroduction to Margaret Kilker, the girl Hugh will eventually marry. But Hugh's penchant for women and the bottle make him a poor prospect and Margaret must wait many years until she becomes a "Missus." The fortunes of these characters are so skillfully interwoven, their histories so sparingly and cogently set forth, that it is as though a brilliant draftsman had in a few lines captured an entire population. This first novel of the trilogy will leave readers eagerly awaiting the succeeding volumes.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Penguin Australia, 1987. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140089438