Judy and Wes fall in love instantly and from the beginning are rarely apart. Yet they never really share their ambitions and passions with each other. Son of a preacher, Wes, is passionate about everything and a particular cause is the battle against the French nuclear testing in the Pacific. And boatbuilding and sailing.Judy, the daughter of a prominent scientist activist, 'doesn't believe in things' as she is told over and over. When, really, it just takes her a bit longer to find her passions and causes, which are nature and wildlife. And boatbuilding and sailing. Judy, has a way of drawing people in close. People like to do things for her. After being shipwrecked off New Zealand where they had sailed to protest the French nuclear testing, Judy finds herself unable to forgive Wes for risking her life and turns her back on him. But she doesn't stop loving him. Wes, rebuffed, has headed off to disappear from the infamy the shipwreck brought him. A beautiful novel about escaping family, creating families and, sometimes, returning to biological families.
Roger McDonald was born at Young, NSW, and educated at country schools and in Sydney. He began his working life as a teacher, ABC producer, and book editor, wrote poetry for several years, but in his thirties turned to fiction, expressing the feeling that for him, at least, poetry was "unable to express a full range of characters and moods, the larger panorama of Australian life that I felt was there to portray". His first novel was 1915, a novel of Gallipoli, winner of the Age Book of the Year, and made into a highly successful eight-part ABC-TV mini-series (now on DVD). Since 1980 McDonald has lived on farms (no farm animals except poultry and a corrugated iron sheep, these days) outside Braidwood, with intervals spent in Sydney and New Zealand. His account of travelling the outback with a team of New Zealand shearers, Shearers' Motel, won the National Book Council Banjo Award for non-fiction. His bestselling novel Mr Darwin's Shooter, was awarded the New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian Premiers' Literary Awards. The Ballad of Desmond Kale won the 2006 Miles Franklin Award and South Australian Festival Prize for Fiction. A long story that became part of When Colts Ran was awarded the O. Henry Prize (USA) in 2008. His new novel is The Following.