The Heart of the Continent

Nancy Cato, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-312-02927-2
The compelling terrain of the Australian outback, the setting of this grandly proportioned novel, draws two women--Alix Macfarlane and, later, her daughter Caro--to their fates. First met in the early part of this century, Alix is the daughter of wealthy landowners in Adelaide, chafing at her parents' expectations that she will marry and settle into their well-bred society. Against their wishes, idealistic Alix pursues a nursing degree and then works in an outback clinic where she finds the primitive conditions and the desert land harsh but fulfilling. After marriage to a farmer, Alix moves deeper into ``the red heart of Australia, belonging as the Aborigines belonged to a dream-time thousands of years old.'' Widowed during WW I, Alix begins a career with the airborne medical services; it is Caro, however, a pilot as well as nurse in WW II, who will bring Alix's aspirations to fruition. As in her All the Rivers Run , Cato conveys the haunting allure of a beautiful but unforgiving land, within the context of a captivating story. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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