Where the Willows Weep

Patricia Shaw, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-312-11914-0
The wild and woolly Australia of the 1850s is the setting for Shaw's (The Feather and the Stone) latest romance, a complex and gripping tale brimming with political intrigue, bigotry and star-crossed love. Laura, bold daughter of Member of Parliament Fowler Maskey, and Amelia, scheming daughter of wealthy miner Boyd Roberts, reach womanhood against a background of racial and economic crises and their fathers' political duels in Rockhampton, a raw north-country town situated near gold mines and cattle ranches. Laura is in love with married rancher Paul McNamara, who cannot leave his wife, while Amelia adores ambitious newsman Tyler Kemp. Fleeing a forced marriage to the ruthless Bobby Cope, who's in charge of a Native Mounted Police troop, Laura learns that Amelia's father desires her. Meanwhile, tension escalates between ranchers and Aborigine clans, leading to violence that takes many lives, including that of McNamara's wife, prompting him to set out for the bush to find her killer. There, McNamara meets Wodoro, an intertribal ``courier'' who speaks English, and discovers surprising truths. Elsewhere, meanwhile, a woman looks for her husband's killer, and Amelia is driven to violence of her own. A crowd-pleasing ending crowns this colorful tale. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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