The Dreaming: A Novel of Australia

Barbara Wood, Author, Kate Medina, Editor Random House (NY) $20 (453p) ISBN 978-0-394-56592-7
This opulent, slightly overdone epic chronicles Australia, grand and still untamed, in a time of tremendous growth. Recently orphaned Joanna Drury sails to Melbourne from England in 1871, intending to ferret out the secrets that killed her mother, Lady Emily, who dreamed of serpents and wild dogs and died mysteriously suffering from symptoms similar to rabies. Joanna has inherited her mother's dreams and, she fears,her fate. The cause of her mother's elusive malady, she believes, lies in Lady Emily's childhood in Australia. But soon after landing, the lonely and beautiful Joanna falls in love and marries handsome Hugh Westbrook. They settle into a loving, though not always peaceful life on Hugh's rapidly growing sheep station and raise two children, Adam and Beth. But bad luck and frightening thoughts continue to haunt Joanna, and her search for Karra Karra, a place somewhere in the outback, which the dying Lady Emily directed her to find, leads Joanna and 12-year-old Beth into a dangerous part of Australia where few whites have gone before. While tales of the aborigines' intriguing culture add a particular and welcome atmosphere to this romantic saga, the enigmatic mysticism central to the plot prevents the reader from becoming totally absorbed in Joanna's plight. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71593-0
Paperback - 411 pages - 978-0-595-43335-3
Paperback - 422 pages - 978-1-59652-860-4
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