Published: Lightning Books (February 2018)
Three generations, two continents, one forgotten secret
2014: Clare and her father travel to Venice from New Zealand. She is fleeing a broken marriage; he is in failing health and wants to return one last time to the place where, as a young man, he spent happy years as a rugby player and coach. While exploring the city, Clare discovers there is more to her father's motives for returning than she realised, and time may be running out for him to put old demons to rest.
1942: Joe and Harry, two Kiwi POWs in Italy, manage to escape their captors, largely due to the help of a sympathetic Italian family show shelter them on their farm. Soon they are fighting alongside the partisans in the mountains, but both men have formed a bond with Donatella, the daughter of the family – a bond that will have dramatic repercussions decades later.
The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions in which families from opposite ends of the earth discover a legacy of love, blood and betrayal.
“The Antipodeans is a gripping, skilfully constructed novel that knows more than any single novel has a right to know about the hazards of both love and war, loyalty and betrayal, Italian politics over the past eighty years and, oh yes, rugby.”
Charles Lambert, author of The Children’s Home
“Like a Venetian Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Antipodeans lifts the lid on the violent, messy recent history of a part of Europe which is now a tourist mecca and tells a rich, intense story of decades-old wrongs of the heart. It does it with such humanity, you won’t want to put it down.”
Simon Edge, author of The Hopkins Conundrum
“A truly engrossing and superbly woven tale, The Antipodeans is a spellbinding read. Bravissimo!”
Ian Thornton, author of The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms
“Finding out how the past has shaped and informed the present gives this enthralling book the tautness of a thriller ... Remarkable.”
“A big narrative ... The plot is gaunt yet speedy; characters are complex and convincing; setting is evoked deftly.”
“A big powerful, emotional novel, both love story and war story, that will stay with me for a very long time. Stunning. Seldom am I so affected and moved by a work of fiction.”
“A captivating and compelling story… A quality mix of history, family bonds, secrets, loves and lies – I can see why it spent almost a year on the bestseller chart in New Zealand. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
“This is the first UK publication of the epic wartime love story that took New Zealand by storm. It’s now taking me by storm. I can’t put it down.”