"'He's using the bloody stockwhip on the poor kid". Together they rushed to the back steps where they could see over the dividing fence of corrugated iron. Joe was playing the whip like a man gone mad while Pat lay writhing on the ground, his Sunday shirt covered in dust and blood."
After a severe horse whipping from his father, Pat is left unconscious and near death. Just 9 years old, he decided then that he was old enough to work for a living and fend for himself - he would never again endure his father?s cruelty.
Spanning three generations of an Irish-Australian family, this powerful story is set against the backdrop of the vast Australian continent from the 1890?s through to the 1950's. The story moves from outback New South Wales to the Jarrah Forests of Western Australia, from suburban Adelaide to the cattle country of the Northern Territory, and finally to tropical North Queensland. It is a story of adventure, of love triumphant in the face of life?s challenges and a victory of ordinary folk over both the mundane and the catastrophic.