When Mark, a newly ordained young English Anglican priest feels called to work with one of the bush brotherhoods in the Australian outback he discovers that all of his recently acquired book learning is one thing; the learning of human character is another.
In a series of episodes meet, along the way, a host of memorable characters, including the formidable Mrs Ezekiel with a finger in every pie, Nails the resourceful undertaker with a claw for a hand, diminutive and surprising Miss Ridley, and the malevolent Ferret.
The story, like a stream, takes us through the rapids of laughter into places where life runs deeply in pools of quiet reflection, but with an undertow that catches at the heart as well as the mind.
This is a book in which each chapter is a story complete in itself, but where the characters merge in the end into driving the tale to a conclusion which contains its own element of the unexpected. It can therefore be an easy and gentle read, one step at a time, or consumed in one delightful whole.
Read it once for the joys of discovery, and then slowly again for the beauty of the language.