In Valerie's lifelong search for her identity, and her sense of belonging, she will discover not only her parentage, but also her family history. What she uncovers is a wealth of true ancestral stories of pioneering and determination. Her forbears came from all corners of Great Britain, the first of which arrived in the Colony of New South Wales in 1808. Some arrived in chains — others came freely. Among their stories was a mid-Atlantic sinking; an unjust and cruel period in the history of the military penal colony of Norfolk Island, and a glimpse into the first share farming venture in Australia. Family chronicles were discovered stretching from the early settlement along the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers, to the beginning of the Mitchell-Line-of-Road past Rydal to Bathurst in the 1830's, and also from Bathurst to Orange, Grenfell to Coonabarabran, and from New England to the North-West Plains. The author has mingled these true-life sagas with a dash of fiction to weave her family tree, not only as a memorial to these pioneers but, essentially, to reinforce the need of every human being to know the intrinsic truth of their own origins.