One the island

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2005
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- It is 1912. Surrounded by water and cut off from the world, the lonely beauty of Oxley Island is both solace and threat to Nellie Shiner, a tentative, unworldly 18-year-old housemaid who spent her childhood in an orphanage and her adolescence in the home of an Anglican minister. When her sister, Dora, finds her a position on a dairy farm near Taree, she seizes the opportunity to do something different with her life, and to be closer to Dora. But the farm - stranded in the mouth of the Manning River - is not what she expects, and its inhabitants make her uneasy. The unconventional owner, Mrs Bentwood, has lost her husband in mysterious circumstances and her son, Horrie, slack-jawed and simple, may not be what he appears. It is the silent Aboriginal servant, Albert, who seems to offer the most hope for friendship, but Nellie soon discovers that Albert, too, has more to hide than just his strange, blue eyes. Wound through the unfolding story of love and brutality are the letters she writes after an act of violence. Who are the letters for, and how did she survive the shooting? It is the river itself, with all its secret places, which may provide an answer. On the Island is a novel set in the past but exploring the timeless concern of our place in the world.
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