From a bestselling Australian author, this compellingly realised novel brings to life the story of an enigmatic figure, wife to feted colonial architect Francis Greenway, and asks, whose hand really shaped Sydney? Who is the talented Mrs Greenway?
1814 Sydney When Mary Greenway, freshly arrived from the old country, steps into the maelstrom of Sydney Town with three children at her skirts, she has high hopes of a new beginning, despite having little money and a husband in irons. After all, the sudden death of her sadistic first husband has meant freedom from her gilded cage and Francis Greenway is an architect of some promise, under the protection of Admiral Phillip himself.
Mary herself is a woman of great resources and an even greater creative passion, a passion that will surely burn through anything that the filthy, burgeoning, vitality of colonial Sydney can throw at her. Soon ensconced in a tiny cottage in George Street, Mary sets about moulding a life for her family from the unpromising clay of this new colony, with a determination fired in equal parts by guilt for her disastrous past action that nearly brought ruin to them all and desire to see her true calling realised.
When she is befriended by Elizabeth Macquarie it seems that fate is smiling on them with the promise of a better life in her grasp. But fate is a difficult mistress and with past secrets to keep, and current betrayals on the brink of discovery, the stakes are higher than ever. With Mary's grip on this new life slipping, will her past lies come back to haunt her?