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Best-selling novelist Catherine Jinks confirms her talent for wonderful story-telling in this beautifully researched and absorbing historical novel. With romance, hardship and the strength of the human spirit, Jinks tells the story of Dorothea Brande who, in 1814, accompanies her soldier husband to the brutal colony of Sydney, Australia.
I am cast upon this unfriendly shore, dearest Margaret, and without your abiding affection feel utterly exposed to every blow that fate might bestow on me. How I long for you. How I long for England. How wretched I am, here at the outer limit of the world!
In 1814, Dorothea Brande leaves the quiet harmony of her Devonshire home and accompanies her officer husband, Charles, to the colony of New South Wales. Here she endeavours to escape the harshness of the landscape-and the appalling brutality of common existence-by cultivating an English garden with the help of her convict manservant, Daniel. Together, in the creation of this garden, two bereft and disoriented people find a new strength and a special kind of refuge.
But while Dorothea begins to adapt to the unforgiving environment, her husband is increasingly destroyed by it-until at last they stand on opposite sides of an unbridgeable gulf.
Absorbing, deftly handled and beautifully written, The Gentleman's Garden is a wonderful, romantic novel of a woman's difficult personal journey in a time of a developing Australian society.