A priceless 16th century locket threads two riveting stories together in this saga set in and around Darwin, Australia’s ultimate frontier town. Commissioned by a Dutch noblewoman as a gift to present to her beloved on her arrival in the East Indies, the locket becomes a symbol of strength and inspiration for the woman as she struggles to survive the tragic wreck of the Batavia off the West Australian coast, and endure the hideous events that followed. By the time the survivors were rescued from the small island on which they had sought shelter while their captain sailed away in the longboat for help, they were either speechless with horror or had been driven mad by the atrocities they had witnessed and been forced to commit by the bestial crew aflame with bloodlust. A young passenger resolves to escape and is given the locket as a good luck charm. It saves his life when he is discovered washed up on the mainland shore by a tribe of Aborigines, who take him in give him a new life.
This legendary story of disaster and depravity is told in alternating chapters with the story of the Galloway family, station owners, and the story of Darwin itself, from the day it was bombed by Japanese fighter planes during WW2 and nearly flattened, to that extraordinary Christmas Day in 1974 when Darwin was again devastated by ‘fury from the sky’: this time in the form of Cyclone Tracey. Following the course of the locket and the fortunes of the Galloway clan, Judy Nunn tells a breathtaking story of disaster, courage and passion and that Top End spirit that never says die.
First published in 2002, this edition 2007