This is the powerful, almost unnerving story of the Clarke family of Mooroomba Downs, and the O’Shea family of Wandara Station. Both share boundaries with the Great Jooloonga Station of ‘Coloured Sands’ the first novel of the series.
The womanising Jonathor Clarke has deserted his wife and daughter Annie aged 15 for a Boston socialite, selling the herds, leaving the family bereft of funds. This brings his son Benjamin, an English Aristocrat to the family cattle station in Australia. The worthy but arrogant Benjamin vows revenge for his mentally ill mother; but must first
conduct a muster of the scrubberss (wild cattle) so they might ‘start over’ . He has much to learn. Annie is his mentor.
He soon finds his match in the neighbor’s daughter, the highly sexed and stunning Miriam O’Shea, an independent Aussie who dictates her own moral code. Their love cannot endure. They must first be humbled by the consequences of their feuding families.
Ben is at a loss to tame the fearless, Gully Raking (cattle stealing) Annie who hides her bounty in a secret gorge. The Stolen Generations come into play with Josie giving birth to the child fathered by the Boss, a child who is taken into the family and loved wholeheartedly. In return he is grateful for her powerful devotion and determination in managing the household.
Feel the beauty of the Australian bush and know the magic of the aboriginal stockman (witch doctor) Mick, as his powers become one with the ancient mystical eagle, custodian of the secret Dreaming place known as Valley of the Eagle. This wondrous place of caves and moss-covered stones in bubbling creeks, of fern-tree glades and towering sandstone walls will be the final resting place of a much loved family member. Benjamin has to find his way in a world diverse from anything he previously conceived as normal.
The second world War intrudes and interrupts and the huge cattle stations must find beef for the troops.
Tracking the fortunes of the Clark family as they battle the neighbors, the evil son, cattle duffers and their love life will be an unforgettable experience.
First Publication: Strictly Literary – Dec. 1995
Second Publication: Digital Print Australia – September 2006
Third Publication : Bookpal.com.au – November 2008
The novel is set on the central highlands where the Carnarvon Gorge is an oasis in the arid heart of Queensland where grass trees stud the slops rising to huge sandstone escarpments and scattered bottle trees mark the plains. Aboriginal rock art adorns the walls of caves and overhangs. It is one of the most revered spots for The Dreaming and aboriginal art – a sacred, mystical place of ancient folklore where the tribes once gathered.
From the Author
I endeavoured to weave true historical facts concerning our indigenous people into the storyline of people of various other cultures. The characters are encased in the Aboriginal Dreaming, including the mysticism and psychic abilities of the ancient tribes. I know and respect the resilience and diversity of the people who brave the Australian Inland. My characters are distinct, exciting individuals at variance with the world in general.
I especially enjoyed writing about the beauty of the Australian bush, and the wonder and enchantment of the secret gorge (from our very own Carnarvon Gorge).
Writing Valley of the Eagle was an absolute challenge. It is so very different from the first of the series, COLOURED SANDS. My third book joins the characters of both books to complete the Trilogy.
Tracking the fortunes of the Clarke family as they battle the elements, the Outback, their feuding neighbours and their love life will be an unforgettable experience.