1898. Battling deprivation in Ireland, Trella Court has no choice but to turn her husband's brother Brodie out of the house. What else could she do with a family to feed? A bitter Brodie travels to Dublin, where he's offered a passage to Australia - a land, it's rumoured, of untold riches. Arriving in Brisbane, Brodie is soon recruited by the owner of Fairlea cattle station. But the sight of a dazzling opal necklace in a jeweller's window leaves him with a dream. He vows one day to find the mesmerising stones and make his fortune. Brodie adjusts well to life at the station, but when his passionate affair with the spoilt mistress causes trouble, he decides to leave and join the hunt for opals. Yet back in Ireland, a destitute Trella and her son are boarding a ship bound for Australia. Can Brodie's obsession with opals save them from ruin, or will it spell tragedy for them all?
Born in Melbourne, Patricia Shaw worked as a teacher, political journalist and an oral historian, before pursuing a literary career. Her novel THE FIVE WINDS won the prestigious Corine International Book Prize. Patricia lives on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia.