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From the high seas to the deep seabed, from the latticed verandahs of Buccaneer Bay to the gambling dens in Asia Place, The Pearler's Wife is a stunning debut, inspired by a small yet pivotal moment in Australian history.
A distant land. A dangerous husband. A forbidden love.
It is 1912, and Maisie Porter stands on the deck of the SS Oceanic as England fades from view. Her destination is Buccaneer Bay in Australia's far north-west. Her purpose- marriage to her cousin Maitland, a wealthy pearling magnate - and a man she has never met.
Also on board is William Cooper, the Royal Navy's top man. Following a directive from the Australian government, he and eleven other 'white' divers have been hired to replace the predominantly Asian pearling crews. However, Maitland and his fellow merchants have no intention of employing the costly Englishmen for long . . .
Maisie arrives in her new country to a surprisingly cool reception. Already confused by her hastily arranged marriage, she is shocked at Maitland's callous behaviour towards her - while finding herself increasingly drawn to the intriguing Cooper.
But Maisie's new husband is harbouring secrets - deadly secrets. And when Cooper and the divers sail out to harvest the pearl shell, they are in great danger - and not just from the unpredictable and perilous ocean . . .
'An appealing tale of forbidden love and the perils of an unfamiliar land' Herald Sun
'Dhand's compelling debut explores racism, homosexuality and social class, with a hefty dose of romance thrown in' Sunday Times, Perth
Roxane Dhand was born in Kent and entertained her sisters with imaginative stories from a young age. She studied English and French at London University, and in 1978 she moved to Switzerland, where she began her professional career in public relations. Back in England and many years later on, she taught French in both the maintained and private sectors. Now retired, she is finally able to indulge her passion for storytelling. The Pearler's Wife is her first novel.