Release Date: November 1st 2014.
Publisher: Random House Australia.
Synopsis from the Random House Australia website:
Nicole Alexander, the ‘heart of Australian storytelling’, takes us on a captivating journey from the American Wild West to the wilds of outback Queensland, from the Civil War to the Great Depression, in an epic novel tracing one powerful but divided family.
It is Dallas 1886, and the Wade Family is going from strength to strength: from a thriving newspaper and retail business in Texas to a sprawling sheep station half a world away in Queensland.
Yet money and power cannot compensate for the tragedy that struck twenty-three years ago, when Joseph Wade was slaughtered and his seven-year-old daughter Philomena was abducted by Apache Indians.
Only her uncle, Aloysius, remains convinced that one day Philomena will return. So when news reaches him that the legendary Geronimo has been captured, and a beautiful white woman discovered with him, he believes his prayers have been answered.
Little does he know that the seeds of disaster have just been sown.
Over the coming years three generations of Wade men will succumb to an obsession with three generations of mixed-blood Wade women: the courageous Philomena, her hot-headed granddaughter Serena, and her gutsy great-granddaughter Abelena – a young woman destined for freedom in a distant red land. But at what price . . . ?
What a read! I feel breathless. The Great Plains was an epic generational saga that drew me in from the first pages and held me captivated throughout. It was such an emotional read and I am still reeling from it.
Aloysius hasn’t given up hope that his niece, Philomena, is still alive, even though it’s been over twenty years since she was taken captive by Native Americans. When news come of her being found, Aloysius can hardly believe it. But she is nothing like the child her remembers. She has grown into a woman – a Native American woman, and she has a daughter in tow.
He wants to bring her back into the family, but she is too far gone and all his hope dies. Until his great niece gives birth to a white baby. He sees it at a chance to save the baby the way he couldn’t save Philomena. Little does he know the trouble he is about to bring on his family.
Serena, the babe, grows up in Aloysius house, but she never truly belongs. Her Native American blood pulls from within her. She finds herself trapped between two worlds, belonging to none. She runs away, turning her back on the Wades, feeling they never really wanted her.
But Philomena and her kin have gotten under the skin of the Wade men , and they can’t help but feel fiercely for the women. When Serena’s daughter, Abelena, finds herself homeless and in trouble, Aloysius grandson can’t help but help the girl. But the curse that seemed to plague the Wades has continued throughout each generation and Abelena is determined to be rid of it once and for all.
There were so many things to love about this book. Our three strong protagonist got under my skin just as surely as they did the Wade men. They were so full of personality and leapt of the page. They have met a lot of hardship, but they are fighters and they don’t give up and let others stand in their way.
The book was very much about place and belonging. These three women struggled between two worlds and belonging to neither.
We also had a duel setting, which I loved. We saw the comparison between two different lands – America and Australia – and despite their difference they were both harsh lands with people that didn’t treat the natives well.
The Great Plains was a heart-wrenching family drama. A well-written story full of vivid descriptions and true to life characters. It will captivate you and pull you in, and it will have you holding your breath until the final page. The Great Plains was a thrilling historical drama, I highly recommend it.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.
A fourth-generation grazier, Nicole returned to her family’s property in the early 1990s. She is currently the business manager there and has a hands-on role in the running of the property.
Nicole has a Master of Letters in creative writing and her novels, poetry, travel and genealogy articles have been published in Australia, Germany, America and Singapore.
She is the author of five novels: The Bark Cutters, A Changing Land, Absolution Creek, Sunset Ridge and The Great Plains.