The Making of Martin Sparrow
Colonies are built on dreams, but some dreams threaten ruin.Set against the awe-inspiring immensity of the hinterland west of the Hawkesbury River, this epic of chance and endurance is an immersion into another time, a masterpiece of language and atmosphere.Ex-convict Martin Sparrow is already a lazy, lovelorn and deep-in-debt failure when his farm is wrecked by the great flood of March 1806. In the aftermath he is confronted with a choice. He can buckle down and set about his agricultural recovery, or he can heed the whispers of an earthly paradise on the far side of the mountains - a place where men are truly free - and strike out for a new life. But what chance does a ditherer such as Sparrow have of renewal, either in the brutal colony or in the forbidding wilderness? The decision he makes triggers a harrowing chain of events and draws in a cast of extraordinary characters, including Alister Mackie, the chief constable on the river; his deputy, Thaddeus Cuff; the vicious hunter, Griffin Pinney; the Romany girl, Bea Faa; and the young Aboriginal men, Caleb and Moowut'tin, caught between war and peace. Rich, raw, strangely beautiful and utterly convincing, The Making of Martin Sparrow reveals Peter Cochrane - already one of our leading historians - as one of our most compelling novelists.
Peter Cochrane is a widely published historian and writer based in Sydney. He is best known for his book Colonial Ambition- Foundations of Australian Democracy, which won the inaugural Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History and the Age Book of the Year in 2007. His first venture into fiction was the novella Governor Bligh and the Short Man. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.