Forty-three-year-old Mary Horton lives in a quiet, middle-class suburb on Sydney's North Shore. A straight-laced, emotionally distant spinster, Mary has worked hard to make a life for herself, but her idea of 'life' does not include personal relationships. With no partner and no friends, Mary has no plans to let anybody into her solitary life.Tim Melville is a twenty-five-year-old labourer with the body and face of a Greek god, but the mind of a child. A gentle outcast in a cruel, unbending world, Tim has a loving family, but is often derided and taken advantage of by his so-called friends.By chance, one summer morning Tim meets Mary and what begins as a day's labour for the kind-hearted young man becomes a life-changing relationship for both of them.
Colleen McCullough was born in New South Wales in 1937. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in hospitals in Australia, the UK and USA before writing her first novel. She lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.
'McCullough is terrific...Her characters quiver with life' The New York Times Book Review.