The Cedar Tree - Nicole Alexander
9780143786856 Penguin Random House
Spanning two centuries, Nicole Alexander’s compelling new novel is a story of love and faith, destiny and betrayal, in a land as richly diverse as the secrets it keeps.
In the spring of 1949, Stella O’Riain flees her home – a sheep property on the barren edge of the Strzelecki Desert. She leaves behind the graves of her husband Joe and her baby daughter.
With no money and limited options, Stella accepts her brother-in-law Harry’s offer to live at the O’Riain cane farm in the Richmond Valley. There she hopes to get answers to the questions that plague her about her marriage. However Harry refuses to discuss Joe or the family’s secrets, even forbidding her to speak to the owner of the neighbouring property.
Nearly a century earlier in County Tipperary, Irish cousins Brandon and Sean O’Riain also fled their homes – as wanted criminals. By 1867, they are working as cedar-cutters in New South Wales’s lush green Richmond Valley.
But while Brandon embraces the opportunities this new country offers, Sean refuses to let go of the past. And one cousin is about to make a dangerous choice that will have devastating consequences down the generations . . .