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Bettany's Book

by Thomas Keneally

Links between past and present unite two very different sisters. The discovery of letters from an ancestor gives us a fascinating insight into the landscape and horrors of 19th century Australia, and creates some striking parallels for Prim Bettany, an aid worker in contemporary, war-torn Sudan.

Extract

A native child of perhaps four years came tottering along the uneven rise I stood upon ... the boy seized my hand and led me some thirty or forty yards .... Down the far slope of a hill sat a native woman in a fragment of a dress that covered one breast. Foam marked her mouth, and her lips were a little parted. She had rigor and was some hours dead .... 'Is this your Mama?' I asked him.

Parallels

Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
 

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