'On a balmy midsummer's evening in 1923, a young woman - foreign, dishevelled and heavily pregnant - is found unconscious just off the railway tracks in the tiny logging community of Woody Creek.
The town midwife, Gertrude Foote, is roused from her bed when the woman is brought to her door. Try as she might, Gertrude is unable to save her, but the baby lives.
When no relatives come forth to claim the infant, Gertrude's daughter Amber - who has recently lost a son in childbirth - and her husband Norman take the child in. In the ensuing weeks, Norman becomes convinced that God has sent the baby to their door, and in an act of reckless compassion and lonely desperation, he names the baby Jennifer and registers her in place of his son.
Loved by some but scorned by more, including her stepmother and sister, Jenny survives her childhood and grows into an exquisite and talented young woman. But who were her parents?
Spanning two momentous decades and capturing rural Australia's complex and mysterious heart, Pearl in a Cage is the unputdownable new novel by one of our most talented storytellers.' (From the publisher's website.)
Dedicated to my Mum. She's dancing the Charleston in high heels, singing 'Ramona' - out of tune. She's sweeping up stardust to powder her nose, playing hide and go seek with the moon.
To Don, who read the first draft of Pearl in a Cage as the pages came hot from my printer, and to Kay Readdy, insightful friend and trusted early reader, I offer my heartfelt thank you.