May 1868: an Aboriginal Australian cricket team begins a tour of England. One of the players is on a quest to explore his Truth, or Dreaming.
Sarah Larkin’s quiet routine, divided between her father’s sick room and the British Library, takes on a completely new aspect when King Cole, aka Brippoki, arrives unannounced on her doorstep, requesting her help. A curious friendship develops as together they research the fate and fortune of Joseph Druce, a convicted felon, transported to New South Wales nearly eighty years earlier: sneak thief, drunkard, cattle rustler, Royal Navy deserter – and quite possibly a murderer.
"This vibrant, intelligent book draws its inspiration from possibly cricket's most remarkable team: the almost forgotten Australian Aborigine side that toured England in 1868. From this unlikely source Hillyer, a first time novelist but possessing considerable assurance as a storyteller, has drafted an intricate tale about two unusual men who effectively exchanged destinies. Hillyer's meticulous research and gift for atmosphere brings London and its rich history to life, from the prim and proper arena that was Lord's in the Victorian era to the ragged filth of the city's backstreets and its inhabitants, his handling of Brippoki's hallucinogenic episodes are skilfully done and his use of Dreaming, a concept often used in modern literature but rarely with a great deal of success, is sensitive and understated. But perhaps his greatest achievement is his ability to inject structure and humour into this tale (fantastic incidental characters steal the spotlight on a regular basis) and the result is a charming, unusual and poignant book." - All About Cricket
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Myriad Editions (11 Mar. 2010)
Size: 138mm x 216mm