To lose one child - James, so perfect, so quiet, so still - was a tragedy. To lose a second child - Suzanne, a little blaze of sunshine and the image of her mother - was a terrible and lasting burden. And then there was the third child - Hanna, burdened with a terrible secret. Her disappearance was the unkindest cut of all. These three shadows nearly destroy the deep love Betsy Ellis has for Simon, her husband, and threaten to destroy their combined love for Belvedere, their large sheep and cattle station north of Melbourne. Their adventurous lives as immigrants in 1850s Australia are threatened by flood, fire and injury - and a frightening loss of faith. Should they bend with the wind of providence? Can the bright light they thought gone for ever magically rekindle itself with an unforeseen twist of fate? Jan H Kennedy's panoramic saga of Australia in its infancy has a riot of colour, characters, scenery and fascinating historical detail, including the epic voyage of the 'Marco Polo'. It's a real treasure for Australians of all backgrounds, and for anyone with adventure in their veins.