Return for the Gold
Publisher:Random House New Zealand Ltd
Mary Kendrick lives with her family in their isolated community in South Westland. As this stand-alone sequel to Swag andamp; Tucker opens, they await news of the conviction of the men who took the community's horde of gold at gunpoint, and hid it nearby. Daily life in the settlement u where the men dig gold on the beaches, and fell trees inland for cattle pasture, and the women are engrossed in domestic work and childcare u is woven through with the thread of anxiety that the robbers will come back for the gold, especially once news breaks that the dangerous John Southern has given his jailers the slip in Lyttelton Harbour. Feisty, funny, affectionate and resourceful, Mary is seventeen, teacher to her siblings and neighbours, and anticipating her marriage to Nik who is away most of the time clearing bush and preparing their inland farm and house. A bright, likeable protagonist, Mary is worth any modern girl's attention.Drama and suspense are provided by the trickle of news from Christchurch about the trial and Southern's 'escape'; perilous travel by coach and horseback; storm and flood; children lost and a baby born in the bush; cattle herding; building houses and farms from scratch; and Mary's anticipation of her new life with Nik. John Southern turns up in disguise, fooling Mary only momentarily. She rides for help; the men stake out the site of the hidden gold; there's shooting, some blood and a death, but they get their man and the gold.
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