The Digger's Daughter

She was trying to slip out of the house in Geelong when David caught sight of her. “Where are you going to all dressed up in your finery?” he sneered.
“I'm getting married,” she said, in defiance because an argument was inevitable.
“You’re not old enough to marry without Mam's permission.”
“Well she's away in Melbourne, so she's not here to give it.”
“You'll break her heart again. Don’t you think she’s had enough trouble of late?”
“No, she'll be pleased when she meets John. He's a good catch.”
“You’re just another of his children to bring her sorrow; Hannah, Jacob, James, Sarah and now you. You're all the same,” he said, in disgust.
“That's not true,” she was angry. “You’re just a loser and always will be, but I'm going to make something of myself, so I can look after Mother.”
“Make something of yourself! A convict’s daughter with such airs and graces, well you can leave Mother to me. I'll be the one looking after her.”
“Convict, what do you mean? Father wasn't a convict?”
“Where do you think he got those stripes on his back?”
“The navy, Mother said he'd been in the navy and they flog sailors, don't they?”
“A chain gang, that's where he got the lash, hundreds by the look of his scars. Mother too, she came to Australia as a convict. Do you think your fancy man would marry you if he knew he was marrying a currency girl, the daughter of convicts?” David was scornful.
“How do you know they were convicts?” Jane cried, on the verge of tears. “They never mentioned it.”
“I lived in the bloody convict orphanage for four years, didn’t I? Do you think I can forget that misery? But don’t worry I’ll not stop you from marrying this fellow. I suppose you’ve already lied to him about your age and religion because you wouldn’t be rushing to marry him if he were Catholic, or are you in the family way? No, I’ll not stop you because I don’t care what you do.”
He stormed out of the house, banging the door behind him, while Jane shook with rage and horror. If it were true, it explained much, but if John found out would he call off the wedding? Jane stood in the hallway of the house wondering what to do and then she decided to act as if nothing had happened.

Synopsis
Set in Geelong and the goldfields of Australia, this sequel to Search for the Light follows Helen’s daughter, Jane, who proves to be the most resilient of her siblings. Strong, single-minded, tough; she is determined to survive everything life throws at her. Based on the life of Jane Dugmore Timms, this fictional account is a dramatic, gritty, historical adventure. It follows the life of the early settlers in Victoria, Australia. Bush Fires, Bush Rangers, Gold Diggers, and rebellion all feature in Jane’s early life. But she and her Scottish, Presbyterian husband are driven to succeed against all probability. She is a convict’s daughter who manages to escape her background, building a life of relative prosperity for her numerous children. All the time, the threat of bankruptcy haunts her family. One fire, one drought can bring all she has striven for tumbling down. Jane never talks about the past, hiding her background from everyone. Her son, Joseph, mixed with the great and the good, from Dame Nellie Melba, the opera singer to Sir Sydney Kidman, the cattle baron, but only Jane knows the truth about the family’s lowly origins and her shameful secret. Nearing her death, her nurse, Mary, encourages Jane to talk, to tell her stories, to reveal her secrets. Mary nursed in Egypt and on the Western Front and has her own dark past. Sometimes their stories collide. Excitement mingles with the bleakness of disease, war, and poverty. Families sometimes support each other and sometimes tear each other apart, but at last, Jane learns to love and receive forgiveness. Mary wishes she could do the same, but her sin goes too deep.
I worked as a librarian for forty years, mostly working with young people, so books have been my life, ever since I first stepped into a library and found a magical treasure trove.

" a great read, a book you can get lost in. A big story, with big themes, from an intimate perspective." Ingenue Magazine

The Digger's Daughter Trailer

Set in Geelong and the goldfields of Australia, this sequel to Search for the Light follows Helen’s daughter, Jane, who proves to be the most resilient of her siblings. Strong, single-minded, tough; she is determined to survive everything life throws at her.
Based on the life of Jane Dugmore Timms,