The story of two young women determined to live outside the confines of the Victorian Age and who have a lasting impact on the fledgling town of Melbourne. Florence is seduced by the son of her employer in Leicestershire. Thomas Luxford casts herMoreThe story of two young women determined to live outside the confines of the Victorian Age and who have a lasting impact on the fledgling town of Melbourne. Florence is seduced by the son of her employer in Leicestershire.
Thomas Luxford casts her aside, denying all responsibility for her coming child. Fleeing her former life, Florences twins are born illegitimately in Bedford in 1819. Florence is alone and destitute with her infant daughters. Fortunately the twins paternal grandfather seeks them out and saves them from the workhouse. Thanks to his benevolence, Joey and Maddy grow up in secluded gentility.
However, their way of life changes with the onset of their mothers consumption and a trip to Brighton to effect a cure. At nineteen, the twins suffer a double tragedy, losing both their mother and their beloved grandfather. After time in London and on the advice of their solicitor, the girls flee the country to secure the inheritance left to them by their grandfather.
They choose to make Australia their new home. The voyage via Rio de Janeiro is not without incident and Joey finds she cannot remain in Sydney with her sister. She travels on to Melbourne, determined to make her life in the young and brash settlement. Maddy joins her there. In the fledgling town where floods and constant mud threaten to overwhelm, the girls follow through with their plan for their future.
Despite the sad plight of the aborigines, an economic depression, labour shortages and personal trauma, they ultimately win through. By 1847, Melbourne grows from a lawless frontier settlement into a burgeoning town, rich on the wealth of wool.
The book follows the lives of these women as they struggle to earn their place in a mans world. The saga of early Melbourne unfolds through their tragedies and celebrations, two women destined to change the fabric of colonial society and make a lasting impact on the character of Australian life.