An Angel In Australia

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Penguin Random House Australia, Jan 4, 2011 - Fiction - 344 pages
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Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, a haunting and evocative tale of murder and loss of innocence in wartime Australia.

Sydney, 1942 - the year of the fall of Singapore, the bombing of Darwin and the surprise attack on Sydney Harbour by Japanese midget submarines. Australia is surely doomed to fall to the Japanese . . .

Through the eyes of a naive young priest we see into the hearts of a people who fear the end of life as they know it. In the confessional, Father Frank Darragh hears how his community is changing - how the very real fear of invasion by the Japanese is leading people to challenge what the church teaches is right or wrong. Under the threat of death, people do things they would never dream of in peacetime.

Especially vulnerable are those women whose husbands have been captured in Singapore or the Western desert. Facing the future alone and unprotected, they are at risk of succumbing to the charms of more subtle invaders, American servicemen. When the beautiful wife of an Australian POW is found brutally murdered, she takes on the character of a victim of war in the mind of the impressionable young priest. His obsession with her lost soul leads Darragh on a dangerous journey of personal discovery , one that puts his own life at risk . . .

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About the author (2011)

Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. His non-fiction, includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. His fiction, includes The Daughters of Mars, The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People's Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.

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