The Secret Fate of Mary WatsoneBook - 2011
1879. Having just fled her parents home in Rockhampton, 19-year-old Mary Oxnam is penniless and living in a Brisbane boarding house. With few prospects and no connections, the only things she can really rely on are her audacious intelligence and wits to find a job. Mary soon finds herself working as a pianist in a Cooktown brothel, a cover for more profitable work as a spy into smuggling operations. Within a year, she has moved to Lizard Island, locked into a marriage of convenience with an unstable sea-slug fisherman. Its an isolated place, but its location is central to her spying activities and at last she is within reach of making enough money to live independently, far away from the murky world in which she has become embroiled. The island crawls not only with lizards, but with hidden enemies, and sometimes it seems that Marys only ally is a quiet crewman who works the slug boats and is sensitive to what lies behind her bravado. As the plot of her secret employers nears its fruition, the stakes become much higher, and Marys life is in great danger. Can her audacity and luck save her one last time? Drawing on the little-known history of smuggling operations and piracy in northern Australia in the late nineteenth century, THE SECRET FATE OF MARY WATSON is not only a thrilling tale of danger and intrigue, but also a story with an exquisite poetic touch that infuses every scene with a heady combination of beauty and foreboding.
Publisher: Sydney New York : Fourth Estate, 2011.
Characteristics: 1 online resource