Nicole Alexander

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The Cedar Tree

book | Fiction | Mar 2020
ANZ → Penguin Random House (Ed. Beverley Cousins)

Three years ago, cousins Brandon and Sean O’Riain fled their tenant farms in County Tipperary as wanted criminals. Now, in 1867, they are working as cedar-cutters in New South Wales’s lush-green Richmond Valley.

But while Brandon embraces the opportunities this new country offers, Sean refuses to let go of the past. And one of them is about to make a dangerous choice . . .

Nearly a century later, in the spring of 1949, Stella O’Riain is also fleeing her home – a sheep property on the barren edge of the Strzelecki Desert. She leaves behind her husband Joe and a baby daughter.

With no money and limited options, Stella accepts her brother-in-law Harry’s offer to live at the O’Riain family cane farm in the Richmond Valley. However Harry’s refusal to discuss Joe - or the row that tore the brothers apart - leaves Stella with more questions than answers.

In particular, why does she feel someone is watching her from a distance? And what is the real reason she is banned from speaking to the owner of the farm next door?

Spanning two centuries, The Cedar Tree is a story of love and faith, destiny and betrayal, in a land as rich and fertile as the secrets it keeps.


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