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Sydney, 1942, and in a nation threatened by a Japanese invasion, with husbands absent and sleek GIs present, a spirit of recklessness takes hold. Frank Darragh, an impressionable young priest, finds the line between saving others’ souls and losing his own begins to blur as he becomes entangled with an attractive married woman, a ménage a trois, and a charismatic American sergeant.


The gripping work of an author at the height of his powers
The Times
An immensely subtle study of the bad fit between moral systems and real life
The Sunday Times
[Its] great strengths lie in its evocation of Australia at a particularly turbid period of its history, and in its characterisation of ordinary people faced with extraordinary dilemmas.
Daily Telegraph
Superbly crafted . . . he effortlessly interweaves many of life's bigger dilemmas: the conflicts between love and duty; innocence and experience; conscience and courage. This is a thought-provoking and engrossing novel.
Sunday Express
Meticulous, exact and beautifully written . . . Keneally has the ability to evoke an entire character, even an entire philosophy, in one sentence.
Literary Review
An excellent novel . . . It is good on the Catholic Church, and on the ambiguous boundary between priest and confessor. It is also elegant, economical and extremely funny.
Financial Times