Growing up in an Italian family in 1950s Queensland, Rafaela longs to escape to Melbourne. When she finally seizes her chance, flood-waters halt her train’s progress south. On his way back to Melbourne from cutting cane during the summer, the worldly and altogether different young Sikh scientist named Chanchal captures her heart.
Set against the stifling heat of the Queensland cane-fields, the lush farmland of northern New South Wales and the bustle of Melbourne in the early 1960s, Chanchal’s and Rafi’s stories unfold and intersect over the following years, as their chance encounter becomes the tale of two countries on the cusp of modernity.
Available from iTunes, Booktopia, http://www.randomhouse.com.au (pb & e-book), gleebooks (pb), abebooks.com (pb used and new) and other good bookstores.
‘A good example of the Australian novel recognising its near neighbours in the Asia Pacific…a lovely book’
Nury Vitachi, then Director of the Hong Kong Literary Festival, on The Book Show, ABC Radio National
‘Jane Messer has created a rich hinterland for both characters that adds depth and heft to the narrative’
Fiona Gruber, The Age
‘The greater the barriers, the more romantic the love. It’s a rule of literature (think Abelard and Heloise, Romeo and Juliet)…Provenance proves it yet again.’
Barry Oakley, The Sydney Morning Herald