Author(s): Deborah Challinor
When Tamar Deane is orphaned at seventeen in a small Cornish village, she seizes the chance for a new life and emigrates to New Zealand. In March 1879, alone and frightened on the Plymouth quay, she is befriended by an extraordinary woman. Myrna McTaggert is travelling to Auckland with plans to establish the finest brothel in the southern hemisphere and her unconventional friendship proves invaluable when when Tamar makes disastrous choices in the new colony. Tragedy and scandal befall her, but unexpected good fortune brings vast changes to Tamarâ��s life. As the century draws to a close, uncertainty looms when a distant war lures her loved ones to South Africa. This dramatic story â�� the first in a sweeping three-volume family saga â�� has a vivacious and compelling heroine who will live with the reader long after the final page has been turned. This was my first novel, and was always going be the first of a trilogy .I had just finished my Ph.D. in military history and was bursting to write about the Boer, First and Second World Wars. Not about the guns and what have you, but about what war does to people. Which, I suppose, makes me a social historian, not a military historian. And most of Tamar ended up being about Tamar anyway, not the Boer War, which only happened right at the end, but it all worked out OK.
From the very first page, Deborah Challinor works magic. Her depictions of life aboard an immigrant ship, early Auckland, city and country life â�� she is an excellent writer, involving readers with all those essential little details which bring characters and scenes to life. Tamar is the first of a proposed three volume saga. Keep an eye out for Deborah Challinor books, theyâ��re great reading.â�� The Daily Post, June 2002 â��â�¦So the interest of the book, apart from the excellent narrative and characterisation, is in the deeper level of the world of ideas. The author handles her complex material in a simple and understandable way, as was her intention. I hope the book will reach a wide audience.â�� Wanganui Chronicle, June 2002 â��Waikato author Deborah Challinorâ��s book is the first of a trilogy, and I look forward to reading the others to see what happens to the family. I certainly rate the story and the writing much higher that a recently published, much vaunted Australian family trilogy.â�� Waikato Times, April 2002
Deborah Challinor is a freelance writer and historian living in New South Wales, author of many bestsellers including Isle of Tears and the trilogy Kitty, Amber and Band of Gold, and several non-fiction titles including Who'll Stop the Rain? and Grey Ghosts.