Rough Currents

Nature Unleashed. Love rediscovered and Convict violence
Pages: 400
Australian Historical Fiction


To Jess Walsh, keeping the inn at Wiseman’s Ferry alongside her husband means coming to terms with the Hawkesbury River. It brings travellers to their doors because the ferry provides the only crossing for supplies and convict teams up to the civil engineering wonder of its time— the Great North Road. An ex-convict herself, working with her attractive daughter Deirdre beside her, Jess sees the riverside as home. Her only concern is whether Deirdre should marry stonemason Gerry Riordan and move to far-off Sydney Town.
Inn owner Solomon Wiseman, whose house and gardens complete the little settlement, depends on the Walshes to manage food supplies for the Road. These are collected under the command of Lieutenant William Dodds, with whom Jess often clashes. He is an officer—one of the powerful class that cruelly banished her to Australia twenty-one years before.
The river may bring good fortune, but it can also carry disaster and destruction, and the dense bush around Wiseman’s Ferry can hide desperate men. In 1831, death strikes close to Jess and the river becomes her enemy. Then, just as she begins to realise who her truest ally is, violence throws her life into question again, along with that of William Dodds. No sooner has life returned to Wiseman’s Ferry, when Jess is to discover the reason behind her father’s bankruptcy and tragedies, brought about by a person she holds dear. This is the story of a woman’s determination, nature’s fury, and love burgeoning beside a wild and majestic river in New South Wales.