"To play truant is to reach out, to escape from one world into another, to explore seductive dreamscapes.
"Soon after the Great War the Traverne family abandons England for Australia, but within weeks of their arrival in Perth they meet the man who will change their lives - Romney Guy, political maverick, newspaper entrepreneur, raconteur, mining magnate and charming fraud.
"The hopes, fears and changing fortunes of the Traverne family, and the love affair between Jack Traverne and Diana Guy, are manipulated at every twist and turn by the enigmatic Romney Guy. Until at last, amidst the mounting turmoil of the depression years and the secessionist movement, the Travernes are forced to take a stand.
"By the author of the award-winning novel, The Bellamine Jug, Truant State is a gripping drama, rich with mystery and intrigue, which brings into relief contemporary issues."
"A clever play on the visionary and his victim." - Helen Daniel
On the Stratford side of Newbold stood a double row of houses which local people called The Wharf.
Most of the cottages in Newbold village had thatched roofs and were built of honey-coloured Cotswold stone. These houses were different. They were red brick. Their windows seemed squarer; harder. The window panes in the afternoon sun gleamed with a flat, metallic light.
The Wharf! I sometimes imagined that, one day, the school bell might ring and we would all rush out to see a huge sailing ship riding at anchor there; or even a brightly painted barge, bowsprit pointing down the weed-infested avenue, ready to chart a course across the fields to Meon Hill.
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1987.
This novel was shortlisted for the 1987 Miles Franklin Award.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Nicholas Hasluck Page.
Last modified: November 26, 2001.