A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER  book cover   A Dutiful Daughter
Thomas Keneally

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Shocked at the onset of puberty and the catastrophe she believes it brought on her parents, Barbara has since been a most dutiful daughter. Bound in dominance over them, she tends her afflicted parents, managing the beasts and the land single-handed on the isolated marshlands of Campbell's Reach.

"It is her brother Damian who reveals the secrets that the family has shared for the past thirteen years. As the destructive forces within each of them move towards a climax, Barbara is impelled to make the ultimate sacrifice."

"disquieting...moving...its success lies in the way tragedy, black comedy and emotional chaos are made to reside in acts of simple concern." - Times Literary Supplement

First Paragraph:

It had been a thunderous spring. On Saturday, thunder again rolled over the Glover farm. Perhaps, even with four hundred of its acres swamped, it was not yet convinced of the powers of water. At the peak of her thirty best and merely sodden acres, Barbara Glover, in her kitchen, was taken by a sudden fury at the crisp network voice that said, "Further thundery showers." She dropped the half-drawn syringe of antibiotic and ground the radio knob to off, as if the broadcaster were vulnerable at her hands. Rain, she could see, was falling on the rim of mountains down which her brother was coming home. Or was supposed to have come home - yesterday. Barbara breathed and drew herself up to quash her sick anger at his culpable nonarrival, the sick longing for his coming.

Then the syringe again.

From the Angus and Robertson hardback edition, 1971.

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Last modified: September 1, 2008.