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Son Of Gurrewa
Soul Of Australia, Book Two
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-069-6
Genre: Historical/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length: 251 Pages
Published: February 2013

From inside the flap

Children of Australia�s founding convicts grow up in a unique environment. On the one hand, convicts labour in chains under lashweilding redcoats; on the other, immigrant farmers strive to carve out a living, reluctant convicts their only available labour.

Adam seeks his father knowing only that he �went bush� to live with Aborigines. Kept from him was that his father, a convict bolter, was killed by redcoats in a frontier skirmish.

The sorry hand of fate most-times visits only hardship on a developing community, yet occasionally, some pawns in the game of life find Lady Luck lends a hand. The odds, for Adam, fall a little each way.

Reviews and Awards

What They Are Saying

About Son of Gurrewa

5 Star Award!

Adam Ashby is Kev Richardson�s fictionalized convict-birthed character born to an unwed couple, a �bolted�convict and his �colony-wife�. His story represents the real life history of New South Wales� struggles to become more than just an overflow prison for England�s criminals. It bares elements of history that earned Australia the reputation of being The Lucky Country - the Land of Opportunity where good luck and stamina combine to imbue a robust people.

For those of you who missed the history in your Historical reads, you�ll not be disappointed in this factional account of Australian history 1790-1820s

-- JoEllen, Conger Book Reviews USA

Son Of Gurrewa (Excerpt)

Chapter One

Sydney Cove, 1797

"Your father will never be dead while you�re alive, young man."

Meg stood hands ahip. Her lips smiled, but her heart sighed.

Young Adam held his grin, the same his father wore in the mind picture she most cherished. Her boy was seven now, near eight years since his father�s bolt, the living image of him, from the fair curly hair to the blue eyes -- and already promising to be as tall. To Meg, however, those memories of her Adam still seemed like yesterday.

She vividly recalled the happy grin her Adam wore when in their tryst making love. The crest of that hill by the settlement was built on now, as was most of the Sydney Town foreshore. She had made a nostalgic search of The Rocks area on return from Norfolk Island, looking for the site of those happy romps, only to find it all changed.

My life has changed too, since then. And nor can the old one return.

Young Adam kept the memory very much alive for her, however, growing up so closely in his father�s image.

Far better to remember him this way, than my final glimpse left me with.

She trembled again at the memory of William knocking on her door, asking her to come with him to identify the body the redcoats had brought in. She had sensed right off that it was going to be her Adam. Mary had sought Meg out the previous evening, telling her the surgeon would be coming to fetch her on the morrow.

"Unlikely it will be him, though," Will Balmain told her when he called. "Two years is a long time for any bolter to live with the blacks. I told Mary that, when she said he looked like the bolter who fathered her friend�s child."

It had been her Adam, of course, though not easily recognizable with hair roughly chopped, the start of a beard growing, the heavily tanned skin, the bodily scars that she guessed should be expected, him living in the bush all that time. It was indeed wretched seeing him in that state ...

... Yet it at least confirmed that he wasn�t killed by the blacks as everyone thought.

"But you�ll never know about that discovery, my lad," she now softly told the boy as she cuddled him.

"What�s discovery?"

"Something that nobody knew about up until now. Like finding a new river, or the new friends we�ve made since returning from Norfolk Island."

It still galled her that they had insisted her Adam be buried in an unmarked grave, him being a bolter. Without ceremony, only her thoughts saw him on his way to the next world, so if little Adam were to grow knowing his father had been so buried, he would want to know why.

And nothing to make him feel proud would be told him. Far better he should grow up not knowing!

William had agreed to the secret when she later posed the problem to him.

He, most of all, best understands how I feel about it.


A new day�s dawn always had Adam tingling with excitement, expectation of new adventures, new experiences.

What was it Mama had said about �discovery�? New rivers and things, new friends?

The �things� caused the tingle.

�Things� embrace surprise, and I like surprises. Even to wake up finding the sun weaving its path through the clouds is a nice surprise. Then I know that today I can get out and about, not be kept in like when it rains.

Rain was needed sometimes, his mama had told him ...

"Because trees that grow fruit, vegetables that keep us healthy and flowers that give us beauty, all need water to drink, same as people."

Yet sometimes the rain doesn�t seem to know when enough is enough, so I�m kept in until it finally realises!

He liked to lie abed at such times, watching the sunshine creeping along the wall like it, too, was seeking a discovery.

And it will find plenty because the sun covers everything, more than I can ever see at one time.

He had often played a �seeing� game -- one he could do on his own when Thomas was kept indoors on punishment or off helping his father build houses.

The seeing game was taught him by Father-Will, a �test of observation� he called it, which to Adam was a mere jumble of words he didn�t understand. It called for remembering, within the time he could count to ten, everything his eyes glanced on -- and he had quickly realised just how many things one�s eyes could take in, in such a short time -- nowadays short because he had practised over and over counting to ten as quickly as he could, to make the game easier.

Father-Will wasn�t his real father. Mama had explained when he was little how his father had been a lag like her, and as Thomas�s parents were. Most people he knew either used to be lags or still were. Lags were people lucky enough to have been brought from England but who had to work for the government for a time to pay back the favour of having been brought, his mama had told him. So he knew it was true.

His real father, also Adam -- funny coincidence that, he�d ever reckoned -- had gone off to live with the blacks because he wanted to learn how they found food in the forests. Redcoats had never been able to find any. And he never came back.

"Maybe he got a sickness and died," Adam had told Thomas. "Mrs. Green got what Father-Will called smallpox, and him being a surgeon should know, and she died. So that was most likely what happened to my real father."

"No one really knows," his mama had said, so Adam sometimes wondered if he could still be alive, still looking for food in the forests. Adam had gone looking himself at times but never found any. He looked in the bush for apple trees, peach trees, cabbages, carrots and many other things that people in the town now grew in their gardens but couldn�t find even one of those things.

No wonder, he reckoned, the redcoats could never find any.