The Weif

About the Book

The Weif is a sweeping story of servitude and the struggle for freedom, of the law and its cruel inequities, of the privations and harshness of a rugged new land and of a brother and sister’s fragile home on life during the tumultuous early years of settlement in Australia.

Lizzie and Will Darling are banished from their home in County Cavan for youthful crimes and transported to Australia.

Lizzie finds her feet in Van Diemens Land as a servant to the genial Fletcher family while Will lands in Sydney and is assigned to a stonemason.

But circumstances change and Lizzie is shipwrecked on her way to Adelaide. She discovers that her saviour is not the kindly settler she assumed and she must develop resilience and fortitude to escape his clutches.

Meanwhile Will finds both joy and satisfaction in his work and in his new wife and baby.

Later the siblings find each other again on the Victorian goldfields where Will becomes embroiled in the uprising that sparks the Eureka Stockade while Lizzie forges a new life as a school teacher and believes she has finally left her past behind her.

However their wish for a peaceful life is shattered and Lizzie finds she must once again resort to violence in order to survive.