Publisher's synopsis

A verse novel that centres around the impact of colonisation in mid-north South Australia around 1880. Ruby, refugee of a massacre, shelters in the woods where she befriends an Irishman trapper. The poems convey how fear of discovery is overcome by the need for human contact, which, in a tense unravelling of events, is forcibly challenged by an Aboriginal lawman. The natural world is richly observed and Ruby’s courtship is measured by the turning of the seasons.


  • Winner, 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Book of the Year
  • Winner, 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize
  • Winner, 2012 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship
    Winner, 2012 Deadly Awards, Outstanding Achievement in Literature