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Publisher's Summary

Deep in the heart of Australia's high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly's children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection - but it can be harder when Joe's around. 

At just 12 years of age, Molly's eldest son, Danny, is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe - from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover's wife. 

One night, under the moon's watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind - a Black 'story keeper', Yadaka. He's on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path. 

Full of fury and power, Leah Purcell's The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is a brave reimagining of the Henry Lawson short story that has become an Australian classic. Brilliantly plotted, it is a compelling thriller of our pioneering past that confronts head-on issues of today: race, gender, violence and inheritance.

©2021 Leah Purcell (P)2021 Penguin Random House Australia

What listeners say about The Drover's Wife

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Wow! Powerful & Moving

The Drover’s Wife is storytelling at it’s best!

I was struck by how skilfully this story was written and how masterfully it was told!!
It had captured me from the very first line (I love Snow Gums too) and held my interest to the very end.

Leah’s reading was heartfelt and authentic - it was clear which of the many characters was talking and how they were feeling by her different voices -
Basically, she nailed it!

I was mesmerised by her beautiful vivid descriptions of the scenery putting me right there and the emotions this authentically Australian story evoked, were powerful ones!!!

Outstanding all round Leah - and the beauty is I could feel the strength, the pride and the compassion of the story teller :)

Thank you for telling this story

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great Australian story

a wonderful fictional insight into the tough life of the white pioneers and the heartbreaking treatment of the traditional owners of our land. loved the use of traditional language and respect given to the hardship experiences of the Indigenous people and women of the times.

1 person found this helpful

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The best Australian story in years

Heart-warming, tragic and truly Australian. The best Australian story in years. Perfectly narrated. Can't wait for the next one!

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Deadly History

Well performed. Well written. An unveiling of cultural truths in the telling. I look forward to seeing it on the big screen.

On many occasions I caught myself in awe of the author's ability to create vivid word pictures describing characters and Country. I also respect and applaud the natural blending of language.

The narration / narrator is truly gifted in both word and song.

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Wonderful yarn

I loved hearing the different perspectives of this story.
The story was very well delivered by the author.
Great to hear First Nation language delivered well. The yarn helps the listener to understand culture and connection with country.
I do hope Leah writes another great yarn.

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My most favourite book so far.

A truly inspiring story, I didn’t want it to end. Perfectly narrated and highly recommended.

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headline

loved it cant wait for her next novel.
loved the blending of cultures.
the raw honesty and power of a mothers love

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Wonderful

So well written. Loved it and didn’t want it to end. The narration perfect. The description of landscape breathtaking. Recommend this book.

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WHAT A GEM!

I absolutely love this story. Thank you for writing this truly inspiring story and i also loved that you read it to me too! I will now buy the film as i am a fan of yours after watching you in the series Wentworth. I cannot wait for the next book.
THANK YOU LEAH
Simone Wood

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Loved every moment

from the start I didn't want the story and the telling to end. What a wonderful author who narrated their story perfectly; thank you for the experience 😊

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amber
  • 14-09-2021

possibly the best book I've read.

Leah Purcell has the amazing ability to tell a story in a way that allows the reader to completely be in the shoes of the characters. I finished this book in a day and a half, it was hard to stop reading I hope she writes more

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-08-2021

wow

I loved it. evoked strong emotion and at one point tears were just streaming down my cheeks.

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  • SAgirl
  • 13-11-2021

excellent read

incredible story of heartbreak and tragedy. The 1890s are not that long ago yet the creulity and barbaric behaviour of men was unpresidented.
I guess they are much the same today, Joan suffering at the hands of men.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.