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The Making of Martin Sparrow - Peter Cochrane

The Making of Martin Sparrow

Paperback Published: 30th April 2018
ISBN: 9780670074068
Number Of Pages: 464

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A devastating flood on the Hawkesbury almost wipes out the young colony, bringing to the surface many secrets and desires in this masterpiece of historical fiction

Martin Sparrow is already struggling when the Hawkesbury’s great flood of March 1806 lays waste to him and his farm.

Luckless, lovelorn and deep in debt, the ex-convict is confronted with a choice. He can buckle down and set about his agricultural recovery, or he can heed the whispers of an earthly paradise on the far side of the mountains – a place where men are truly free – and strike out for a new life. But what chance of renewal is there for a man like Sparrow in either the brutal colony or the forbidding wilderness?

The decision he makes triggers a harrowing chain of events and draws in a cast of extraordinary characters, including Alister Mackie, the chief constable on the river; his deputy, Thaddeus Cuff; the vicious hunter, Griffin Pinney; the Romany girl, Bea Faa; and the young Aboriginal men, Caleb and Moowut’tin, caught between war and peace.

Set against the awe-inspiring immensity of the hinterland west of the Hawkesbury River, this epic of chance and endurance is an immersion into another time, a masterpiece of language and atmosphere. Rich, raw, strangely beautiful and utterly convincing, The Making of Martin Sparrow reveals Peter Cochrane – already one of our leading historians – as one of our most compelling novelists.

About the Author

Peter Cochrane is a widely published historian and writer based in Sydney. He is best known for his book Colonial Ambition:Foundations of Australian Democracy, which won the inaugural Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History and the Age Book of the Year in 2007. His first venture into fiction was the novella Governor Bligh and the Short Man. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.



For me, there is nothing negative to say about this book. It is compelling from start to finish and if you like Australian history, as I do, you will surely count it as one of the best novels ever written about the subject. It is full of substance and written by an historian whose skill shines through. The language throughout and the atmosphere is superb and the characters drawn absolutely unforgettable. Is there a sequel somewhere off in the mists ? I hope so. In any case, if there is not, I will be waiting for this author's next novel to fill me with awe. I was able to picture the Hawkesbury River area very well, as I have visited towns along its reaches and I know the beauty of the area. Mr Cochrane, get cracking on your next big novel, be it the sequel or something equally as absorbing as "Martin Sparrow".

Uralla NSW


The Making of Martin Sparrow

5.0 1


ISBN: 9780670074068
ISBN-10: 0670074063
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 30th April 2018
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.61
Edition Number: 1

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