Friday, May 05, 2017

Southern Gold

Southern Gold

by Jude Thomas

Silvereye, RRP $35.00

As a child growing up in Dunedin, Jude Thomas was expressly forbidden by her parents to go near the Maclaggan Street area. This naturally piqued her interest and she started to dig into its colourful past and start writing about it.
The result is Jude’s exciting debut novel, Southern Gold, a kaleidoscope of southern history and intrigue, reminiscent of The Denniston Rose and The Larnachs.

It is 1858 in boom town Dunedin. Vagabonds and dreamers are pouring into the new colony. A newborn is found abandoned on the road. She is named Billie and raised in the notorious community of Maclaggan Street, a district of pubs and prostitutes, commerce and chance.  But at six years old, the spirited girl is faced with making her own way in the world.
Why is the professional gentleman so interested in her sketchy past and future prospects?  And what does the Irish charmer want with a girl who detests him? 

Southern Gold twists and turns through some of New Zealand's historical events over eighteen years. Staunch pioneer characters strongly evoke Otago's gold rush days and Billie is a singular and endearing heroine. From muddy town streets to wild-west shootouts, this is a riotous story encased in deftly woven detail.
It is an absorbing read about gumption, love and courage against the odds.
Jude Thomas lives and works on the beautiful Mahurangi peninsula, north of Auckland, New Zealand.  In 2015 she received a grant from the NZ Society of Authors CompleteMS Programme, supported by Creative New Zealand. This has been invaluable to Jude in the writing of Southern Gold.

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