With over one million books sold, Judy Nunn weaves a breathtaking tale, journeying deep into the red heart of Australia.
In 2001, a century-old dream was about to be realised: the completion of The Ghan railway. Finally connecting Adelaide to Darwin by rail, it was one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in Australia. Three years later it was complete, with more than 120 years of waiting, planning and dreaming behind it, and over one billion dollars investment.
Bestselling Australian author Judy Nunn has based many of her novels in remote locations across Australia. When travelling on The Ghan three years ago with husband, author Bruce Venables, she was instantly inspired. A long-held desire to set a novel in the centre of Australia was reignited as she watched the rich, red landscape rush past. “I have always been fascinated by the Red Centre. Every single time I visit such places I am struck by the sense of spirituality that abounds in the silence of the outback. The sensation is palpable. The land seems to breathe with a life all its own, and never more so than in the Red Centre”, says Judy.
Spirits of the Ghan tells the tale of two people involved in completing The Ghan: Jess Manning, an indigenous Australian whose role as negotiator between the Elders and the railway has earnt her respect amongst all involved with the project, and Matthew Witherton, a senior surveyor overseeing the construction of the line. When their paths finally cross, their respective cultures collide to reveal a mystery that demands attention, and could well affect the completion of the mighty railway.
With an inimitable ability to capture the essence of a location, an era and bring characters to life, Judy Nunn is one of Australia’s best storytellers, and Spirits of the Ghan is one of her best books to date.