published-1952, spring-2011, fraudio, families, filthy-lucre, those-autumn-years, lifestyles-deathstyles
Read from April 18 to 20, 2011
** spoiler alert **
The story is laid partly in London and partly in Australia. It is set in 1950.
blurbs - Jennifer Morton, a young girl from Leicester but living in London, witnesses the death of her grandmother, the widow of a retired Indian civil servant. Her pension has ceased and she has literally starved to death, despite her apparent prosperity. Before she dies, she leaves to Jennifer a small sum of money sent by a niece in Australia, and asks that Jennifer uses the money to visit Australia and Jane and Jack Dorman, who own a prosperous sheep station in Merrijig Victoria. She does so.
Jennifer finds herself falling in love with the new, relatively unspoiled country, though she continues to worry about her parents. She also meets Carl Zlinter, a 'New Australian'; a Czech refugee who is working at the nearby lumber camp of a timber company as a condition of his free passage to Australia. A medical doctor qualified to practise in Czechoslovakia, he is not qualified to practise in Australia and only looks after First Aid at the lumber camp. But when an accident badly injures two of the workers and no doctor, nurse or medical facilities are available, he is faced with watching the workers die or operating on them; he chooses to operate, and Jennifer assists him. The two operations are successful, but one man later gets drunk and dies. Zlinter is initially in potentially serious trouble over the unlicensed operations and death, but he is cleared of responsibility.
Jennifer helps Zlinter to trace the history of a man of the same name who lived and died in the district many years before, during a gold rush, and they find the site of his house.
Back in England, Jennifer's mother dies and she is forced to return, but she is now restless and unsatisfied. Zlinter turns up in Leicester; he has found gold dust that the earlier Zlinder earned as a bullock driver and hid beneath a stone. He has used the money from illegally selling the gold to travel to England to ask Jennifer to marry him, and to requalify as a medical practitioner.
Read by Robin Bailey...Continua