Set in rural Queensland in 1929, An Uncommon Woman is the captivating story of a very modern woman who refuses to be held down by the conventions of the past . . .
Inspired by a real newspaper story from 1930, An Uncommon Woman is an epic tale of duty, ambition, prejudice and love, from the pen of bestselling author Nicole Alexander.
A new world is waiting for her . . .
It’s 1929, and the world is changing. Cars are no longer the privilege of the rich. Hemlines are rising. Movies are talking. And more and more women are entering the workforce.
For Edwina Baker, however, life on her family’s farm in Western Queensland offers little opportunity to be anything other than daughter, sister and, perhaps soon, wife.
But Edwina wants more. She wants to see the world, meet new people, achieve things. For while she has more business sense than her younger brother, it will be Aiden who one day inherits the farm.
Then the circus comes to town. Banned from attending by her father, Hamilton, Edwina defiantly rides to the showground dressed as a boy. There she encounters two men who will both inadvertently alter the course of her life: pastoralist Mason with his modern city friends; and Will, a labourer who also dreams of escape.
And when the night ends in near-disaster, this one act of rebellion strikes at the heart of the Baker family. Yet it also offers Edwina the rare chance to prove herself in a man’s world. The question is, how far is she prepared to go, and how much is she prepared to risk?
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July 3, 2017
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The land was thick with aged trees and prickly pear. The smaller succulents grew in dense clumps, ﬂeshy and spine covered, while others stretched skyward, tangling with their brethren ten feet into the air so that the way ahead resembled an ancient forest. Overhead snatches of blue sky teased the riders as they picked their way through a section of countryside made unusable by the prickly invaders. The noxious plant covered the ground in varying sizes with scant dirt in between and Edwina Baker, accompanied by her brother, Aiden, was somewhat surprised to ﬁnd birds still present, as if the very presence of the spikey monstrosities should surely compel them to ﬂy elsewhere.
This part of their property suffered from one of the worst infestations, with the pear having made a good two-thirds of their land useless for any form of agriculture. Edwina didn’t normally ride out here. Just the sight of so much of the weed made her mad with frustration. They had cut, burnt, hoed and applied chemical to the invasion for as long as Edwina could remember. It was an ongoing battle to eradicate the dreaded plants and she hated to think of the money and effort that had been expended on the task. The plant was virulent and drought tolerant. Its seeds were carried by birds, especially crows who loved the ﬂeshy cactus. Their father said for many years that the bush carried an albatross about its neck until something could be done about the species. By 1920, millions of hectares of land across Queensland and New South Wales had been infested. Now useless, enormous areas were abandoned by their owners.
But there was hope and they carried that hope in a saddlebag.
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