The Hopeful Traveller

The Hopeful Traveller

By  Fiona Farrell

A fascinating novel of hope, love, idealism and human progress, made up of two separate stories, which can be read in isolation and yet reverberate against each other.

A fascinating novel of hope, love, idealism and human progress, made up of two separate stories, which can be read in isolation and yet reverberate against each other.

Sometime in the 1860s, in an isolated valley on Banks Peninsula, Harry Head, "the Hermit of Hickory Bay", experimented unsuccessfully with flight. His story forms part of the exuberant blend of fact and fiction which constitutes this tale. The author takes us back to the beginnings of novel-writing, as philosophical play and serious entertainment. Think Crusoe's island, think Utopia.

Twelve characters, driven by obsession, hope or the vagaries of chance, come ashore in widely different circumstances onto the same island. Once there, the game can begin. Written in two halves, this is a book to be read from either end. Begin with the past and race toward the future, or begin with the present and circle back towards the past. Time may separate the two sections yet subtle links and twisting events bring them together into a varied, intriguing and compulsive whole.

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